Administration, Operations, Marketing and Quality Assurance
Interim President and CEO, Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer
Licensed Social Worker
Bachelor of Science, Public Health Administration - Indiana University, Bloomington
Master of Social Work - IUPUI
Master of Library and Information Science - IUPUI
Jerry's work with The Damien Center began when he started an HIV support group, Generation HIVx, for men in their 20s and 30s. Shortly after, he joined The Damien Center full time to serve as a Care Coordinator. He left the Center to work on a CDC-funded HIV/AIDS research project at the Indiana State Department of Health, then entered the field of emergency and disaster planning and preparedness for Central Indiana hospitals. During this time, however, Jerry continued to serve in the field of HIV/AIDS by volunteering for local organizations, including The Damien Center.
Jerry is an avid wildlife enthusiast, and before he initially joined The Damien Center as a Care Coordinator, he co-founded a local chapter of Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) to assist those infected with HIV/AIDS in caring for their pets.
Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Interim Director of Development
Bachelor of Arts, Secondary Education - University of Evansville
Master of Science in Education, Higher Education - Indiana University
Melissa joined The Damien Center as Director of Development and Communications in 2014 and at the end of 2015, she moved into the position of Director of Operations. Before joining The Damien Center, Melissa worked 19 years in higher education administration. Her last position in higher education, was as the Director of Student Success for the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management at IUPUI. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Evansville and a Master's in Higher Education from Indiana University.
Bachelor of Arts – Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
A 2014 graduate of IUPUI, Tyler came to the Damien Center after working as a web and graphic designer in the Indianapolis area. During his time at IUPUI, he started volunteering for the Damien Center while taking an “AIDS & Society” course. This course help plant the seed that later blossomed into a passion for working to end HIV in Indiana. Tyler is excited to combine his two passions and make an impact at the Damien Center.
Born in central Indiana, Tyler has called Indianapolis home for the last eight years. He currently resides in the Broad Ripple area with his husband and two cats. In his time off, Tyler enjoys binge watching Netflix, cooking, and gaming.
Senior Quality Assurance Specialist
Allyssa was born and raised in a small town and graduated from Ivy Tech in 2008 with an associate of applied science degree. She then joined The Damien Center in September of 2011. As a big sports fan, Allyssa enjoys watching the Indiana Pacers, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Chicago White Sox. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, traveling, spending time with her family and friends, and playing with her Olde English Bulldog, Zoey.
Quality Assurance Specialist
A native of Frankfort and Lebanon, IN, Caleb has lived in Indianapolis since 2008 and recently joined The Damien Center as a Quality Assurance Specialist. In his free time, he enjoys working out, bike riding, and watching sports and is a big fan of the Indianapolis Colts and IU basketball.
Front Desk Coordinator
Lori started at the Damien Center as the evening receptionist. Since then, she has made the transition into The Damien Center permanent Front Desk Coordinator. She believes strongly in the Damien Centers mission and is proud to be part of it. She has lived on the east side in Irvington her entire life and loves her community. Lori has two children with her husband, Art, of 35 years. They love to go canoeing and kayaking whenever they can.
Testing and Prevention
Prevention Program Manager
Bachelor Public Health Education, Mississippi University for Women
Graduating from Mississippi University for Women in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science, Imani first came to The Damien Center as an AmeriCorps Member. Throughout her time at Mississippi University for Women, Imani spent a lot of time community/personal health, epidemiology, and chronic disease coursework. During her time as an AmeriCorps member, Imani’s primary focus was working with the community to provide awareness and preventative education in regards to HIV/AIDS. After completing her time with AmeriCorps, she has now transitioned into The Damien Centers Prevention Program Manager. A mother of one, Imani likes to spend her spare time with her family, attending concerts and other social events, and cheering on the Colts.
