HIV/STI Testing Columbus – Project INK

Meet our Staff

Mykalah Anderson, Program Support Specialist

Mykalah (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers) is a recent graduate from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health. Her love for sexual health education began during her undergraduate studies and grew into an obvious choice for her career path when she became an HIV test counselor at OSU. During her senior year, she worked as an intern for PrEP education and engagement at Equitas Health. From this experience she knew that she wanted to work directly with the community to create a culture of inclusion and respect of LGBTQ+ and HIV+ individuals and halt the spread of HIV in Ohio. In her new position with Project INK, she is dedicated to eliminating barriers to HIV and STI prevention and management by any means necessary.

In her spare time Mykalah still volunteers as an HIV test counselor. She also loves cooking, singing, and attending showcases for local artists

Jay Artist, Engagement Specialist

Jay Artist (Pronouns: He, Him, His), born and raised in Ohio, earned his diploma when he graduated from The Academy for Urban Scholars in 2013. Life after education soon led Jay to the Greater Columbus Mpowerment Center (GCMC). There he discovered his love for working with the community in which he is a part of. After serving with GCMC for 3 years, as a core group member, and also working with the PrEP Campaign, he wanted to do more.  With his current role as the Engagement Specialist, Jay hopes to make an impact in the LGBTQ community, as a whole. So that they no long have to imagine but they can realize they are in control of their lives, sexual health, and above all their happiness.

Apart from working with Equitas Health, Project INK & GCMC, Jay is a singer/songwriter who enjoys the performing arts. In Columbus, Jay has been in 3 different productions: “Hairspray” (Ensemble) performed with Ohio Dominican University, “RENT” {Mr. Jefferson/Ensemble} and “Dreamgirls” {CC White).  jayartist@equitashealth.com

 

 

 

Dennis Collier, PROMISE Outreach WorkerDennis Collier

Dennis has been in the industry of community health/ social services for 4 years. Aspiring to become a major contributor to the community in his career, Dennis graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Pre-Medicine. He continues to explore the realm of service through his work and previous experience as a non-clinical Mental Health Therapist for behaviorally challenged and fostered youth/adolescent population. Dennis has more recently worked with the HIV/AIDS community as a Care Manager via linkage and navigation, along with his current role of PROMISE Outreach Coordinator, a peer-driven component within Project INK. Dennis has high aspirations to assist in the coordination of the honorable projects in Project INK and any other community entities that he is called to work with. denniscollier@equitashealth.com

 

 

 

Matty Ellwood, Engagement Specialist

After moving to Columbus, from Chicago, Matty is excited to be able to help others in the community. Being an advocate for eliminating stigma around HIV, and promoting the use of PrEP, has always been a focus of his. Joining the team as an Engagement Specialist will allow him to use his education in Organizational Leadership to promote a change in the community.  Being able to provide resources and assistance to prevent HIV/STI transmission is extremely important. Project INK is able to provide a safe place for all individuals who want to take control of their sexual health, and Matty is thrilled to be a part of that transformation.

Matty’s free time is taken up by his two Siberian-Huskies. Gemini and Maya are quite a hand full and their energy seems to never run out. He and his husband, Chip, also enjoy spending time with friends and family, as they are strong support systems in their lives. matthewellwood@equitashealth.com

 

 

 

Brock Leonti, Project Coordinator

A former entrepreneur in the healthcare and education industries, Brock joins the Project INK team ready to take action and bring about formidable advancements in the Columbus community. Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Strategic Communications from the Ohio State University, he plans to use his health-forward mindset to lead the Project INK team to evaluate the needs of the community, to provide guidance and support for those who are HIV positive and to foster a strong sense of pride in our work to prevent further spread of HIV. Brock believes that even one voice can advance the community in their awareness of HIV, their willingness to protect themselves and others and the options available to do so.

In his free time, he’s avidly involved in fitness-related activities such as running, lifting weights, hiking, kayaking and walking his pup, Ella. He frequently volunteers with local and national LGBT organizations. Oh, yeah, and he’s a full-time foodie who only dislikes oranges and coconut. brockleonti@equitashealth.com

 

 

 

Heather Searfoss-Allaire, Engagement Specialistheather searfoss

Heather is an Ohio native who earned her bachelor’s degree from Kent State University in Art History/Museum Studies. Soon after graduation, Heather found herself successful in sales & retail management for many years. After much soul searching, Heather realized that the corporate world had taken as much as she would allow and sought out a career in social justice and advocacy.

Being passionate about the HIV/AIDS crisis and the need for equity regarding our LGBTQ communities, Heather found her way to Equitas Health in 2013. Prior to becoming part of the Project INK team, Heather was the Linkage to Care Specialist for Equitas Health’s medical center, focusing on patient engagement and retention. In her role with Project INK, Heather uses those experiences and creative problem solving to work with participants to create a collaborative, strengths based plan for wellness. Using patient-centered interventions, Heather’s goal is to help patients and clients realize their own potential of leading a holistic, healthy lifestyle.

When not at work, Heather enjoys cheering on her Columbus Blue Jackets and being involved in the local music & art community. Above all, Heather spends most of her time having adventures with chosen family & friends. heathersearfoss@equitashealth.com