Promoting Health & Preventing Disease Locally, Nationally, & Globally
Emory University and the Rollins School of Public Health’s physicians, scientists, and educators have played a key role in HIV/AIDS from the earliest days of the epidemic. From leading behavioral and prevention research to treating and counseling thousands of patients, Emory has been a local, national, and international leader. Located in Atlanta – the self-styled “Public Health Capital of the World” – Emory and Rollins are uniquely situated to address the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the southern United States. Over the years, Emory and Rollins have demonstrated the importance and strength of research centers (or structures) at the University such as PRISM (Programs, Research & Innovation in Sexual Minority Health) Health and the Emory Centers for Public Health Training and Technical Assistance (Emory Centers), which is home to the Emory COMPASS Coordinating Center. Emory Centers strives to reduce social and health disparities around HIV/AIDS and other diseases by advancing public health practice through capacity building in partnership with the public health workforce and communities nationwide. Emory Centers has a long history of collaborative projects with CDC, state health departments, and community-based organizations locally, across the U.S., and around the world.
Capacity Building Assistance
We work directly with community-based organizations across the South to identify opportunities for growth by providing tailored trainings and strategically allocating funding that supports organizational sustainability. This support focuses on increasing operational capacity, enhancing program performance, and supporting professional development.
Knowledge Sharing Platforms
Through the COMPASS Initiative® Community Portal, community partners will have numerous ways to collaborate with organizations, researchers, advocates, and individuals dedicated to ending the HIV epidemic. This includes access to webinars, directories, best practice resources, and the latest news impacting our community, as well as an interactive forum promoting discussion.
Resource Directories and Maps
We are creating state-of-the-art maps to identify underserved areas of the South and better understand the spatial location and accessibility of HIV-related services in the region.
Emory University Rollins School of Public Health COMPASS Coordinating Center
Linelle is a health psychologist with a passion for intentional change and capacity building at the individual, organizational, and community level. For almost 3 decades across all 50 states, Linelle has served to grow people capacity nationwide so that community leaders are better able to save lives, reduce suffering, and improve quality of life. Linelle is an Asc. Research Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory, the Executive Director of Emory Centers for Training and Technical Assistance, and the Asc. Director, Executive MPH Program, Prevention Science Track. Prior to joining Emory in 2010, Linelle was a National Executive at the American Cancer Society leading organization-wide initiatives and developing and mobilizing staff and volunteer leaders nationwide. Linelle is the faculty lead for the Capacity Building and Community Engagement team of the Emory COMPASS Initiative® Coordinating Center.
Kia has served in a leadership role providing strategic oversight in the field of Public Health for the past 12 years and brings with her over 10 years of experience in program management and research with Emory University. Kia is the Center Director for the Emory COMPASS Center and oversees the development and management of the Coordinating Centers’ programs, investment opportunities, communications implementation, and evaluation. She is also the Administrative Director for the Coordinating Center Collaborative. In her previous leadership roles, Kia has coordinated multi-site international programs, heading up research and training efforts, partnership development and community engagement, program planning and implementation, and evaluation efforts. Kia has been directly involved in a myriad of programmatic aspects including developing programs, evaluation, and strategic plans, data collection tools, database development and maintenance, community needs assessments, grant proposals, marketing tools, social media strategies, publications, and innumerable reports. She has also led multiple research projects, primarily with victims of intimate partner violence, and counseled women with recommendations for sexual & mental health, substance abuse, and lifestyle education. Kia’s experience at Emory and extensive public health and research knowledge coupled with the relationships she’s already formed, have positioned her to be able to quickly add value to the work at hand and hit the ground running in support of the goals that have been defined for this work. Kia holds her Master’s in Public Health and is also certified as a Health Education Specialist.
