OUR TEAM

 

Executive Director -
Mojgan Zare, MD, MPH

Co- Founder -
Mona Bennett
     
Mojgan Zare is a medical doctor and health educator who has substantial experience working with HIV, Hepatitis C, STI, and substance use patients. Under her leadership, AHRC has become one of the preeminent US-based organizations promoting harm reduction as a mode of working with vulnerable communities, and is noted for its capacity building, linkage and retention in care, program and resource development, and policy and research work. Dr. Zare directly oversees the Policy and Research work at AHRC.
 
Dr. Zare was born in Iran and raised in Maryland where she completed her primary education and undergraduate studies. Dr. Zare received her Doctor of Medicine Degree from American Global University School of Medicine in Belize and completed her clinical training in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Zare has completed her Master of Public Health at Walden University in Minnesota.
 
At her leisure time, Dr. Zare loves long walks, reading romance books, and spending time with her husband and cat Rose. 
 
 
Mona Bennett is a Co-Founder of AHRC and has worked at the organization since its inception. She attended McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana and studied the field of Mass Communication from 1982-1988.

She has been an activist in the fields of substance use, HIV, and HCV for over twenty years. She has since worked in different roles including program coordinator, Health Educator, and outreach specialist.
 
She is known for her Harm Reduction strategies nation-wide and has spoken at many events and conferences. She has been involved in many policy work including Georgia 911 Medical Amnesty Law and Naloxone Distribution.
 
At her free time, Ms. Bennett enjoys spending time with her sister and nephew, trying food from different countries, ongoing community service, and pet sitting.
Management Team:

 
 

 
Program Director - Verna Gaines-Mathis, BS
Verna Gaines-Mathis has worked with HIV/AIDS, STIs, viral hepatitis, alcohol, and other drug treatment and criminal justice reform issues for almost two decades. She continues to successfully oversee all three branches of Prevention, Linkage, and Direct Services that covers eight different programs at AHRC. Ms. Gaines-Mathis is highly experienced with monitoring grant deliverables, developing reports, and linkage to care.
A native of Albany, GA, Ms Gaines-Mathis received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Psychology from Troy State University.
Outside of AHRC, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, two fuzzy little dogs, and ongoing community service. 
 






Lead Linkage Specialist - Elizabeth Marks, LMSW
 
Ms. Marks is highly trained and experienced in mental health counseling, case management, and linking and retaining individuals in HIV, HCV, and STI medical and substance use care. She has vast experience in identifying and removing barriers that affects retention in care of those who are HIV and HCV positive. As a LMSW she is at the forefront of our individual and group counseling interventions and oversees the Linkage to Care and Harm Reduction Therapy at AHRC.
Ms. Marks received her Bachelor’s of Art in Political Science from University of Florida in Coral Gables, Florida in 2007 and master’s of Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts in 2013.
When away from AHRC, Ms. Marks enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and two dogs. 



Client Service Manager - Harry Ethridge
 
Mr. Ethridge has worked at AHRC for almost two decades and oversees the Community Drop-in-Center at AHRC. He directly supervises our volunteers and clients. As the Client Service Manager, he oversees Direct Client Services, Healthy Meal Initiative, and Syringe Exchange Program at AHRC. Mr. Ethridge has been trained in and has extensive experience providing crisis intervention and behavior management.
At his leisure time, Mr. Ethridge enjoys spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren, hiking, and sun.

Specialists Team


   
Outreach Specialist - Mark Sanders, AA
 
Mr. Sanders has worked in community services for over 4 years and is highly trained in mental health, substance use, and Prevention. Mr. Sanders is a native of Flint, Michigan, where he served as Flint’s My Brother’s Keeper Coordinator, an initiative of Former President Barack Obama, Flint’s NAACP Youth and College President, Flint’s NAACP Chair of HIV & AIDS in the Black Church, HIV Prevention Specialist, and Director of an LGBTQ+ Safe Space Center. Mr. Sanders relocated to Atlanta to be more hands on and assist with ending the HIV virus by 2020. He is highly trained in HIV, HCV, and STI education, testing, counseling, and outreach. Mr. Sanders holds an Associates Degree in Human Service and Community Engagement, and is pursuing his Bachelors of Science in Public Health.
In his free time you will find Mr. Sanders attending equality marches, community events, and conferences to equip him more in community service. 

