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Community News: Community HIV/AIDS Resource Exchange Project
“Obedience Has No Status”
By: Sally S. Cherry, BS, MT(ASCP)
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Article - "Obedience Has No Status" By Sally S. Cherry, BS, MT(ASCP)

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Article - "Obedience Has No Status"
By Sally S. Cherry, BS, MT(ASCP)
STI Lab Consultant
Published in Hidden Strengths - December 2015

The article, "Obedience Has No Status" was written in response to a request from Hidden Strengths Support Ministry, Inc., a Christian organization located in Bowie, Maryland USA. The leadership and staff of Hidden Strengths Support Ministry, Inc. strive to support, nurture, enhance and empower individuals while they embrace and work through life's frustrations, pains and struggles. With HIV/AIDS as the topic, I was asked to write an article or to participate in an interview concerning the illness for the organization’s quarterly publication, “Hidden Strengths”.

As a public health professional and digital storyteller, I welcomed the opportunity to share my "story" and vision that inspired (and continues to fuel) Community HIV/AIDS Resource Exchange (CHARE) Project. The article was published in the December 2015 issue of Hidden Strengths. Here, you will find the article, "Obedience Has No Status" reprinted with permission from Hidden Strengths Support Ministry, Inc.

I would like to thank the ministry’s director and founder, Pastor Donna R. Williams for the opportunity to share the professional story behind CHARE Project as well as a personal story of obedience. The entire December issue can be found online at: http://r.b5z.net/i/u/6147970/f/December_2015.pdf. You are encouraged to learn more about Hidden Strengths Support Ministry, Inc. at Hiddenstrengthsministry.org. Please feel free to download the article, "Obedience Has No Status".

“Still much work to be done in our cities!”

CHARE Project Online
Website: CHAREproject.com
Download App: CHAREproject.net
Like: Facebook.com/CHAREproject
3D CHARE Village: CHAREproject.org


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Article - "Obedience Has No Status" By Sally S. Cherry, BS, MT(ASCP)