BA, Anthropology, IUPUI
Anne joined the Damien Center in 2014 after working for an agency assisting victim/survivors of intimate partner violence. Her critiques of patriarchal, sexist, racist society are strong and always evolving. Anne’s testing sessions encourage clients in finding a conscious balance between accepting personal responsibility regarding sexual health while also understanding greater sociological forces at work that impact our sex lives. In other words; Don’t spend time blaming yourself, but DO spend time PROTECTING yourself and being savvy for the 21st century, because it can be hard out here!
She enjoys providing culturally-competent presentations to audiences of all ages about STI prevention and HIV as a social justice issue.
The fight against HIV/AIDS for me has always carried an empathetic echo, which has always remained me and fueled my devotion to the cause due to being part of a special tight net group of nine friends first meeting in college. After being the only one left of the group (the others were taken from us too soon by the epidemic of HIV/AIDS they never got the chance to graduate from college) when I walked across that stage to accept a Masters degree in social work. It wasn’t just for me it was for all nine of us. I always knew what I wanted to do, where I wanted to be in life. Which is fighting for the cause. The journey was somewhat interrupted due to financial and economic reasons. After living and traveling in 13 different countries I’m back with a renewed devotion and commitment to the fight of HIV/AIDS. My past time was/is devoted to my 120 house plants and gardening which I love so very much it helps keeps me busy, focused and grounded.
Tiffany, a native Hoosier, has lived in Indianapolis for several years. She attends the Purdue School of Science through IUPUI, from which she intends to receive a degree in Neuroscience. She will use this to attend medical school and further her career in the healthcare arena. This passion to learn and help others drove her to pursue this position at The Damien Center!
PrEP Program Manager
Bachelors of Science, Health Services Management – IUPUI
Masters of Health Administration Candidate (2018) – IUPUI
Kalob previously served The Damien Center as the Human Resources Intern in the summer of 2014 and has returned as our Popular Opinion Leader. Before returning to The Damien Center, Kalob continued work with HIV/AIDS endeavors as the Senior Public Relations Intern of the Pocket Square Project. This organization provides a unique pairing of fashion and philanthropy, which raises awareness and funds for HIV care programs in Kenya. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Health Services Management from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), and is currently pursuing a Masters in Health Administration from IUPUI. He is set to receive his degree in May 2018.
Originally from San Francisco, CA, Ben moved out to Indiana to attend school at DePauw University to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Cellular Molecular Biology and German. Throughout his education and experiences, he found his passion for helping others in healthcare. Ben is excited about the opportunity to join The Damien Center and the PrEP Program team in efforts for the prevention of HIV.
Bachelors of Science – Indiana State University
Masters of Public Health– Indiana University – Bloomington
Cody has a diverse background in public health ranging from policy development, program implementation and evaluation. His area of expertise is in the realm of prevention and using theory based interventions to aid in developing positive and sustainable behavior changes. Before becoming part of The Damien Center, he primarily focused on working with Diabetic patients to develop positive behavioral changes to better cope with their condition. During graduate school, Cody had the opportunity to conduct a needs assessment of the 2015 Scott County HIV epidemic in which that event has led him to wanting to join the battle in HIV prevention.
In Cody’s spare time, he spends time with his animals and enjoys binge watching shows on Netflix and Hulu as well as playing sports and living an active lifestyle.
Care Coordination Program Manager
Bachelor of Social Work - Indiana University
Jaymes was born and raised in Indianapolis. While later living in Bloomington, IN, Jaymes became involved with the local AIDS Service Organization, Positive Link. Through volunteering with this organization, he found a passion for serving those affected by HIV. He returned to college and recently finished his Bachelor of Social Work at Indiana University School of Social Work - Indianapolis, where he is currently working on his Master of Social Work. Jaymes has a focus on the needs of those aging with HIV/AIDS and is involved with a support group at The Damien Center for this population. In his free time, Jaymes likes to spend time with his three teenaged children. His favorite quote is, "Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see," - Neil Postman.
