I was compelled to organize this agency after a personal experience and working as a nurse caring for persons affected by HIV since I began my career. I have witnessed the trajectory of this epidemic from a time when patients arrived for end life care at an all AIDS skilled nursing facility to now, when persons living with HIV have the same life expectancy as those who are not HIV positive, and are cared for in the outpatient setting. Despite the triumphs for effective treatment of HIV, certain groups and communities have higher rates of new infections and failed viral suppression still while being linked to care.
My name is Beth Irland and I am a Registered Nurse manager at NHRMC. I earned my nursing degree from Northern Virginia Community College in 1995 and my Bachelors in Nursing in 1999. I completed my Executive Masters in Healthcare Administration from The George Washington University in 2016. I was an Emergency Room RN in Northern Virginia for 14 years and moved to North Carolina with my partner after his retirement in 2009. I have a passion for serving patients and process improvement.
I have served on the North Carolina Organization for Nurse Leaders board as a District 5 representative from 2015-2017. I am a Board-Certified Emergency Nurse and Board-Certified Nurse Executive.
I serve on the SEEDS of Healing board to serve those living with HIV and their families and friends. I would like to assist the board with reducing the stigma associated with HIV and advocate for the development of education programs and community resource offerings targeting preventive measures and coping mechanisms for all affected.
My name is LaTina Ross and I am a Wilmington native, licensed clinical social worker and certified integrative health coach. As a social worker, my passion has always been to empower those who are vulnerable and oppressed. Early in my career, I was afforded the opportunity to work at a nonprofit HIV/AIDS organization in Greensboro, NC. It was there that I recognized the need for change in the community as it relates to HIV/AIDS.
I hold a Bachelor of Social Work degree from North Carolina A&T State University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of South Carolina. I have over 15 years as a healthcare professional working in mental health, nonprofit and with the federal government.
In my work with Seeds of Healing, Inc. I hope to contribute to the elimination of stigma, reduction of health disparities, and promotion of health retention in disproportionately served communities.
My name is Sharema Williams and I am a native of Wilmington, NC. Currently, I work for the NC HIV/STD Communicable Disease Branch in Raleigh, North Carolina as a Ryan White Program Coordinator IV. I am currently seeking a Professional Doctorate in Health Administration and Health Advocacy and have a bachelor’s from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Biology and Community Health. Public Health has been my passion over 20 years starting out in Wilmington. I have served in the capacities within New Hanover County as Community Outreach worker, HIV/STD Outreach Program Coordinator and Health Educator and Medical Case Manager. Because of the passion for helping individuals that are underserved and disadvantaged, I have dedicated time to SEEDS of Healing, Inc. since 2015. Being able to continue giving back to my community I love, I am honored. My vision is to one day End the Epidemic and to be a part of the amazing breakthrough within the state of North Carolina through changing policies, increased awareness, and education.
My name is Cressie Stokes, and I am a Community Health Worker, Client Advocate, Bridge Counselor, and also a public speaker. I worked for ACES of Wilmington for three years before Partners In Caring employed me. I have been working for them for seven years now and have been in the HIV field for over twenty years.
Being a Community Health Worker, which fuels my passion for having a voice in the HIV community, has made a difference in many lives as well as in my own life. I aim to empower others by letting them know we can live a long time with the medications, be active in our own health, and can talk to our doctor about what’s going on with our health. People living with HIV should be able to express themselves without judgement from others. Yes, we have come a long way, but we have a long way to go. It’s time to stop being silent. Knowledge is power.
My name is Caroline Calder, and I am a Certified Medical Assistant. I work at NHRMC as a Physician Specialist in Wilmington, NC. I am honored to be a part of SOH as I am passionate about health care access and spreading awareness. When I first started this job at age 23, I was pretty naive about HIV and AIDS. I met one of my very best friends whose uncle passed away from AIDS. She was inspiring and passionate, and I knew I needed to be educated. Every day I learn something new and want to be able to pass that on to other women.
My name is Mindy Yates, and in 2004, my world changed. My uncle who had been HIV + for over 19 years passed away. He was everything to me—we did everything together. I was sitting in the hospital on his final days, and saw a nurse walk-in and not talk, look, touch, or even ask if he was okay. This is what changed my outlook on life, and really changed who I am today. I graduated from UNCW School of Nursing in 2008 with a BSN. I have been a Registered Nurse for over a decade, specializing in HIV/AIDS the majority of that time. I wanted to be that nurse that cared, that had compassion, empathy, and treated everyone as they should be treated—the same. I am certified by the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, and currently continue to work with SOH providing community outreach. I am married to an amazing man and now a stay at home mom to our two sweet boys.
My name is Josalin Hunter-Jones and I am a native of New Orleans, LA- now resident of Wilmington, NC. I am currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at University of North Carolina Wilmington. My desire broadly, is to do my part in bridging the gap between health disparities and social justice. Prior to coming to Wilmington in 2018, I spent 11 years in Atlanta, GA engaging in research, service, advocacy and community work around the prevention of HIV for minority communities at risk, as well as improving the health and quality of life of those living HIV-positive. Though I am new to the Wilmington community, I am hoping to continue my work towards ending the epidemic. Over the years, I have worked side-by-side with others on their journey to live positive and healthy; this work means a lot to me. My other interests and experience are in black mental health, including trauma and resilience; stress, coping, and self-care, particularly via music, media, and the arts; and, mindful meditation and music listening.