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Cornelius Baker to be Honored at Nov. 17 Annual Awards Lecture

by Rich Arenschieldt

Activist, educator, and senior policy advisor for the National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition, Cornelius Baker will present Protest and Progress—How AIDS Has Transformed Health Care in America (and What’s Next!) at the annual John P McGovern Award Lecture Series in Health Promotion. The event will be held on Thursday, November 17, at 11:30 a.m. at the University of Texas Health Science Center’s RAS Auditorium, 1200 Herman Pressler Drive.

Cornelius Baker

Baker, the recipient of the 2011 award, has extensive experience in HIV. His work spans a broad spectrum of issues, including research that addresses the high rates of HIV infection among black gay men, the development of initiatives that engage communities in supporting NIH-sponsored HIV vaccine research in the United States, and international policy work that addresses prevention and care in developing countries. In 2009, Baker was appointed to serve as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

Having formulated healthcare policy for two decades, Baker’s commitment to working in the HIV-epidemic field is professional and personal. As a person living with HIV, his passion for this community is evidenced by the numerous professional endeavors in which he has participated.

Baker has served as a member of the U.S. Public Health Service/Infectious Disease Society of America’s Working Group on the Prevention of Opportunistic Infections, as well as the Centers for Disease Control’s Prevention Advisory Committee on HIV, STD, and TB. Currently, Baker directs the HIV Vaccine Research Education Initiative at AED, an international healthcare and educational organization.

From 1989–1992, Baker was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to be an external liaison officer, responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with state and local government agencies, non-public institutions, and advocacy groups. In 2000, Baker was a founding member of the National Coalition for LGBT Health and was elected as co-chair of the group’s first governing executive committee. Additionally, he was appointed executive director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic, in Washington DC, the area’s primary community-based provider of HIV/AIDS services and one of the largest AIDS service organizations in the country.

Baker’s work has been profoundly influenced by the experience he had while managing clinically based entities and also, while working with Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the National AIDS Program Office (NAPO), to formulate more broadly based public policy strategies.

Baker currently serves on the boards of the Black AIDS Institute, Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R), Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Us Helping Us, and the executive committee of the Forum for Collaborative Research on AIDS. He is a native of central New York and received his undergraduate degree at Eisenhower College/Rochester Institute of Technology.

For more information on the event, please contact University of Texas Health Science Center’s Center for Health Promotion & Preventive Research at The University’s RAS Auditorium is located in the Medical Center at 1200 Herman Pressler. Parking is available in Garage #2 off of Holcombe.

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Rich Arenschieldt

Rich has written for OutSmart for more than 25 years, chronicling various events impacting Houston’s queer community. His areas of interest and influence include all aspects of HIV treatment and education as well as the milieu of creative endeavors Houston affords its citizenry, including the performing, visual and fine arts. Rich loves interviewing and discovering people, be they living, or, in his capacity as a member of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers, deceased.

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