Bachelors of Science, Psychology, Purdue University
Jeannie comes to us having worked in human services for over twenty years. The majority of her work has been with persons experiencing homelessness and having a diagnosis of mental illness. Her area of special interest has been affordable housing and she has worked in public housing and with the Shelter Plus Care program. She has experience with motivational interviewing, supported employment and geriatric issues including Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Jeannie has admired the Damien Center from afar for some time. A lithograph that she won at the Grand Masquerade silent auction at the Allison Mansion hangs in her living room. She attended church with Howard Warren and supported his efforts to bring the church into More Light. Several of her clients at other agencies have utilized the Damien Center’s services in the past and she is happy to see that many are still in care here.
Away from work some of her favorite things to do are to binge watch Netflix with her wife of many years, Kathy; to harass her 2 grown sons; and to play with her brave, strong granddaughters and niece.
During his time at IUPUI, he started volunteering for The Damien Center while taking an “AIDS & Society” course. This course help plant the seed that later blossomed into a passion for working to end HIV in Indiana. He is excited to combine his two passions and make an impact at The Damien Center, combined with background in public health with a concentration in community health, program planning, implementation and evaluation. John has worked for the school of public health as a research assistant where he did a variety of things ranging from data transfer between databases, one on one interviewing participants for a project on stable housing for that chronically homeless, helped develop a best practices guide for a local county jail for implementing HIV & HCV rapid testing upon entry, worked on school based health clinics in charter schools, and I also was able to be trained as a Mental Health First Aid through Adult and Child. Currently a masters student in sociology with a medical concentration focusing on queer health issues. John is also the IUPUI Volunteer Coordinator for The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis. John also volunteers for Team Friendly Indiana, another organization that educates on HIV stigma and how to combat it by having friendly conversations one person at time.
Liliana Palacio completed her BSW in Bloomington, IN. Liliana recently moved to Indianapolis from Los Angeles and joined The Damien Center as a Care Coordinator. In her free time, she enjoys working out, bike riding, and playing Tuba in the Pride of Indianapolis band. This is Liliana’s first experience with the HIV population but is excited to embark on this new experience.
Kawana is a northern-Indiana Native who has spent the last several years in Indianapolis. She loves helping others which made her a natural fit for the role of a Care Coordinator. Kawana loves basketball, anything not pink, and her favorite phrase is "I'm just trying to be great!"
Tara’s passion has always been to serve vulnerable populations. After receiving her degree she worked with children and families as a Family Case Manager with the Indiana Department of Child Services. Most recently, she worked at a community mental health center in the adult outpatient clinic. She now joins the Damien Center as a Care Coordinator and is excited to help clients live their best lives.
In her free time, Tara enjoys having fun with her son, Carter. She also likes to watch movies, read, and cuddle with her cat, Tiger.
Taylor graduated in the spring of 2014 from IUPUI with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from IU. After graduating, she began working at a home health agency as the Human Resources Manager. While there, she was able to learn much about HR and how a healthcare agency operates. After two years in home health, Taylor decided it was time to try something a little different. Taylor started working with our organization in March 2016 as the Administrative Assistant. In her free time, Taylor loves to paint, go camping, cheer on her Indianapolis Colts and hang out with her adorable puggles!
Terri is a graduate of Ball State University and earned her graduate degree in Community Psychology after returning to Indianapolis. She has more than five years of experience in both social services and education. She began her career in social services working with at-risk youth, providing counseling services and community linkages. Prior to coming to The Damien Center she served as a counselor and taught a college course in human development. Terri has a passion for helping others and couldn't see herself working in any other field.
She spends her spare time enjoying the outdoors, traveling, and volunteering with youth organizations. Terri is excited to be a part of the Care Coordination staff here at the Damien Center. She hopes to make a lasting impact on the lives of those she comes in contact with.
Vice President of Clinic and Supportive Services
After graduating from IU School of Allied Health, Melissa developed a passion for healthcare while working as a Radiologist Technologist. Melissa went on to earn her MBA in Healthcare Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. Before joining Damien Cares, Melissa worked with correctional medicine, cardiology, and orthopedic services to better their standard of care and quality of service provided to their patients. She has a diverse background in healthcare leadership operations with multi-modality and IT experience. As the Clinic Director for Damien Cares, Melissa is known for her uncompromising emphasis on quality care for patients.
