Meet our Board
Founder and Executive Director
My name is LeShonda Wallace, Founder of SOH, Inc. 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. Despite the triumphs for effective treatment of HIV, certain groups and communities have higher rates of new infections and detectable HIV viral loads while being linked to care. In memory of my mom and for those living in fear of HIV, it is my purpose to advocate for HIV prevention and quality care, so we all can be free from stigma and live a productive, healthy life.
Beth Irland, Board Chair
My name is Beth Irland, and I am a Registered Nurse manager at NOVANT Health 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 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 want 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.
LaTina Ross, Treasurer
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. There, 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 eliminating stigma, reducing health disparities, and promoting health retention in disproportionately served communities.
My name is Bonetta Spratley, a Black Woman living with HIV for over 30 years and have been an advocate working in the field of HIV for 20 years or more. I have rendered services in the prevention as well as the clinical settings and have a passion for working diligently with those who are newly diagnosed and their families. I thrive while helping the fight against stigma. We can embrace this HIV journey with a positive perspective, live healthy through self-care, medication adherence, and maintaining engagement with our health providers. I am also passionate about connecting those persons that are isolated while living in silence with others who share this commonality for a sense of belonging. I have joined the SOH board to support the initiatives, lift the voices for those living positively, give input and engage with Meaningful Involvement as a Person living with HIV/AIDS (MIPA), from a seat at the table.
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 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 Delia Rodriguez. I am a transplant to Wilmington via Minneapolis, Maryland, High Point, and many others. I tell my friends and family to always keep my address in pencil. I was born in Bayamón Puerto Rico. At the age of seven, my parents decided to move to the US to give us more opportunities. To this day, one of the greatest gifts they gave me and my three siblings was the opportunity to bilingual education. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and International Business from the University of Puerto Rico. On a daily basis, I get to put to use my bilingual skills by helping our Spanish-speaking patients navigate our complex health care system.
I have worked as the System Administrator for the Infectious Disease Care Team for the past 18 years. I truly enjoy what I do. The people I work with are an extremely dedicated special group of individuals. Something I am passionate about is volunteering and giving back to my community. This includes the food bank, Hispanic/Latino community events, and of course, SOH. You can find me on my bike, hiking, spending time with my awesome friends, or my dog when I am not volunteering. Wilmington is truly blessed to have an organization like SEEDS of Healing to provide their services and put on the activities this area badly needs. I look forward to serving, supporting, and promoting SEEDS of Healing, whose roots are deep in advocacy, destigmatizing, and prevention.
“Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do things that no one can imagine.” ~Alan Turing
My name is Jeffrey V. Long, and I am a member of The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
I'm a fierce advocate for those with HIV and Hep C diagnoses. I strongly support Harm Reduction, health care access for all, and the rights of my Native people. I am actively involved with the initiatives of local organizations such as the Western NC AIDS Project (WNCAP) and NC AIDS Action Network (NCAAN). I'm very honored to be working nationally with the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center in Colorado (NNAAPC) and the Tribal Health Initiatives Program (THIP). I am excited about this next venture to use my hard work and great ideas for collaboration with SEEDS of Healing, Inc. as we reach both ends of the state and work together to End the Epidemic together.
Sgi (Thank you)
My name is Megan Baicy, and I am honored to be a part of SEEDS of Healing. Before having my two beautiful children, I worked with a local nonprofit organization providing outreach and support to people living with HIV. During my time there, I assisted those living with HIV by helping them navigate the services available. My job included linking clients to medication assistance, helping them navigate numerous appointments, and providing kind/comforting/trusting support. I learned so much about how little those unaffected by the virus know. For example, how far treatment has advanced and how we can stop the spread of HIV. Knowledge is POWER! I am so humbled and grateful to be able to continue that work through SEEDS of Healing. Our team are faithful caregivers and work tirelessly to support the mission, and it is truly my pleasure to be a part of this.
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, not talking, looking, touching, or even asking if he was okay. This changed my outlook on life and 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 for most of that time. I wanted to be that nurse who cared, had compassion, empathy, and treated everyone as they should be treated. I am certified by the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care and continue to work with SOH providing a community outreach. I am married to a fantastic man and now a stay-at-home mom to our two sweet boys.
My name is Rachel Crouse and I am a clinical psychologist and addiction specialist. I grew up outside of Detroit MI and relocated to Wilmington in 2009 for school. Since then, I have grown to realize this is “home” for me. I began my career as a therapist in 2012 and began to provide on-site therapy services for those living with HIV. I didn’t know much about HIV, but quickly realized that the time I spent in those rooms at the clinic were some of the most meaningful times in my career. I began to educate myself, and then to educate others, and I knew I had to find a way to assist in Ending the Epidemic. I believe ALL have a right to live a life free from stigma, and to have access to knowledge, quality medical care, and compassionate treatment. I am grateful to advocate for that with SEEDS of Healing, Inc. and look forward to serving the mission.
My name is Sharema Williams, and I am a native of Wilmington, NC. I am 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 for over 20 years, starting out in Wilmington. I have served in New Hanover County as Community Outreach worker, HIV/STD Outreach Program Coordinator, Health Educator, and Medical Case Manager. Because of my 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 the community I love, I am honored. My vision is to one day End the Epidemic and be a part of the amazing breakthrough within the state of North Carolina through changing policies, increased awareness, and education.