Jarissa Greenard, Community Educator and Recruiter
Vanderbilt University CRS, Nashville, TN, USA
Communicating ideas and motivating others are two of my passions. After completing a Masters of Arts in Education at Tennessee State University, I immersed myself in Nashville's health and fitness network. Building on this experience, I then joined the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) team at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, bringing my joy and devotion to wellness education with a service-oriented outlook to this new opportunity I enjoy.
Education and empowerment are more than just words. These are critical tools essential to ending the HIV epidemic. Community conversations around sexual health have led to progress; however, there is still so much more work that needs to be done to address health disparities, HIV stigma and health literacy in the general population. Seeing advances in HIV research, specifically through the HVTN, is why I love working with the Network! It’s the people behind the research I find most inspiring. Everyone makes the work done at the HVTN possible and gives hope to those affected by HIV/AIDS.
The community educator role encompasses a wide range of educational topics on HIV/AIDS. Instead of contributing to the stigma, we assist in being part of the solution. Jim Watkins once said, “A river cuts through rock, not because of power, but because of its persistence.” Continued research is critical because it helps to resolve global inconsistencies in the health care system. Leaving an imprint on humanity is the greatest gift of all, and it’s why I look forward to many more years with the HVTN.