Chair's Challenge

2020 - 2021 Chair's Challenge
Leading with Policy

Marlene McNeese, Houston

I am pleased and excited to assume the role of NASTAD Board Chair for the 2020-2021 term. I am eager to continue the work of ending the HIV and hepatitis epidemics with my Chair’s Challenge, “Leading with Policy.”

My Challenge will emphasize the importance sound policy rooted in science for ending the HIV and hepatitis epidemics. I am calling on NASTAD and its members to renew their commitment to developing federal, state, and local policies that provide the foundation for access to prevention, care, and treatment.

This commitment comes at a time when our public health and healthcare systems are being strained under an unprecedented public health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic exposes health inequities in the nation’s public health space by disproportionately affecting marginalized communities. We must also acknowledge and take action against the police violence and racism happening against people of color. Police violence and over-policing are public health issues. Experiencing rampant racism while simply existing is a public health issue. I call on all of us to center minority public health professionals who are at the front lines of the COVID-19 response while also experiencing dehumanizing patterns of racist violence.

I am assuming the role of Board Chair during an unprecedented time in our nation’s history. My goal is to continue our sharpened focus and boldly lead with pride, innovation, and specifically, policy, in order to achieve a world free of HIV and hepatitis. By Leading with Policy, we can do our part to chart out a path to a more equitable future, and end the HIV and hepatitis epidemics.