Melissa was born in raised in central Indiana. In her free time, she enjoys being an Aunt, gardening, sports, and being outdoors with her dogs.
Medical Case Manager
Masters of Social Work – Indiana University ‘17
Cagney recently graduated with his MSW from Indiana University. He became interested in working with those impacted by HIV/AIDS shortly into his undergraduate career through his involvement with a local Mpowerment group and his internship at a HIV/AIDS resource center in Bloomington, IN. His passion for advocacy and working with disadvantage populations has only grown which led him to receiving both is bachelors and masters degrees in social work. Prior to coming to Damien Center, Cagney worked 6 years for a transitional home for homeless adolescents in addition to working at a community mental health center for two years. He us currently working towards his LSW.
In his free time, he loves learning to cook new foods, reading, watching The Golden Girls or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, traveling, and volunteering with local agencies. He is excited to be a part of the Damien Center team.
Medical Case Manager
Bachelor of Social Work - Indiana University
Master of Social Work - Indiana University
David has been involved with The Damien Center since early 2010. In 2011, he became a full-time Care Coordinator, and in 2014, he took on the role of Medical Case Manager. David has both a Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Social Work from the Indiana University School of Social Work.
Medical Case Management
Trudy, a licensed social worker, comes to The Damien Center with many years of experience working with a variety of populations. She worked with children from birth to age 20 as an Abuse and Neglect Investigator for Child Services and as a Social Worker at the Soldiers and Sailro's Children's Home. Trudy has also worked with young adults, adults, and the eldery as a Hospice Social worker and as a Medicaid Waiver Case Manager. Each position has given her an opportunity to learn about the human condition and life's many challenges, opportunities, and successes. Trudy loves that throughout her career, she has been able to make a tangible, long-lasting difference in people's lives. Trudy is both grateful and excited to work at The Damien Center and to have the opportunity to work with such a broad range of people who are successfully managing a chronic illness.
VMS Program Manager
Masters' of Arts, Applied Sociology, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
Eric has a great wealth of experience in dealing with diverse groups of people due to his service in the United States' Army. He enlisted in 2003 straight out of high school. Eric served in various locations throughout the world. When his service came to an end in 2008; he saw a need to improve lives of individuals, but Eric did not know how.
Eric then took the time to receive an education in Applied Sociology. During his studies at the University of Indianapolis, Eric saw that many groups of people were isolated from each other due to one label or another. His professional goal is to one day bring the separation of people to a minimum due to the label they have acquired. Eric began to work at the Damien Center in June of 2016.
Eric is a proud husband and father to three daughters. In his personal time, Eric enjoys a wide range of activities from watching cartoons with his daughters to target shooting.
Clinic Office Team Lead
Emily was born in Indianapolis but raised in New Palestine which is where she currently resides. Before being hired at The Damien Center, Emily worked at Community Health Network, Infectious Disease for 5 years, where her job responsibilities included helping patients with insurance and medication assistance, billing and coding to have claims processed correctly for insurance companies, and she was heavily active as a patient advocate in getting Hepatitis C prescription drugs approved at the lowest possible cost for the patient.
Emily started working at The Damien Center in September 2015. She wanted to be a part of the Damien Center and all the wonderful work that happens at the center and to make a BIGGER impact for the patients and community.