Candace currently serves as the Director of Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives for the COMPASS Initiative®. In this role, she is responsible for managing the business operations of the Emory COMPASS Coordinating Center (ECCC), which includes grants and budget management and contract administration. She also supports proposal development for new funding opportunities for the ENCORE Center. Candace previously worked the Emory COMPASS Center as the Administrative Director and collaborated with colleagues on the successful funding and launch of ECCC. Prior to returning to the COMPASS Initiative® she was the Deputy Director of PRISM (Programs, Research, and Innovation in Sexual Minority) Health at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. As Deputy Director, Candace managed the daily operations of a research team of 30+ people including six investigators. Candace has worked in various leadership capacities with other HIV/AIDS academic partners including the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) at Emory University and the Southeast AIDS Training and Education (SEATEC) at Emory University School of Medicine. Before professionally serving in the academic HIV/AIDS arena, Candace was the founding Executive Director of SistaSpace Collective, Inc. a one-on-one and group mentorship program for adolescent girls in Metropolitan Atlanta.
When not working, Candace can be found enjoying new adventures with her family.
For more than 28 years, Neena has served as an educator, trainer, advocate, advisor, mentor, researcher, supporter, and ally to help reduce the number of new HIV infections and support access to quality care for people living with HIV, particularly among women, people of color, and within LGBTQ+ communities. Prior to joining Emory in 2015, Neena spent 18 years leading HIV prevention, education, volunteer, and research activities at AID Atlanta, Inc., and served as a consultant to local and national organizations, including capacity-building providers, healthcare systems, and state and federal service providers. Neena currently serves on the Board of Directors of three local non-profit organizations and remains involved with community-based participatory research efforts, statewide community planning activities, and serves on the advisory board and as a part-time instructor in the Healthcare Management Program at Clayton State University. The investment made through the COMPASS Initiative provides an opportunity to focus needed resources in areas where they can do the most good, in communities that may not have traditionally had access. Gilead’s commitment to the south, and their encouragement to “do something different” is the kind of initiative needed to make an impactful difference in the HIV epidemic in the South.
Patrick Sullivan is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Epidemiology at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, the Co-Director of the Prevention Sciences Core at the Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), and a former Member of the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He served at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention as an EIS officer from 1994-1996, and subsequently served in CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention as an Epidemiologist, a Team Leader and a Branch Chief. Dr. Sullivan’s career has included work on HIV surveillance at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV vaccine research at National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported HIV Vaccine Trials Network, and research on HIV prevention for men who have sex with men supported by the U.S. NIH and CDC. He is the author of over 300 peer-reviewed publications, most of which are in infectious diseases with a focus on sexually transmitted infections including HIV, public health surveillance, racial/ethnic disparities in HIV, and STI prevention interventions for men who have sex with men.
Chris Mathews is responsible for leading and delivering our capacity building services, including the PoWER Institutes, our training projects, our grant making initiatives, and will support the development and implementation of the shared portal used by all of the COMPASS Initiative® partners.
Chris currently lives in Memphis, TN and will continue to work remotely. Chris comes to us with a background in Management, Public Health and Social Work, and is a licensed Master Social Worker, working on his LSCW. Chris has 8 years of experience working with community-based organizations that serve people living with HIV, and 2 years at the Tennessee Department of Health as a program director with the NHBS Surveillance Project and a demonstration project. Chris has also served as a psychotherapist for 4 years and has prioritized creating safe and supportive spaces for men of color, especially for those who may not otherwise have equity in or access to those spaces.
Rebecca is a Senior Evaluator at the Emory Centers for Training and Technical Assistance, where she engages in evaluation and quality improvement activities for both ENCORE and PEQI. Her personal mission is to help clients with every part of the evaluation cycle to both improve the quality of evaluation data and build client confidence in their abilities to make evidence-informed program improvements. Rebecca, a Rollins SPH graduate, first started with Emory Centers in 2020 after working for the CDC for almost four years. Two of those years were spent as a Fellow in the CDC Evaluation Fellowship program. While at CDC, Rebecca conducted evaluation in multiple topic areas, including legal epidemiology, oral health, workforce development, and agency-wide training. Rebecca earned a BS in Biology (Pre-Med) from Nova Southeastern University and an MPH in Health Policy from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Rebecca lives in Atlanta, Georgia and her hobbies include cooking, traveling, reading and spending time outdoors.
Tori is a Communications Specialist for the Emory COMPASS Initiative, a part of Emory Centers for Training and Technical Assistance. Her responsibilities include developing a communications and marketing plan for the COMPASS Coordinating Centers, print and digital content creation, designing visual assets, managing branding standards, and managing internal and external communication platforms. She is passionate about using marketing and design to find innovative solutions that help organizations connect with their audiences and make a lasting, positive impact on their communities.