  1. 1. Community News: Community HIV/AIDS Resource Exchange Project “Obedience Has No Status” By: Sally S. Cherry, BS, MT(ASCP) Founder & Director of the CHARE Project Greetings, my name is Sally S. Cherry and I wel- come this opportunity to share my Community HIV/AIDS Resource Exchange (CHARE) Project’s vision and mission with the readers of Hidden Strengths! Recently, I received another invitation to an “HIV positive persons only” group event. This was just one of many invitations received over the years. Since I am HIV-negative, I usually politely declined without any explanation. When I do reveal my HIV-negative status, there is often a response of surprise. Apparently, it had been assumed otherwise due to my CHARE Project work and other HIV/AIDS awareness activities. Although I have never felt a need to explain my commitment to promoting HIV/AIDS awareness, I have always felt the need to be obedient to The Word…… And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16 (NIV) In response to the most recent invitation to share "my story”, I am delighted with this opportunity to share personal and professional events that inspired and still fuels my CHARE vision and mis- sion. As a faithful Christian, it is felt that my ulti- mate mission is to use my God-given gifts and talents while serving as Jesus' hands and feet. It has been my personal and professional desire to use my acquired experience, skills, training and resources to help others. In 2010, after the sudden shutdown of a local AIDS service organization where I served as the project manager, I established Community HIV/ AIDS Resource Exchange (CHARE) Project to continue the unfinished mission…To provide cultur- ally relevant health promotion/disease prevention services to African-Americans impacted by HIV and AIDS in the Baltimore Metropolitan Statistical Area. CHARE Project serves as the vehicle to use my acquired thirty-seven (37) years of public health experience (clinical, administrative, training, and outreach); social media knowledge; and profes- sional networks for capacity building and commu- nity building. CHARE Project Mission/Vision is to provide capacity building through social media and 3D virtual worlds to enhance access and delivery of HIV/AIDS awareness, HIV testing and related services for targeted populations impacted by HIV/AIDS and related health disparities within local, national, and international communities. Although CHARE Project was started in 2010, my vision emerged during my early public health years. From 1978 to 1990, I served as the Laboratory Coordinator for the Baltimore City Health Department - Bureau of Disease Control (BCHD- BDC) assigned with the task of coordinating and supervising STD laboratory services within Baltimore City Health Department’s STD clinics as well as the planning of the Bureau for Disease Control (BDC) Laboratory. These twelve years of my diverse medical laboratory career offered numerous sharing and learning opportunities. One assignment impacted my professional journey as well as changed my goals and objectives as an allied health professional. In 1981, the Bureau Director instructed me to receive and process an "unknown disease" specimen for shipment to a reference laboratory. As I followed the standard laboratory bio safety guidelines for handling and processing blood and other infectious materials, I found myself thinking that the pathogenic agent and treatment for this "unknown disease" would soon be identified. Sadly that did not happen immediately! I never thought that the “unknown disease” now identified as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) would still be impacting the worldwide community over 34 years later. As I look back at the early years of AIDS, I clearly remember the increased reporting of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) and other opportunistic infections; chart reviews to verify reported causes of death; monitoring of laboratory reports, and even the challenge of identifying funeral homes that would accept the bodies of the deceased. Over the years, the learning curve was steep for infection control and laboratory personnel with the development of new CDC guidelines for specimen handling, processing and diagnostic blood tests. Since 1981 in my role as a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)/Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) laboratory instructor, quality assurance for laboratory testing has been the focus of laboratory consultations, training and proficiency reviews for clinicians and healthcare professionals. The role of the laboratory in STD/HIV services is essential to stopping the spread of HIV worldwide. From 1989 to 1996, I shared my lab expertise as an international genital tract infection (GTI) consultant and medical trainer in Turkey, Kenya, Egypt, and Uganda. The collaborative work with international medical and healthcare colleagues lead to a change in my professional focus. These colleagues routinely deliver STI and HIV/AIDS health services as their USA counterparts but often with more challenges and less resources. The “field” experience redirected my attention to challenged communities with less resources and little access. Upon finishing my overseas assignments, I elected to work within a Baltimore- based AIDS service organization providing project management and community outreach services until it closed. As a STI lab consultant, I am involved in the delivery and quality assurance of medical laboratory services. As a Social Media Health consultant, I am involved in providing capacity building, technical assistance and training to improve access and the delivery of relevant medical and health services by providers. This dual role revealed the need for my acquired public health experience; social media knowledge; professional networks and inherent talents. So, I am obedient to The Word… “do good and to share with others” regardless of my HIV status because “obedience has No status”. CHARE Project, an HIV/AIDS information and resource exchange network reflects my obedience as well as my commitment to enhance access and delivery of HIV/AIDS awareness, HIV testing and related services for targeted populations impacted by HIV/AIDS and related health disparities within local, national, and international communities. As long as our cities are impacted by HIV and AIDS, the CHARE vision and mission continues.… And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased (Hebrews 13:16 NIV). “Still much work to be done in our cities!” CHARE’s Online Contact Information Mobile App: http://CHAREproject.net Pin Board: http://CHAREproject.us Twitter: http://Twitter.com/CHAREproject Website: http://CHAREproject.com 3D Virtual Center: http://CHAREproject.org “A Timeline of AIDS: First 30 Years” https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/aids-timeline Quarterly Issue December 2015 Page 4 - http://r.b5z.net/i/u/6147970/f/December_2015.pdf Article reprinted with permission from Hidden Strengths Support Ministry, Inc. (HSSMinistryInc@aol.com) Hiddenstrengthsministry.org ~ Twitter.com/hiddenstrengths ~ Facebook.com/HiddenStrengthsMinistry Hidden Strengths Support Ministry, Inc., PO Box 2052, Bowie, Maryland USA 20718

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