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Meet our Faculty and Staff

The Denver PTC is a program of Denver Public Health, a department of Denver Health and Hospital Authority. The PTC operates in partnership with the University of Colorado Denver, Health and Behavioral Sciences with whom we share an interdisciplinary staff and faculty with years of professional and practical experience in medicine, social sciences, health education, and human services.

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  Grace Alfonsi, MD is a member of the Clinical Faculty for the Denver PTC and the acting director of the Denver Metro Health (STD) Clinic. She is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Dr. Alfonsi received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and completed her residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. She completed a research fellowship with the University of Colorado School of Public Health. Her clinical interests include HPV epidemiology and prevention and access to family planning.
Teri Anderson  

Teri Anderson, MT (ASCP) is the Clinical Coordinator for the Denver PTC.  Teri coordinates the STD clinical training and technical assistance provided by the Denver PTC’s Regional STD Clinical Training Center and provides high-impact HIV Prevention training support to the Denver PTC’s HIV Capacity Building Assistance Program (CBA).  Her responsibilities including designing and implementing tailored, clinical trainings to meet the needs of public health and primary care providers who provide sexual health services in an 8 state.  She works closely with state-based STD programs, public health clinics, community health clinics and primary care organizations to implement “best practices” in STD and HIV care and prevention.  Teri has over 35 years of experience working in the STD/HIV field.  She spent 10 years working in the Denver STD Clinic as a clinician, training preceptor, stat laboratorian, and research associate before moving into the training arena.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, CO.

 Shruthi Bajaj

 

Shruthi Bajaj, M.Ed., MS is the Instructional Design Training Analyst at the Denver PTC. Her skills include designing and developing interactive eLearning courses, creating and producing engaging and innovative instructional videos, and developing educational animation to supplement larger projects. Shruthi also contributes to graphic design projects such as marketing fliers and posters, as well as helped redesign segments of the Denver PTC website.  Prior to joining the Denver PTC, Shruthi worked in different training and design capacities within public health, healthcare, and medical device sectors.  She is passionate about nutrition, and has spent time as a healing chef at various retreat centers.  Ms. Bajaj holds a Masters of Education in Learning, Design, and Technology from Stanford University and a Masters of Science in Bioengineering from University of California San Diego.

Helen Burnside  

Helen Burnside, MS, is the manager of the Denver PTC's HIV Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) Program. Helen is responsible for the administrative, reporting, and clinical program oversight of the CBA program and continues to support the STD Prevention Training Centers. In addition to her 5 years of experience previously managing the National Coordination Center for the STD Clinical Training Centers, Mrs. Burnside has been a trainer for over 8 years with a focus on HIV prevention in clinical care interventions, and has worked in the STD/HIV field for over 12 years. Helen acquired a Master's Degree in Community Health from the University of Montana in Missoula.

Azul Delgrasso  

Azul DelGrasso, MA has worked in the STD/HIV field for over 20 years and is a Workforse Development Specialist for the Denver Prevention Training Center. Azul is part of a team responsible for the program coordination of the Denver PTC's Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) Program to expand high-impact HIV prevention activities within healthcare organizations. In addition to his tenor, he has 10 years experience in non-profit marketing with an emphasis in STD's and HIV. Mr. DelGrasso led the first rapid HIV testing program and training in Mexico, and is one of the only two testing counselors who has tested high risk individuals in all 48 states of the continental US as part of the Magic Johnson HIV Testing Tour in 2010. Azul is a Denver native and has a Master's Degree in Latin American Studies from California State University Los Angeles.

Allison Finkenbinder  

Allison Finkenbinder, WHNP-BC, is the nurse trainer for the Denver PTC. Allison coordinates training and technical assistance efforts that assist healthcare providers in reducing their clients’ risk for the transmission and acquisition of HIV and STDs. She also coordinates the Denver Prevention Training Center's STD Clinical Consultation Network (STD CCN), as well as the center's continuing nursing education. Her clinical interests include STD and HIV prevention and family planning.

