Getting To Know Our Members
Melanie Reese is an African American Older woman thriving with HIV for twenty years. She is the Executive Director of Older Women Embracing Life (OWEL). Melanie served fourteen years as a member of The Greater Baltimore HIV Health Services Planning Council in various leadership capacities, her last two years as Planning Council Chair. She serves on The HIV Prevention Group for the Maryland Department of Health and also Baltimore City Department of Health HIV/AIDS Commission and HIV Prevention Group for over five years each. Ms. Reese is an active member of Johns Hopkins Institute of Clinical and Translational Research Community Research Advisory Council and serve on several Clinical Trial and Research Studies Community/Stakeholder Advisory Boards.
Chair woman and founder
Dorcas Baker is a registered nurse of 44 years, and currently employed by the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, REACH Initiative as the JHU Regional Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic AIDS Education and Training Center (MAETC). Dorcas coordinated the first CME approved “HIV Over Fifty” Conference at Johns Hopkins University in 2002, which became an Annual Conference starting in 2005. She has given numerous presentations, workshops, and seminars on HIV/AIDS in Older Adults in various healthcare and community settings. She has served as a member of the Greater Baltimore HIV Planning Council and is the Co-founder of Older Women Embracing Life (OWEL), a support group for women over the age of 50, living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Treasurer and co-founder
Stephanie has worked in the field of HIV for over 30+ years. First, as a volunteer for HERO, then as Editor of a newsletter for People Living With AIDS/HIV through the PWA Coalition during the early 1990’s. She has served as President of the PWA/HIV Coalition, the Planning Council for the EMA of Maryland and as a consumer advocate and spokesperson in the HIV Community. Stephanie co-founded OWEL, Older Women Embracing Life. Currently, she is the Co-Chair of the Baltimore City Health Planning Commission which oversees HIV/AIDS prevention programs in Baltimore. A commissioner appointed by the Mayor on the Commission for Aging through the Baltimore City Department of Aging and Care.