The Elsie Cofield Awards

The Elsie Cofield Awards

December 3, 2020 | 6:00 – 7:30p 

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The Elsie Cofield awards are given to individuals who demonstrate the ideals, compassion and service of Mrs. Cofield, and who have done phenomenal work in the field of HIV.

The New Haven Mayor’s Task Force on AIDS is proud to present the Elsie Cofield HIV/AIDS Awareness Awards.  The awards event is in its 5th year and is named for Elsie Cofield, who founded the AIDS Interfaith Network in the basement of Immanuel Baptist Church in 1987. Mrs. Cofield was a phenomenal trailblazing woman who took on the fight against HIV/AIDS at the height of the epidemic to help people of color who were being shunned and abandoned because they contracted the disease.  AIDS Interfaith Network provided a safe place for people of color, a place to rest, a place to help with healthcare, a place to eat and take a break from the stigma of having HIV/AIDS.  She died five years ago at the age of 92.

The 2020 Honoree :
  • Sharon Joslin, APRN, Community Health Care Van
  • Kelly Moore, YNHH AIDS Care Program
  • Nadine Ruff, MSW, A Place to Nourish Your Health (APNH)
The 2020 Featured Speakers & Artists :
  • Shaunda Holloway
  • Patricia Shelton
  • Anthony L. Wells
Elsie Cofield

This years’ awards program is apart of the 2020 World AIDS Day Observation. If you are looking for more information about this years’ awards, click here.

About the Honorees

Sharon Joslin, A.P.R.N. – Community Health Care Van Clinical Director/Yale University/AIDS Program

Sharon (she/her) has worked to improve individualized care, remove barriers to care and improve health care systems for clients from birth to adult years focusing on quality, design, delivery, educational, research and behavioral interventions that target high risk populations’ compliance with positive health care outcomes. She has over 18 years working in mobile medical care and have over 20 years of experience working with newborns and mothers in NICUs, Post-Partum Units and door to door mobile care. In the most recent the past, she has worked with the most vulnerable inner city and homeless populations in New Haven and Bridgeport, optimizing evidence-based intervention approaches to care for clients and link clients into care with her excellent outreach team. She has provided this care in medical mobile units in the poorest neighborhoods, homeless shelters and clinics at the doorsteps of our clients.

She has collaborated with Dr. Frederick Altice, the Medical Director of the Van and many others with research studies on substance abuse, HIV/HCV/TB, homeless, minorities, released prisoners and most recently newborns and early postpartum mothers. Her responsibilities include staff management and van operations, ensuring the continuous oversight of the research projects involving clients utilizing the Medical Mobile Health Care Van, an Outreach Syringe Minivan/Clinical office and communicating between the Yale University and the Ryan White consortium collaborators, as well as the housing service providers for homeless and clients re-entering the community post incarceration. The research design of these federally funded grants includes direct medical care, oversight of treatment outcomes, linkages to care, provision of care, counseling, substance abuse treatment and implementation research. She regularly meets with the research staff and coordinate activities onsite. She has also worked as a co-investigator to improve back sleeping educational practices for inner city families reducing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in CT that has become a national model with Dr. Eve Colson.

She is adjunct Clinical Faculty for nursing at Yale University, Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University. She is a member of the, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, CT APRN Society and is a Lactation Consultant and Reiki Master. Sharon holds BS in Nursing from Syracuse University and an MS in Perinatal Nursing with a minor in Teacher Education for Adults from Indiana University. She also holds a post masters as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Fairfield University.

Kelly Moore – YNHH AIDS Care Program

Kelly (she/her) was born in New Haven, CT and attended Hamden Public Schools. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice from Southern Connecticut State University.

Kelly is married to her wonderful husband, James Moore of Hamden. They have 4 beautiful girls, Shannon, Brianna, Jamie, Kamora and 2 adorable granddaughters Canai and Cali.

Kelly has been employed at Yale-New Haven Hospital for 21 years. She has 26 years’ experience in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and education. She is currently the AIDS Education, Routine testing Counseling Coordinator. In this role she Coordinates all HIV counseling and testing and PrEP Navigation activity, develops and coordinates secondary prevention strategies for seropositive and seronegative clients.

Prior to this job Kelly was the HIV Prevention Counselor and PrEP Navigator, during this time she was responsible for direct patient care. She provided patients with HIV counseling, testing and linkage to care for PrEP services at Nathan Smith Clinic and Haelen Center. In addition to Kelly’s excellent counseling skills, she has trained many of our YNHH Physicians and Providers on how to provide HIV Pre & Post-test counseling in a hospital-based setting. Many of our Physicians and Providers were very impressed with Kelly’s training techniques and often look to her for guidance with many of their own patients.

Kelly has served on many committees including, the New Haven Mayor’s Task Force on AIDS Education Committee, the Greater New Haven Branch of the NAACP Health Fair Committee, YNHH Team Alignment Committee, the YNHH Sickle Cell Committee and the New Haven World AIDS Day Committee. She was also the Chair of the NAACP Health Fair Committee and the Yale New Haven Hospital, Sickle Cell Community Health Fairs for Volunteers, leading 40-50 volunteers to support these communitywide events.

Although Kelly’s primary job is here at YNHH; she has volunteered her own time to educate members of her Church. She has really worked hard to educate the youth and adult members by providing workshops and special poems and readings during regular service. In the past, there was very little education about HIV/AIDS available at her Church; this is not the case any longer. Many members of her congregation are very grateful to Kelly for taking the time to educate them about HIV/AIDS. Many of the members were pleased that Kelly had the courage to implement such a program in the Church. Kelly worked with children from Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church who were as young as 3 years old to create an AIDS Felt Quilt to remember children living with HIV/AIDS. The quilt is beautiful and will be displayed at many of our AIDS Awareness events in the community and here at YNHH.
Kelly continues to be very passionate and works hard towards the fight against HIV/AIDS within her community.

