Working with the staff at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences (a branch of Bastyr University) I came to understand the modalities of treatment by Naturopathic Physicians. These included nutrition, deep tissue massage, and other modalities like acupuncture. They were very helpful to clients. I manged to get an entire suite of offices in a local hospitality donated and I set up a Wellness Clinic where Naturopathic (NDs) and Allopathic (MDs) worked together effectively. The anti-HIV cocktail had not been embraced yet in Phoenix where in the early 90s most people were on monotherapy.
My first community based work was in Phoenix AZ where I was the Director of the Being Alive Program at AIDS Project Arizona. My program was Ryan White funded and included mounting educational events and managing a Buyers Club. The cocktail had not been embraced yet in Phoenix where in the early 90s most people were on monotherapy.
I was a member of the local Ryan White Council. I led their first research initiative assessing the needs of their local HIV infected population.
I became the Executive Director of an new agency called "A Place Called Home". We rehabilitated four homes for congregate living for the homeless with HIV. I learned how to raise money and write grants for HUD/HOPWA support. I was trained by Bailey House staff from New York City. Gradually the agency would expand its services to include scattered site housing.
Wellness Clinic Founded
I returned to NYC to become the first Executive Director of "Pride Senior Network" supported by a 3 year grant from the New York Foundation. The agency was an advocacy and research effort for LGBT Seniors. With guidance from Emeritus Marjorie Cantor, a renowned researcher on aging, I became immersed in the field of gerontology. I would also meet the powerful feminist, LGBT and HIV activist Urvashi Vaid and the staff of the NGLTF (Policy). I helped them edit the white paper "Outing Age". I launched a newspaper for LGBT Seniors with 80,000+ readers and secured funding for a large scale research study of LGBT Caregiving. Fundraising was a constant. I was able to host 2 fashion shows on Fire Island where donated designer clothing (Gucci, Oscar DeLarenta, Prada, Spade, Calvin Klein, and more) was worn by Fire Island Pines residents on a runway and auctioned to highest bidders. Women from Sex in the City hosted the event. During my 3 years at Pride Senor I became aware of the growing older adult community with HIV.