Dr. Vicki Sharp has been the visionary and dynamic leader of the Spencer Cox Center for Health since 1997 and has nearly thirty years experience in HIV clinical care and management, focused on the care of disenfranchised populations. For close to two decades she has served on the Board of Directors of HealthRight International (formerly Doctors of the World-USA) and has been President of the Board since 2001. She has served on a number of influential committees, including as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on AIDS under President Clinton, Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee of the NYS AIDS Advisory Council, and Chair of the Physicians Advisory Committee of the AIDS Institute. Under Dr. Sharp’s leadership the Spencer Cox Center has grown to be the largest HIV/AIDS treatment center in New York State meeting the changing needs of people living with HIV. Dr. Sharp received her medical degree from the University of Brussels, Belgium and completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at Albany Medical center.
Who We Are: Our Leadership
Director of Development, Planning & External Affairs
Tom Dougherty rejoined the Spencer Cox Center team in 2010 to expand fundraising and communications efforts; he was the Center’s chief administrator from 1992-2000, overseeing operations, development and planning as it grew and became the leading HIV care provider in New York City. From 2002-2009, he served as Executive Director of HealthRight International, where he doubled the support and expanded the reach and impact of capacity-building programs addressing AIDS, TB, Malaria, women’s health, child welfare and survivors of human rights abuses. Previously a counselor and outreach worker, he has served on boards and policy groups addressing access to care, child welfare and LGBT rights and served as a consultant on organizational development, strategy and fundraising. Mr. Dougherty earned his Master’s Degree in Public Health from Columbia University.
Associate Medical Director
Dr. David Ferris provides clinical leadership at the Morningside Clinic and for the HIV inpatient service at St. Luke’s. His career has focused on providing primary care for patients with HIV/AIDS. Prior to joining the Spencer Cox Center in 2011, he worked for seven years at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, where he was the Medical Director of the Treatment Adherence Program and Chair of the Institutional Review Board. Dr. Ferris graduated from the NYU School of Medicine and completed training in both internal medicine and infectious diseases at Columbia University Medical Center. He earned an MS in epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and served as a visiting fellow in Durban, South Africa. Dr. Ferris is board-certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases.
Director of Data Management, CQI & Regulatory Affairs
Tannasia Gonzalez joined the Spencer Cox Center in 2006 to implement and maintain information systems to track and monitor continuous quality improvement and to ensure the Center’s regulatory compliance. Ms. Gonzalez led the formation of the Center’s Data and Systems Unit to meet the increasing need for data for both internal and external reporting. Over the past twelve years she has held several management positions with various healthcare organizations and has had a variety of professional affiliations, including the National Association of Health Services Executives, the American College of Healthcare Executives and Healthcare Leaders of New York. Ms. Gonzalez received her Bachelor of Science from Pace University and her Master of Business Administration from Baruch College (CUNY).
Director of Dental Services
Dr. Karl Hoffman has led the expansion and enhancement of oral health services at the Spencer Cox Center for Health, more than doubling the number of patients receiving dental services since 2006. He serves as Principal Investigator for a Health Resources and Services Administration, Special Project of National Significance designed to improve access to and utilization of routine HIV oral health care and education in community settings. He was awarded the Lester William Burket Award for Outstanding Research in Oral Medicine in 2001 by the American Academy of Oral Medicine. Dr. Hoffman graduated from New York University College of Dentistry and completed his fellowship in Oral Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Director of Operations
Shanti Jimenez joined the Spencer Cox Center in 2008 to oversee the operations of its clinical sites. She played a leadership role in bringing along a team of experienced HIV practitioners to open a third clinical site, the West 17th Street Clinic. She facilitates processes for redesigning clinic flow to optimize patient centeredness and guides efforts to certify the Spencer Cox Center as a Patient-Centered Medical Home. She has dedicated her administrative career to serving disenfranchised populations in community-based healthcare settings. Ms. Jimenez earned her MBA in Health Systems Administration from Union College in Schenectady, NY.
Co-Director of Social Work and Case Management, Morningside Clinic
Jenny Mayer has been responsible for social work services at the Spencer Cox Center’s Morningside Clinic at St. Luke’s Hospital since 2004. Prior to joining the Center, she worked as a psychiatric social worker in a variety of community-based mental health settings and as Case Manager. Ms. Mayer is committed to expanding the reach of traditional heath care services and building innovative programming to reach patients. She is actively involved in leading the Center’s Redesign initiatives to improve clinic flow and the patients’ experience of their services. Ms. Mayer earned her MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work. She received training in family therapy from the Ackerman Institute for the Family.