 
Outreach Specialist - Sirah Ndolo, BA
 
Ms. Ndolo has worked in number of recovery centers in Atlanta, GA and is highly trained in mental health, substance use, and Prevention. Ms. Ndolo who had joined AHRC in 2013 as an intern, rejoined AHRC to be more hands on, directly work in the community, and provide harm reduction practices to high risk communities.
Ms. Ndolo received her Bachelors of Art in Psychology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

   
Outreach Specialist - Justin Davis, BS
Mr. Davis has been involved in HIV work for many years across United States and has worked in this capacity in Michigan, Georgia, and Washington DC. He has extensive experience providing education, prevention, and outreach with LBGTQ community. 
Mr. Davis received his Bachelors of Science in Health Sciences.  

 
Linkage Specialist - Mattew Kearney, CADC, CRSS
Mr. Kearney has over 14 years of experience in HIV Prevention, Substance Use Recovery, Harm Reduction, Behavioral Health, and Street Outreach. Born and raised in Connecticut, he relocated to Atlanta in 2016. Mr. Kearney is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Recovery Support Specialist. Mr. Kearney has provided harm reduction services in Connecticut, Arizona, and now in Georgia. Being in recovery, he is proud to be sober for the over 20 years. Mr. Kearney is a firm believer in meeting people where they are and enjoys giving back to the community.
 

    Data Entry Clerk - Lorenzo Funchez
Lorenzo Funchez has worked at AHRC for over a decade. He has since worked in different roles including customer service, outreach assistant, outreach specialist, and data entry clerk. Mr. Funchez performs a wide range of data gathering and compiling and is in charge of maintaining internal AHRC files. He is known for being meticulous with details. He is highly trained in HIV, HCV, and STI testing and Counseling. 
In his free times, Mr. Funchez enjoys spending time with his mother and neighbors, and giving back to the community. 

 
Gary Barber- Outreach Worker
Mr. Barber has served at AHRC for over a decade and currently assists with AHRC's Drop-in-Center and Syringe Exchange outreaches. He is known for his warmth and welcoming attitude and his successful recruitment strategies. 
Outside of AHRC, he enjoys spending time with his friends and giving back to the community.  
 
Outreach Worker - James Way
Mr. Way has served at AHRC for over a decade and currently assists with AHRC's Drop-in-Center and building maintenance and Syringe Exchange outreaches. He is known for his positive personality, his love for AHRC and his successful recruitment strategies.
Outside of AHRC, Mr. Way enjoys spending time with his sister and nieces, trying different pastries, and hanging out with friends.  

 

Administrative Staff
   
 Administrative Assistant - Dyra Parker, AA
 
Ms. Parker has come to AHRC with over 8 years of experience working with different companies and organizations in administration and accounting.  Ms. Parker is dedicated in helping individuals and organizations that provide services to advance and enhance Atlanta and surrounding. Ms. Parker received her Associate of Science in Health Information Technology from Devry University in Springfield, Illinois. 
At her free time, Ms. Parker enjoys spending time with her partner, two children, and her neighbors.

 



























DEDICATED VOLUNTEERS
 
Elder Thomas
 
Elder Leroy Thomas has been serving AHRC as a volunteer for the past 6 years conducting a spiritual Lead group every Tuesdays with more than 30 participants. During the Tuesday group at AHRC, Elder Thomas addresses complex issues such as conflict resolution and anger management.
 
     
Randy 
 
Randy started volunteering AHRC in 2017 and is involved in many different capacities including but not limited to outreach, janitorial, and repairs.
 
     
Netline Lindsey
 
Netline Lindsey started volunteering AHRC in 2016 and is AHRC’s Head Chef. Her meals are prepared according to the food pyramid, providing nutritious meals to our clients.
 
     
Ponce Ramsey
 
Ponce Ramsey started volunteering AHRC in 2016 and is involved at many different capacities at AHRC including but not limited to direct services, outreach, and customer care. 
 



























Consultants
 
Evaluation
Displaying Kelleigh-Trepanier-VOTW-IMG_4850.jpgMs. Kelleigh Trepanier is Associate Director for the Burruss Institute. She earned a M.S. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and completed all requirements but dissertation for a Ph.D. in Education and Psychology. Ms. Trepanier has over 15 years of experience in conducting and supervising program evaluation projects. As the lead evaluator on Burruss Institute staff, she oversees evaluation projects for AHRC's Corporate grants. 

 
Evaluation 
 Brian Bride, PhD, MSW, MPH is a Professor and Director of the School of Social Work at Georgia State University. Dr. Bride has more than 20 years of experience in program evaluation in the areas of HIV and substance use prevention and treatment, including service as Evaluator on six SAMHSA projects. Dr. Bride is responsible for oversight of all data collection, analysis, and reporting of AHRC's federal grants.
 
 
 
 
 

 


Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, Inc.
1231 Joseph E. Boone Blvd. NW
Atlanta, GA 30314
Phone Number: (404) 817-9994
Fax Number: (404) 817-9939
Email: ahrcemail@ahrc-atl.org