Melanie Graham, MSW, is a Project Director for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s HIV national Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) project, a project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that provides CBA to community based organizations, health departments and health care centers.
Ms. Graham is a social worker by trade and a focused professional with over 13 years’ experience delivering direct services, training and capacity building for community-based organizations (CBOs), government and national agencies. Through her work with the LGBTQ community, adolescents, substance users and sex workers, she was able to experience first-hand the political and social implications of homophobia, classism, racism and lack of access to health care. She broadened her experience by designing and implementing federal programs as an independent consultant and employee of nationally recognized organizations across the country.
Ms. Graham has designed and built the capacity of programs in areas from reducing stigma to improving rural health, youth development and enhancing primary care services. One of the highlights of her career was the design and implementation of the Treatment Adherence Peer Program (TAPP), which demonstrated proven successful outcomes in increased adherence behavior of high risk HIV-positive clients.
Ms. Graham started her career in Washington, D.C.; Ms. Graham started her experience as a volunteer at Us Helping Us, an agency focused on African-American gay males. This experience led to delivering direct services at The Women’s Collective, where she worked with women and girls infected and affected by HIV/ADS, and then to Children’s National Medical Center, where she advocated for hard-to-reach adolescents prenatally and behaviorally infected with HIV/AIDS. Upon Ms. Graham’s direct service experience she then started designing and executing federally funded CBA and technical assistance projects for national HIV/AIDS organizations.
Ms. Graham is an advocate for sex workers and sex worker rights and was a former board member of Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS), a nonprofit focused on sex workers leading healthy lives.