John Fitch  
John Fitch coordinates grants and reporting for the Denver PTC's Clinical STD Regional and HIV Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) programs.  He also leads the National Technological Innovation Program @ the Denver PTC. John came to Denver in 1993 -- moving down the road from Boulder -- to coordinate Denver Public Health's Confidential and Anonymous HIV Testing Sites. In 1997, he became the Director of HIV/AIDS Education and in 2000 he joined the Denver PTC as the Clinical Coordinator of the Regional STD Training program. With an interest in health technology and innovation, John has helped facilitate the development of the STD Clinical Consultation Warm Line and the NNPTC's STD Clinical Toolbox mobile application.
 

Edward M. Gardner, MD is the Medical Director of the Infectious Disease Clinic and the Center for Positive Health at Denver Public Health, part of the public hospital system in Denver, CO (Denver Health). He also is the director of HIV Clinical Research at Denver Public Health and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver. His main areas of research interest are engagement in HIV care and adherence to antiretroviral therapy. His clinical interests include diagnosis, treatment, and management of HIV infection and its complications.& In 2011 Dr. Gardner published on the HIV prevention and care cascade.

     
 

Jason S. Haukoos, MD, MSc is the Director of Research for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Denver Health Medical Center and is Professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Colorado School of Public Health. He has conducted emergency department-based HIV screening research since 1998 and has been the principal investigator of several large comparative clinical studies, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the National Institutes of Health. He is also co-founder of the National Emergency Department HIV Testing Consortium and founder and director of the Denver Emergency Department HIV Research Consortium, and has published extensively in the areas of public health, epidemiology, and HIV prevention.

Destiny Kelley  

Destiny Kelley, BS, CHC, CWWS, CWWPM, AADP, is the Coordinator for the NNPTC National Coordination Center and also works with the Colorado Patient Navigation Collaborative. She has over 15 years of experience in health education, promotion, and private allied health education. Destiny has played a key role in the development of Health Promotion service at the Atlanta VA and has experience working with many government agencies including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). She oversees the coordination of Prevention Training Centers and manages the development and delivery of the curricula for comprehensive training programs.

Victoria Myers  

Victoria Myers is the Program Assistant to the Denver Prevention Training Center.  The Colorado native earned her Bachelor's degree in Public Health from the University of Colorado at Denver.  She is the point of contact for all clerical and support needs of the PTC team.  She handles all payments and customer service on the Denver PTC website and when needed for the National Network of Prevention Training Center's (NNPTC) website.  She handles many logistics of trainings and events within the program.  Prior to working at the Denver PTC, Victoria worked as an administrative assistant at a methadone clinic, working with clients that have alcohol and/ or drug addictions.  She also worked with the geriatric population for over 6 years in many different capacities. Victoria’s studies and prior experience have given her a background in public health while working with diverse populations.

Danielle  

Danielle Osowski is a Training Specialist for the Denver PTC Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) Program. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Colorado. She is currently one class away from her Masters of Public Health Certificate at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Danielle comes to the Denver PTC after working at the University of Colorado Infectious Disease Group Practice where she was the Early Intervention Services Coordinator. There she focused on High Impact Prevention, Retention in Care and Substance Use services. In her current role at the Denver Prevention Training Center, Danielle is excited to assist in helping to build the capacity of health professionals through innovative training and consultation.

  Karen Peterson, MD is a member of the Clinical Faculty for the Denver PTC, and is an attending physician at the Denver Metro Health (STD) Clinic and the Denver Public Health Infection Disease Clinic. Dr. Peterson received her medical degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and completed her residency at Cambridge Hospital in Massachusetts. She has been a physician at Denver Public Health for the past 12 years.
Kees   Cornelis Kees Rietmeijer, MD, PhD is medical director of the Denver Clinical PTC. He is also a professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the Colorado School of Public Health.  His current research interests include the epidemiology and prevention of chlamydia infections, the resurgence of STDs and HIV among men who have sex with men, the Internet as a risk and prevention environment, expanding testing to non-traditional venues using new technologies, and STD clinic operations. Dr. Rietmeijer received his medical degree and PhD from the University of Amsterdam Department of Medicine, and a Master of Science in Public Health degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
Sarah Rowan   Sarah E. Rowan, MD is Associate Director of HIV and Viral Hepatitis Prevention at Denver Public Health and Assistant Professor in the Divisions of Infectious Diseases and General Internal Medicine at Denver Health and the University of Colorado Hospital. Her clinical time is spent providing HIV, HCV, and STD care, and she attends on the inpatient infectious diseases consult service. Dr. Rowan is an active researcher in the fields of HIV and HCV epidemiology, engagement in care, and health disparities. Through her work with the IAPAC/UNAIDS Fast Track Cities Initiative, Dr. Rowan is organizing Metro Denver's approach to ending the AIDS epidemic. This involves analyzing and sharing data, building partnerships, developing a data to care program, and overseeing public health efforts to build regional capacity for PrEP.
Terry Stewart  