Senior Deputy Director
Christine Nollen has led the development and growth of the Spencer Cox Center’s innovative, patient-centered, grant funded programs since 2002. She has had a leadership role in doubling the size and budget of the Center and diversifying its programs to meet the complex needs of the urban poor living with HIV and other chronic diseases. In 2009, she co-led a national campaign to reduce sexually transmitted infections among young people at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, partnering with Kaiser Family Foundation, MTV and CDC. She has done program design and development consulting nationally and abroad for the federal government and non-profit organizations, and serves on Planned Parenthood of New York City’s Council of Advocates. Ms. Nollen received her Masters degrees in Public Administration and Public Health from Columbia University.
Co-Director of Social Work and Case Management, Samuels Clinic
Alan Rice has been responsible for social work services at the Center’s Samuels Clinic in Roosevelt Hospital since 2005. Mr. Rice has dedicated his career since 1983 to serving people living with HIV/AIDS and has been a leader in setting social work policies in HIV/AIDS treatment settings locally and nationally. Mr. Rice was a charter member of the NYC Social Work AIDS Network. He currently serves as President of an organization he helped to found, the Professional Association of Social Workers for HIV and AIDS. Mr. Rice received his Master of Social Work degree from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
Director of Financial Planning
Abigail Smith joined the Spencer Cox Center in 2010 to manage Finance, Management Information Systems, and Information Technology. She has extensive experience in for-profit and non-profit finance, operations, and project management, primarily in the field of international public health. Prior to joining the Center, she spent two years in West Africa as Regional Manager for pediatric HIV/AIDS programs for the Clinton Foundation Health Access Initiative. Before that she was Director of Finance and Administration at Doctors of the World (now HealthRight International). Ms. Smith has an MA and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Associate Medical Director, Samuels Clinic
Dr. Lia Tsveniashvili joined the Spencer Cox Center for Health in 2005 to provide clinical leadership and manage the medical staff of the Samuels Clinic. She has practiced medicine in Tbilsi, Georgia and in the United States for 20 years. She has authored numerous publications on HIV and co-morbidities. Dr. Tsveniashvili graduated from Tbilisi State Medical University and completed her residency at New York University and completed an infectious diseases fellowship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She received her MPA from Suffolk University. Dr. Tsveniashvili is board-certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases and a member of the HIV Medical Association and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Associate Medical Director of the CCC's West 17th Street Clinic
Dr. Tony Urbina joined the Spencer Cox Center in 2010 to provide clinical leadership at the newly established West 17th Street Clinic. He serves as the Principal Investigator for the Clinical Education Initiative (CEI) of the New York State DOH AIDS Institute. For seven years prior to joining the Center, Dr. Urbina served as the Medical Director of Education and Training at St. Vincent’s Comprehensive HIV Center. Dr. Urbina received his Medical Doctorate from the University of Florida, College of Medicine in Gainesville and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at St. Vincent Catholic Medical Center. Dr. Urbina is board-certified in internal medicine.
Director of the Program for Children and Families
Robert Warford joined the Spencer Cox Center in 1998 as a Pediatric and Family Nurse Practitioner. He has played an integral role in the development and leadership of Morningside Clinic’s Program for Children and Families. He founded and directs the Center’s Young Adult Program to support, nurture and educate HIV-positive adolescent and young adult patients. Mr. Warford earned a Master of Science in Nursing as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner from Hunter Bellevue School of Nursing and received an Advanced Masters as a Family Nurse Practitioner from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has a Master of Public Health degree from Hunter College.
Director of Behavioral Health and Research
Dr. Hannah Wolfe has been a psychotherapist and director of mental health services at the Center since 1997. She previously worked in HIV Epidemiology, contributing to and co-authoring some of the first work on behavioral factors associated with HIV transmission among drug users. Her clinical expertise is in working with substance users, trauma survivors, marginalized populations, LGBTQ people and people living with HIV. Dr. Wolfe has served as Principal Investigator on large-scale federal grants. In 2009, Dr. Wolfe was the recipient of American Psychiatric Foundation Award for Advancing Minority Mental Health. Her pro bono work has included providing psychotherapy services in community harm reduction centers. Dr. Wolfe received her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from San Francisco State University and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from New York University.