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The Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI) at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is leading the way to address structural barriers that exist within Black communities in the Southern United States regarding HIV testing, treatment and ongoing care. Equipped with a dynamic HIV Equity Taskforce, SHLI is examining how health equity plays a role in health systems, policy, and data gaps for people living with HIV (PLWHA). Strategic solutions focus on increasing access to care, enhancing clinical provider training in HIV, initiating early engagement with clinicians, asset hazard mapping, policy education and assessment of legislation impacting PLWHA. Through educational opportunities, collaborative partnerships, resources, advocacy and active community engagement, SHLI wants to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to THRIVE.

Director, Population Health

Maisha Standifer, PhD, MPH

Dr. Standifer has over 15 years of applied health program administration, evaluation and research expertise, including health policy development and analysis, mixed methods research and examining health disparities and inequalities domestically and globally.

Dr. Standifer joins us from the James A. Haley Veterans Administration Hospital in Tampa, Florida. For over 5 years she worked at the VA as a Research Specialist, Program Administrator and Study Investigator for Research and Development Services. Dr. Standifer’s current research advances the science of health information technology and patient-centered care to improve vulnerable veteran populations.

Her training as a Medical Anthropologist and public health practitioner has allowed her to apply unique insight within disparate and medically underserved populations. Her research focuses on the intersections between culture, health, and vulnerable communities. Her expertise is in qualitative and quantitative methods, research and evaluation, community engagement, women’s healthcare, along with implementation and health services research. Dr. Standifer is also an Assistant Professor, and a Co-Investigator on multiple federally funded studies. Her research portfolio furthers production of community-based participatory research to create culturally-tailored interventions that empower disenfranchised populations to make healthy informed decision-making life choices.

Dr. Standifer continues to administer, develop and conduct studies and evidence-based prevention initiatives that effectively implement targeted strategies to reduce social determinants within vulnerable populations throughout the Diaspora. Dr. Standifer received her Bachelor’s degree at Spelman College, her Master’s degree in Public Health from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, and a doctorate in Applied Anthropology with a concentration in Medical Anthropology from the University of South Florida.

Project Director

Jareese Stroud, MPH

Jareese Stroud, MPH is a Public Health practitioner with over 20 years in implementing national educational programs and policies to improve marginalized communities. As the Project Director  at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI), she provides direction, oversight and support for SHLI’s End the Epidemic initiative (EHE). EHE addresses the structural barriers in HIV care impacting Black communities in the Southern United States. Specifically, this project focuses on mitigating the negative health outcomes affecting people living with HIV (PLWHA) in Atlanta,  Georgia, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  

In addition, Jareese concentrates her research expertise in SHLI’s core areas to include political determinants of health, health system transformation, and mental and behavioral health. Within these sectors, she examines the impact of systemic oppression and challenges minority populations encounter, as a result of not being able to obtain equitable opportunities. Employing the PDOH framework and Community-Based Participatory Research approach, Jareese is able to convene community members and key decision makers to develop strategies for improving the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. She embodies the SHLI vision to be the leading transformative force for health equity. As public health issues become more complex, Jareese is committed to training diverse leaders to apply innovative/novel approaches in addressing emerging challenges. 

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Jareese has lived in Atlanta, Georgia for over 23 years. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Morris Brown College and a Master of Public  Health from the University of New England. She has enjoyed developing her professional repertoire at MSM for over 20 years, where she remains actively engaged in building pathways of success for vulnerable communities to not only survive but thrive.

Project Manager

Evan Martin, LMSW

Evan Martin, LMSW, serves as Project Manager for Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI) and the EHE initiative. Evan has nearly a decade of experience in direct clinical care, especially mental health provision, and public health management.


Prior to SHLI, Evan worked as a Senior Research Program Coordinator for the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In this role, he directed logistical implementation and support for the VALUE Baltimore COVAX Education Project—a major COVID-19 vaccine engagement initiative led by Johns Hopkins and Morgan State University on behalf of Baltimore City—during the COVID-19 pandemic’s most acute phase. He has concurrently served—and continues to serve—as a Community Therapist for a behavioral health agency based in Northeast Baltimore that specializes in underserved populations. 

In the past, Evan worked for local government in Baltimore and as a political organizer on a presidential campaign in New Hampshire.  In his career, Evan has committed to fusing clinical and public health experiences to direct major changes in health access for underprivileged communities at both the macro level of systematic change, and the micro level of individual empowerment. 


Evan is a Licensed Social Worker, earning his bachelor’s degree at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and his master’s degree from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. During his studies, he was also a Social Work Healthcare Education and Leadership (HEALS) Scholar.


Research shows that inequities drive higher rates of HIV infection, as well as worse HIV clinical outcomes among Black Americans. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted and exacerbated such health inequities, especially in the Southern United States.

The SHLI team’s efforts intend to close critical gaps in care by:

  • Increasing access and utilization of culturally competent healthcare to Black people impacted by the HIV epidemic
  • Gaining insight into the disruption of the healthcare delivery system due to COVID-19 in the Black community and realign HIV services in the current climate
  • Influencing clinical provider training in HIV
  • Initiating early engagement with experienced clinicians practicing in Black communities in Georgia

Equitable Data to Fight Inequities

Learn how data can help to fight the inequities that are affecting our most vulnerable communities

Explore the Health Equity Tracker


july 2024

16jul6:00 pm9:00 pmWalk In Her ShoesEmpowering Black Women Living with HIV to Triumph Over Challenges

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The Satcher Health Leadership Institute is helping neighborhoods across Georgia THRIVE.