She has one daughter, two dogs, and one cat. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family especially her two nephews and niece. She also enjoys backyard bonfires and relaxing and enjoying her life.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program Manager
Bachelor of Science, Political Science and History - Ball State University
Master of Arts, Psychotherapy and Faith - Christian Theological Seminary
Dylan joined The Damien Center's staff as a Mental Health & Substance Abuse Counselor in 2015, having most recently served as a therapist and program manager at The Hamilton Center. Dylan is a licensed therapist (LMHC), as well as a member of Indiana Society for Psychoanalytic Thought. He is also certified in Trauma-Focused CBT and Batterers Intervention Program.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counselor
Bachelor of Arts, English Rhetoric and Composition - University of Southern Indiana
Master of Arts, Counseling Psychology - Denver Seminary
Nick joined The Damien Center in June of 2013. Nick discovered his passion for counseling while working in HIV Prevention at Matthew 25 in 2003. After completing his bachelor's degree at USI, he continued his education in Denver, CO, where he worked as a therapeutic case manager with juveniles in the correctional system. Immediately upon obtaining his license (LPC) in Colorado, Nick learned of the CRCS position at The Damien Center and migrated back to his home state.
Nick looks forward to many adventures while playing catch-up with his family and old friends, establishing himself in the mental health community, staying active, and exploring Indianapolis.
CLEAR Comprehensive Risk Reduction Counselor
Dexter is an IUPUI student working on his bachelor's degree in social work. After taking a medical sociology course on HIV, it quickly became his area of interest. He is very excited to be working for The Damien Center and hopes to stay with the Center after he graduates with his BSW.
Housing and Client Services
Housing Program Manager
Masters of Public Service- University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service
A 2011 graduate of the University of Southern Indiana, Traci first joined The Damien Center in the fall of 2011 as an AmeriCorps service member serving in the food pantry and as the volunteer coordinator. After AmeriCorps, Traci began working at the center as the Volunteer Coordinator and an Administrative Assistant. In 2013, Traci left the center in order to attend the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, AR and begin working on a Masters in Public Service where she focused on working with people involved in the criminal justice system. Following the completion of her degree, Traci has presented the opportunity of returning to The Damien Center and was eager to accept. Traci is so happy to be back in Indianapolis and serving the community. Traci enjoys traveling, watching movies, and finding the best coffee around!
Long-Term Housing Case Manager
Bachelor of Social Work - Ball State University
A native of Indianapolis, Christopher served as one of The Damien Center's housing case managers, but is now completing his practicum for his Master's degree and is a part-time tester at The Damien Center. Christopher's experience includes working as a school guidance counselor for a low socio-economic status elementary school. Christopher managed individual and group counseling and tutoring, addressed behavioral issues, presented monthly character education plans, formulated Individual Education Plans (IEPs), tested for cognitive delays, and led after-school programing.
In Christopher's free time, he studies the harmful effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), international relations, and social activism. He enjoys camping in the Hoosier National Forest, sailing in Michigan, hiking in New Mexico, whitewater rafting in West Virginia, bicycling the Cultural and Monon Trails, reading non-fiction, supporting Indianapolis' community theaters, taking road-trips to nowhere in particular, and spending quality time with his large, sometimes-crazy family. He is currently attending Indiana University to obtain his Master of Social Work concentrating in leadership.
Short-Term Housing Case Manager
A native of Monticello, IN, Amanda has lived and served in Indianapolis since 2004. Amanda has served as a direct care provider for children with disabilities at DAMAR, Inc., helped Indiana residents to achieve financial & housing stability at ACORN Housing & MOMENTIVE CCCS, and helped many families experiencing homelessness to achieve stability at Wheeler Mission Ministries, CWC. Amanda found her passion to be among serving those with the greatest need in her community while working at a local homeless shelter and is happy to continue that service at the Damien Center.
Amanda has studied at Purdue University, IUPUI, and Crossroads Bible College. Amanda enjoys cooking, biking, and camping while spending time with her daughter. Interests include African studies, leadership development for women, and international relations.
Food Pantry Coordinator
Bachelor of Social Work- Indiana University School of Social Work
A long-time advocate for those affected by HIV/AIDS, Tamarah first volunteered for the Damien Center in 1998. During her college career, she served for two years as Service Learning Assistant to Dr. Carrie Foote for her "AIDS & Society" course, did an internship with The SERO Project, and completed her social work practicum in the Damien Cares Clinic. In 2015, she co-hosted both a community luncheon (at the Damien Center) and a campus event (at IUPUI), featuring POZ magazine founder & The SERO Project's Executive Director Sean Strub to speak about the "Criminalization of HIV." Those events led to the formation of the HIV Modernization Movement-Indiana, a group dedicated to changing stigmatizing laws which target HIV-positive individuals.