Nadine Ruff, MSW – A Place to Nourish Your Health (APNH)

Nadine Ruff, MSW, have lived with HIV for 33 years. Nadine is also the fourth Transgender woman of color in the nation with a Masters Degree. Nadine is an LGBT activist and the founder of Divinely You, a support group for transgender people based in New Haven, CT. She works for APNH, a non-profit organization in New Haven, as the Program Coordinator of Aging Positively, an evidence-based intervention for people living with HIV who are age 50 and older. As a social worker, Nadine uses her clinical and community organizing to strengthen vulnerable communities. Nadine has received the 2020 Leading Lady Society Award and has been inducted a sisterhood “SisterLove” for women fighting in their community to end the epidemic on HIV/AIDS. Nadine is also received the Dorothy Awards a prestigious award to honors incredible LGBTQ+ Nutmegger’s that are having a huge impact and creating a positive change for Connecticut’s LGBTQ+ community.

Nadine’s education background include an AA in Human Services, from Gateway Community College (New Haven, CT) and a BSW (2017) and a MSW (2019) from Southern Connecticut State University (New Haven, CT). As an undergraduate student, Nadine earned Honors’ Distinction, graduating Cum Laude, and was awarded the 2017 Social Justice Award by the Department of Social Work, the 2014 Outstanding Scholastic Performance in Human Services Fieldwork, and the 2013 Frank Adams Jurczyk Scholarship Award.

About the Speakers & Artists

Shaunda Holloway

Shaunda Holloway (Sekai) (she/her) is painter/printmaker/curator, and writer born in New Haven, CT. Her writing has been published in ESSENCE magazine, CT Post, Inner City, New Haven Review, Stand Our
Ground Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander and other publications. Her paintings and prints have been exhibited throughout the east coast including New Delhi, India.

She is a recipient of this year’s New Haven Arts Council 40th Annual Arts Award.

Patricia Shelton

In 1990 Patricia (she/her) was told she was HIV+ which in return gave her a second career which she is very compassionate about. She’s a Mother of three (3) grown daughters (all 3 have their Masters), A Peer Educator, Advocate, Speaker, Outreach Worker &; Consultant. She has been interviewed by TV News Media, HIV Magazines &; Newspapers, including BBC TV, CBS TV Health Watch, The NY Times, Long Island Newsday, Associate Press article which was found in many newspapers in the United States; two (2) articles in the Body Positive, POZ, &; Hep C magazine & written two (2) articles for the Huffington Post as well as a cover group picture; sat on many Executive boards (past and present) and CABS volunteering as much of herself as she possibly can.

She was asked to speak at a United Nations Memorial Service for HIV &; AIDS. For three (3) year she has been on the Board of AIDS Medicine and Miracles with the title “Organizational Strategy”. One of her shining hours were speaking at Charlotte, N.C. 2003 AIDS Walk as their Keynote Speaker and meeting The Rev. Jesse Jackson at an
AIDS Conference in Philadelphia 2004. Working beside the late Oliver Martin III (her friend and mentor) they worked together several times at Rev Al Sharpton’s Conference in NYC. August 25-28 2008 was a rewarding time for her.

She was a presenter at the Ryan White’s 2008 Grantee Meeting & 11th Clinical Update Conference in Washington D.C. Patricia, with three (3) other presenters who were either working in the HIV/AIDS field and/or a PLWA spoke in a seminar title, “A Life Interrupted, Is a Life Changed…..Living Positively”. There they spoke on their lives after they found out they were HIV+ or working in the field and how it changed their outlook on life. September of the same year she was involved in a documentary entitle “Seen But Not Heard: AIDS & The Untold War Against Black Women” by Cyrille Phipps (Brooklyn N.Y.) The film was shown at several Black Film Festivals during that summer as well as NYC universities and was included at a forum at the United Nations. She was given many awards for her work in HIV/AIDS field, several are October 2014 awarded the 2020 Leading Women’s Society Award, given by SISTERLOVE, INC in Atlanta, Ga. &; April 2018 “The National Association of Negro Business & Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc.” presented her on FOUNDER’S DAY, their “Health Advocacy Award” because She made a Difference. POZ Magazine shined a spotlight on her in their Jan/Feb 2018 issue, choosing her for “HERO OF THE MONTH”. 2019 & 2020 Patricia is a Spokesmodel for the campaign “HIV STOPS WITH ME”. Her pictures is on billboards in five (5) boroughs of NYC featured in a TV commercial and can be found on the website along with 29 other spokemodels. For the last 12 ½ years she has been employed at Settlement Health Inc. & Medical Services in East Harlem NYC, as a Peer Educator which she enjoys educating and reaching out to the community, especially young girls and ladies and those who are 50 and over, populations she understands, identify with.

Anthony L. Wells

Anthony (he/him) was born and raised in New Haven, CT. He has been dancing for 21 years. The broadway musical STOMP inspired him to want to do Tap dance. Anthony went to Betsy Ross Arts Magnets school to study tap dance and the other performing arts in New Haven. After graduating middle school Anthony went to Cooperative Arts and Humanities high school in New Haven. He studied the Horton Technique, Jazz, and Multi-cultural dance. Anthony wanted to further his dance education and received his Bachelors degree in Dance studies at DEAN College in Franklin, MA. Anthony has also achieve academic excellence and became apart of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS). Anthony’s senior year of college he received a full scholarship to dance in Rome, Italy for a week.