Before working for the Emory COMPASS Initiative, she worked as a marketing professional for corporate, nonprofit and government organizations across the South. Tori earned a BA from Sweet Briar College and an MA in Communications from Johns Hopkins University. She currently lives in Atlanta and enjoys traveling, photography, and improv.
Tanesha began her Emory COMPASS adventure in July 2022, all while pursuing her second Bachelor’s degree in Integrative Studies at Clayton State University – a feat she successfully accomplished just this past July.
With a robust background in hospitality management and event planning, Tanesha brings a wealth of knowledge and an unwavering passion for her craft. Her professional repertoire spans across diverse domains, encompassing organizational management, training and facilitation, project management, and the delicate art of customer and public relations. These multifaceted skills make her an invaluable asset at Emory COMPASS, where her responsibilities include Asana project management, programmatic and operational administration, and the seamless coordination of events.
Within COMPASS, Tanesha’s superpower is her innate ability to unify and harmonize a multitude of moving parts, ensuring that our team functions like a well-synchronized orchestra, with each member fully attuned to their role.
Originally hailing from the vibrant island of Jamaica, Tanesha’s dedication to community engagement transcends her professional commitments. She actively contributes to her community as the Family Life Director and Women’s Ministry assistant at her local church. Through innovative programs and creative initiatives, she curates experiences that inspire and enrich relationships, all fueled by her unwavering commitment to health, wellness, and community development.
Outside of her work, Tanesha finds joy in hobbies like traveling, crafting poetry, and expressing herself through the art of painting.
Stephanie’s story with us began as a PEQI and EnCORE GRA, and she has since embarked on a journey of continued growth and expansion. In her current role, Stephanie is instrumental in advancing the mission of the COMPASS Initiative and collaborating closely with Dr. Joanne McGriff in the Dean’s Office. Her responsibilities include leading and delivering capacity building services, such as the PoWER Institutes and virtual learning opportunities. Stephanie’s role also involves forging strong partnerships with nonprofit and community-based organizations in the HIV and Harm Reduction field across the South.
Beyond her work with COMPASS, Stephanie is deeply engaged in the realms of social justice and higher education. She plays a pivotal role in the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) sphere, working alongside the RSPH Dean’s Office and the BSHES Department. Here, she contributes to the development and implementation of a range of anti-racist programming efforts, including the HealthPREP@Emory Program and the BSHES Wellbeing Series.
Stephanie’s academic journey is equally impressive. She earned her Master of Public Health in Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in May 2023. Her educational foundation includes a Bachelor of Science in Health Equity Health Promotion from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a testament to her dedication to her field.
Beyond her professional pursuits, Stephanie enjoys spending time in nature, indulges in her love for travel and adventure, or can be found creating art and all things DIY.
Haneen Elfaki is stepping into the role of Public Health Program Associate at Emory Centers for Training and Technical Assistance, the EnCORE subcenter. As a former Communications Graduate Research Assistant with the organization, Haneen seamlessly transitions into this position, blending her communications background with newfound programmatic responsibilities.
With an MPH from the Rollins School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University, Haneen laying the foundation for her passion for her public health. Raised in Virginia but ethnically from Sudan, her diverse background enriches her commitment to public health.
Haneen is a proud graduate of the Rollins School of Public Health, where she earned her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. Her academic journey is complemented by a rich cultural background, as she hails from Sudan but was raised in Virginia. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from George Mason University, laying the foundation for her passion for public health.
In addition to her professional pursuits, Haneen is also an herbalist with a deep commitment to holistic well-being. She owns a small business named HAAMAE Holistics, where she channels her passion into creating holistic skincare, haircare, and soulcare products. This entrepreneurial venture reflects her dedication to promoting wellness in multiple facets of life.
As Haneen embarks on this new chapter, she is enthusiastic about splitting her time between the Gilead COMPASS Initiative and the MATCH program through Emory Centers. These initiatives align with her commitment to making a positive impact on public health, and she looks forward to contributing to their success