Meet Our Staff and Faculty

Denver PTC Staff and Faculty

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 an attending physician at the Denver Metro Health (STD) Clinic. She is also Assistant 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.
Teri Anderson, MT (ASCP) is the Associate Clinical Training Coordinator for the Denver PTC. After graduating from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center with a degree in Medical Technology in 1981, she landed her first and only professional job with Denver Public Health in the STD Control Program. She worked for 10 years as both a clinician and laboratorian in the Denver Metro Health (STD) Clinic before assuming the position of PTC Clinical Coordinator for 8 years. After the birth of her second child, Teri now works part-time and accepted an associate position with the program. She received her 25 years of service award in June 2006.


Helen Burnside is the coordinator of the National Resource Center (NRC) for National Network of STD/HIV Prevention Training Centers (NNPTC) and works with the Denver PTC Clinical and Behavioral Training Programs. As the coordinator of the NRC, Helen coordinates NNPTC marketing activities, maintains the NNPTC website (,  facilitates collaboration and resource sharing among NNPTC members, and collaborates with internal and external partners to responds to emerging issues in HIV prevention and STD prevention and clinical care. Helen acquired a Master’s Degree in Community Health from the University of Montana in Missoula and is a Certified Health Education Specialist.  She has a background in social marketing and has worked on the development and delivery of international curricula and an array of community health promotion programs. 


John Fitch is the Clinical Coordinator for the Denver STD/HIV 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. His interest in web-based activities and video development have fit well with the PTC's expanding programs. John has coordinated and designed a number of health-related websites as well as producing and directing the PTC's STD Grand Rounds National Satellite Broadcasts.
Katie Langland is a Training Coordinator, focusing on public health trainings, including Maternal Child Health and Patient Navigation. Her career has been based in diverse teaching and training environments. She has developed and delivered numerous health education programs, professional trainings, counseling sessions, and community-based programs focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. Ms. Langland obtained degrees in Spanish and International Studies from Miami University, an Elementary Education licensure at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is currently pursuing an Anthropology degree at the University of Colorado Denver. She is a dedicated volunteer at Washington Bilingual School, a Health Promoter for Clinica Tepayac, and as a Character Education Literacy Volunteer at Community Resources.

Michael McLeod is a Training Specialist for the Denver PTC Behavioral Intervention Training Program with professional health education experience in diverse settings. He earned his undergraduate degree in government at the College of William and Mary. He earned his law degree at the University of Michigan. From 2001 through 2004 he was a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. While working at CU, his research and volunteer work focused on community-based responses to HIV/AIDS. From 2004 through 2006 he directed a health program for same-gender loving African-American men in metropolitanDenver.
T. Scott Pegues is the Training Coordinator for the Denver PTC Behavioral Intervention Training Program. He is responsible for coordinating curriculum and faculty development, the delivery of courses, and staff supervision. He is the key coordinator with external project partners to assure appropriate region-wide coverage of courses, and collaborates in ongoing need assessment activities. He also provides support to the Denver Metro Health (STD) clinic as an on-call clinician. Mr. Pegues has a special interest in the social and cultural impact of HIV disease, and its influence on the identities of young men. He is recognized as a leader in the national gay men’s health movement, and dedicates himself to the development of a new generation of community leaders. Mr. Pegues comes to the Denver PTC with over a decade of interdisciplinary experience in HIV prevention, community mobilization, strategic planning, adult education, and group facilitation. He is a Langevin Certified Master Trainer, Performance Consultant, and Instructional Designer/Developer.
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.
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.
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.
Mark Thrun, MD is medical director of the Denver Behavioral PTC, and director of HIV Prevention and STD Control for Denver Public Health. He is also Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. His primary research interests include acute and early HIV infection, the immunology of HIV, and the prevention and diagnosis of HIV infection. He is also actively involved in community planning for HIV services and policy development. Dr. Thrun has recently developed a prevention curriculum for HIV care providers designed to increase the frequency and efficacy of their risk-reduction discussion with patients. He received his doctorate in medicine at the University of Cincinnati and completed an infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Colorado. Dr. Thrun has previously served as co-chair of the National Network of STD/HIV Prevention Training Centers and remains active on its steering committee.