Terry Stewart is the Director of the Denver PTC. He is responsible for the fulfillment of the overall mission of our existing and developing programs. He also oversees fiscal management and quality assurance of curricula and course delivery. Mr. Stewart has been in STD/HIV prevention for 17 years. Prior to joining the training center, he served as Director of Education at the Colorado AIDS Project for nine years. His experience also includes work with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center’s Project Safe, a research and education program targeting the injection drug using community in the Denver area. He also served on Colorado’s HIV Prevention Community Planning group for 10 years. Mr. Stewart's expertise includes training and facilitation, fundraising, leadership development, program management, as well as the design, implementation and evaluation of behavioral interventions. He especially enjoys working with staff from community-based organizations to assist with the translation of research into real world settings.

Chris Voegeli  

Christopher Voegeli, PhD, MPH is the Evaluation Specialist for the Denver PTC. Chris is tasked with creating, administering, analyzing, and reporting on the evaluations for the courses and capacity building offered by the Denver PTC. Chris is also the Evaluation Coordinator for the National Evaluation Center (NEC) where his responsibilities include data management, development of a national evaluation system, and technical support for the National Network of Prevention Training Centers (NNPTC). Chris received his master of Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology from the University of Kansas and his master’s and doctorate in psychology with a specialization in methodology from Wichita State University.  Chris’s background includes working as a community support worker with severely emotionally disturbed (SED) children, consulting and capacity building for grassroots and non-profit organizations, and teaching at Wichita State University.

Dustin Wagner  

Dustin Wagner is a Senior Training Specialist for the Denver PTC Capacity Building Assistance Program. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of Iowa.  Dustin comes to Denver PTC after working in both the local government and non-profit worlds implementing HIV Counseling and Testing and Community, Group, and Individual level interventions with a focus on young MSM, African American MSM, people living with HIV/AIDS, and IDU populations since 2004. He has created and delivered workshops that address sexual health for LGBT youth. In his current role Dustin delivers numerous HIV prevention behavioral intervention trainings, which include, but are not limited to Healthy Relationships, Couples HIV Testing and Counseling, Community PROMISE, ARTAS and HNS. He has also delivered capacity building around LGBT Cultural Awareness.

Julia Weise  

Julia Weise, LCSW has worked for over 20 years providing Social Work services at Denver Health in several capacities; all dealing primarily with clients who are living with HIV. Julia's work has included direct clinical services, clinical supervision, teaching and facilitating, as well as program administration. Currently Julia delivers behavioral training interventions with the Denver PTC, oversees Denver Public Health's Linkage to Care program, as well as providing supervision and program support to Patient Navigation staff. Capacity building assistance has been provided to organizations implementing a linkage to care program by sharing key information, best practices and through delivery of ARTAS. Julia Weise is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Colorado. She completed her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver. Julia previously taught a course for Metropolitan State College of Denver on the social, political, legal, and ethical implications of HIV/AIDS.

Karen Wendel  

Karen Wendel, MD is the Director of HIV/ STD Prevention and Control at Denver Public Health. In this capacity she works with the Denver Health STD Clinic and Denver Prevention Training Center to promote STD education and care in our region and improve access to HIV testing and HIV prevention services locally and nationally. Karen has been involved in HIV and STD clinical care and research while on faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Oklahoma Health Science Center, and University of Colorado Health Science Center. While in Baltimore, she served as Director of Early Intervention Initiative for HIV care in the Baltimore City Health Department STD Clinics, and while in Oklahoma, she served as a medical consultant for the Oklahoma City and County Health Department STD Clinic. She has participated in CDC STD Treatment Guidelines meetings and has conducted research into the causes of vaginitis and urethritis. Karen received her medical degree at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed an internal medicine training and infectious disease fellowship at John Hopkins Hospital.