Executive Director and Co-Founder
Hugo Delgado has spent the last 20 years providing HIV prevention services in Northern Virginia. Mr. Delgado brings his extensive knowledge and experience in working with the community and developed an evidence-based outreach program based on the community peer health educator model which aims at reaching the often difficult to reach at-risk population with effective prevention approaches and at locations and times which will maximize the program’s reach. He is responsible for contract and grants development, and fundraising efforts, resulting in the agency’s current annual budget of over half million. Mr. Delgado is a respected member of the Latino community in Northern Virginia and has a rapport with many leaders and members of many organizations. Mr. Delgado’s extensive experience and position in the Latino community makes him a prominent provider of HIV prevention services among the Latino communities. Most notably, Mr. Delgado reached a 2 percent HIV positivity rate as a result of his innovative community testing and outreach program. Additionally, Mr. Delgado represents the organization at legislative hearings and other appropriate policy forums; confers with local, state and federal officials on community public health issues; meets with advisory boards, committees, the public and the media on community health matters. In Addition, Mr. Delgado is currently a member of Arlington Leadership class 2015.
Program Director and Co-Founder
Ellin Kao is responsible for all operations, human resources, budgeting, and finance for NovaSalud, Inc. Mrs. Kao, has 10 years of international public health experience in Africa and Latin America providing technical assistance to developing country health systems in HIV/AIDS/STD prevention and women’s reproductive health. Domestically, she has conducted HIVAIDS research at Children’s National Medical Center. She has also provided HIV testing, counseling, and prevention education in Northern Virginia for Whitman Walker Clinic. Ms. Kao has a Master of Public Health in infectious disease epidemiology and a Master of Arts in gender studies.
Sr. Health Educator
Ignacio Aguirre is a Sr. Health Educator and leads NovaSalud’s HIV testing and counseling program and supervises the transgender and MSM programs. He has 20 years of HIV/AIDS, STD, and substance abuse counseling experience in the Northern Virginia and the Washington DC area. Mr. Aguirre is bilingual in Spanish/English and has spent the majority of his career serving vulnerable patients and communities in the Washington DC area. Before joining NovaSalud, Ignacio worked with NOVAM, District of Columbia Department of Health, La Clinica del Pueblo and Neighbors Consejo, Alternative House, Hopkins House and Salud,Inc.
Community Health Worker
As a trusted support to individuals living with HIV, Freddy helps individuals overcome barriers to accessing the effective healthcare they need to maintain a strong health status and a healthy living environment. As a Spanish speaking CHW, he helps Latino HIV clients get and maintain the medical care that they need. He is an active member of the VA CHW Forum Advisory Group and VA CHW Association, and the Home Owners Association of Stone Ridge, Virginia.
Karen Vallejos serves at the Ryan White Mental Health Program Coordinator and the Face-To-Face Program Coordinator. She performs all CAREWare duties and monitors mental health activities and schedules. Additionally, as the Face-to-Coordinator she coordinates speakers and presentations schedules with sophomore health classes in Arlington Public Schools. Karen manages the organizations website and social media activities. Karen Vallejos has been a long-term community organizer and leader. Her background includes experience in policy, administrative and development work, and event planning. She has served as a development assistant at Edu-Futuro, and interned at The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Advancement Project, The Center for American Progress and The U.S. Senate.
Victor M. Claros
Health Educator and RISE (Rewritting Inner Scripts Everyday) Facilitator
Victor Claros conducts HIV counseling, testing, and referral for high-risk individuals in both English and Spanish. Additionally, he facilitates RISE (Rewriting Inner Scripts Everyday) intervention; a bi-monthly- two-day retreat for Latino MSM that intends to decrease the number of HIV infections in Northern Virginia. Under this role he makes and manages appropriate referral and linkage to services of newly diagnosed HIV positive individuals. Victor specializes in HIV testing and outreach at less conventional venues such as; bars, dance clubs, churches, health fairs, and retail centers. Victor also coordinates a monthly NovaSalud “gay movie night”, where individuals are invited to discuss and socialize around personal, cultural and social LGBT issues. Victor brings a wide range set of skills due to his experience working as an HIV Counselor and Tester T Prince George’s County Health Department, a Comprehensive Risk Counseling and Services (CRCS) Counselor, and as a Health Educator at La Clinica del Pueblo.
Gabriela Garcia, (Imaya Gabriela)
Health Educator and Transgender Program Leader.
Gabriela Garcia is the leader of NovaSalud Inc., TSISTA (Transgender Sisters Informing Sisters About Topics on AIDS.,) program. Gabriela Garcia has extensive experience in working with Latina transgender women, and is particularly experienced at reaching Latina transgender in the community. She is highly skilled at facilitating group interventions with Transgender Latinas. Gabriela spends her time advocating for expanded services for HIV prevention and treatment for transgender Latina women and received a community leadership award in 2014 for her advocacy for transgender Latina equality. Gabriela also serves on the board of the TransLatin@ Coalition, a national transgender immigrant advocacy group.
Maria Antonia Alfonso, M.S, L.P.C
Mental Health Therapist
Maria Antonia Alfonso serves as the Clinical Supervisor of the CLEAR Program, a one-on-one evidence-based counseling for adults living with HIV/AIDS, and a Mental Health Therapist for people living with HIV/AIDS under the Ryan White Program.Maria Antonia Alfonso is fully bilingual (English/Spanish,) and has twenty-three years of experience in the Mental health and Public Health fields. She has a Masters in Science in Clinical Psychology from Havana University and completed educational requirements for licensure in Florida International University. Her areas of expertise include Post traumatic stress and Trauma resolution; Health support associated with HIV/AIDS/STI (from Prevention to Mental health with emphasis in Psycho Immunology); Communication; Couples’ relationships; Sexuality; Substance Abuse; Acculturation; Lost and grieving; and Co-Parenting. Mrs. Alfonso has worked with the Florida Department of Health, Care Resources, South Florida AIDS Network, the DC Department of Health and La Clinica del Pueblo in DC.
Marilyn Calix volunteered on support groups from La Clinica Del Pueblo for over 3 years. She started with NovaSalud, Inc. as a volunteer and now works as a health educator. Her main responsibilities include providing confidential rapid HIV screening tests and community outreach and education. She is passionate about the work she does with her clients and routinely assists with the TSISTA, a skills training group for Latina transgender women based on gender-and culturally-relevant discussions aimed at reducing HIV sexual risk behavior.
Brian DeVon Outlaw
Health Educator/HIV Counselor
Brian began as a dedicated NovaSalud, Inc. volunteer. He helped with various tasks and at events including modeling for our “open that closet door” fundraiser fashion show to combat HIV stigma. From his first day as an employee, Brian has been incredible successful at testing and finding HIV positive individuals who are HIV positive and were unaware of their status. Dedication to outreach and prevention have made him a great asset in testing at diverse places, including gay bars/clubs, shelters, churches, people’s houses, and other unique venues.