Diverse & Resilient Adds Six Staff

August 30, 2013

Milwaukee – Diverse & Resilient added six new staff members this summer, allowing it to serve more lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin.  The largest LGBT agency in the state, Diverse & Resilient has gained national recognition as a leader in LGBT public health.

The new hires, all Milwaukee locals, will add to programs for HIV testing and counseling, sexual health, and administration of the agency.  “This growth means we can do more for the people we serve,” said Diverse & Resilient President & CEO, Gary Hollander, PhD.  “The public health needs of our communities are clear, and we are addressing them.”

Compared to the general population, LGBT people have poorer physical and mental health, increased risk behaviors, increased exposure to violence, and increased use of tobacco, alcohol and other substances.  Diverse & Resilient’s programs are aimed at reducing and ultimately eliminating those health disparities.

Over the past three years Diverse & Resilient has more than doubled in size, now employing 20 staff at its office on Holton Street in the Harambee neighborhood of Milwaukee.  The agency also works with 200 volunteers including 125 Health Promoters who spread health messages and information throughout the state.

New positions expand reach

Chris Lee, HIV CTR Specialist and Dennis Wojciechowski, Program Specialist, joined Diverse & Resilient to increase its HIV prevention efforts, while Ronnie Grace was promoted to HIV CTR Coordinator.

In the HIV testing program’s second year, Diverse & Resilient has tripled the number of tests for its target population of young African American gay and bisexual men – one of the groups at highest risk of HIV transmission.  In June, the program added testing for other STIs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.

Laura Maker, MBA, Director of Development & Communications, is filling a new role that will grow Diverse & Resilient’s capacity and create awareness of issues facing the LGBT community.

“Our focus group research shows that LGBT people in Milwaukee aren’t aware of all the great work being done here to advance our rights and health,” said Maker.  “We want people to know our community – to feel connected and supported by each other.”