She started working at the Damien Center's Food Pantry in August 2016, and feels blessed to work with the, "Best volunteers in the world!"
In her free time, Tamarah likes to travel & go to concerts with her husband David, shop at thrift stores, and recycle & repurpose junk. She loves being "Mimi" to her five (soon to be six) grandchildren.
Housing Administrative Assistant
Sean Seager is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana. A graduate of Perry Township, he moved to Pittsburgh to begin his BA in Performance Art. Throughout the past decade, Sean has had the opportunity to travel the globe to perform, as well as help in volunteer opportunities.
Recently, coming back to Indiana, Sean began volunteering with The Damien Center in 2015. It is a thrill for him to assist the Housing Services Department at the Center. It has always been a hope that he could give back to his community for all the years he felt supported by them.
You can find Sean, running amuck around the city in various productions. He’s had the privilege of performing at Booth Tarkington Civic, Footlite, Theater on the Square, and will now begin a residency with Beef & Boards Dinner Theater.
In Sean’s little off time, he prefers to smooth sounds of Donny Osmond (Melissa Pohlman made me put that in), Starbucks on his porch, the Arts District, and the most sacred art of Karaoke.
Linkage to Care
Linkage to Care Specialist through partnership with Women in Motion
Janice is a Linkage to Care Specialist. Janice is a mother of three and grandmother of 15, all of whom she loves to spend quality family time with. In her spare time, Janice likes to shop, travel, listen to music, and laugh with friends. She enjoys helping people and making a difference in their lives. As a graduate of the education system in Indiana, Janice looks forward to furthering her education.
Linkage to Care Specialist
Mike obtained his BA in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on History and Art from the University of Washington in his hometown of Seattle. With a plan for a career in education, Mike decided to take off ‘a year, maybe two’ for the opportunity to be a flight attendant. 24 years later, he finally took an early retirement.
“I always remember thinking how silly it seemed when some passengers would get incredibly upset that they couldn’t sit together or that we ran out of Pepsi. Those are what I came think of as “1st-world problems”. I knew first-hand that there were much bigger issues in life. After retiring from the airlines I decided I wanted my next career to involve helping people…as a peer…to navigate and conquer the more serious issues that plague our community and the lives of its people”.
“Joining the Damien Center has been an honor and has enabled me to not only help people in serious need, but to give back to my community”.
Mike enjoys photography/painting, gardening, the gym, cooking, hiking, travel and geology. Mike hates spaghetti.
Linkage to Care Specialist
Anthony came on as a linkage to care specialist in May. As a certified recovery coach, he enjoys people identify and achieve their goals. A father of 4 boys, a younger sister, and a beautiful fiance Anthony enjoys spending time with his family. An avid runner and lover attending any and all sporting events he likes spending his free time outdoors.
Bachelor of Arts - Purdue University
Tami grew up in Indianapolis and earned her degree from Purdue. She returned to Indianapolis recently following years in nonprofit arts marketing, development and administration and is pleased to be working for a nonprofit with such a critically important mission as The Damien Centers.
Born and raised in Union City, IN, on a large dairy farm, Jesse attended Indiana University and remains a big Hoosier basketball and football fan. He has lived in Indianapolis since 1976. He is a big sports fan, has Colts season tickets, and enjoy all outdoor activities: riding his bike, working in the yard, and just being outdoors. He has professionally shown and trained American Saddlebred Horses and Hackney Ponies and has more than 30 years experience with group health insurance. His favorite vacation spot is Key West. His family consists of his mother, niece, nephew and three great nieces (two of whom are twin toddlers) and three great-nephews.