Interventions that Work! Engaging the Transgender Client

Interventions that Work! Engaging the Transgender Client

July 2018

Explore Evidence-Informed Interventions from the SPNS Transgender Women of Color Initiative

Do you provide direct services to transgender women of color—or would you like to? Learn how a community-based organization and an FQHC successfully engage and retain transgender women of color in HIV care.  

During this webinar, presenters from two of the HRSA/HAB Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) Transgender Women of Color Initiative demonstration sites share their experiences, lessons learned, and provide practical knowledge on addressing the unique needs of this population.

The webinar explores:

  • Intervention activities and implementation.
  • Identification of and tactics for addressing barriers to care for transgender women of color, such as limited access to culturally competent health care and social services, experiences of stigma, discrimination, and marginalization, vulnerability to violence and exploitation, and social obstacles to maintaining a stable income and safe housing.
  • Legal advocacy to support unique needs of transgender clients, such as name changes, asylum cases, visas for victims of human trafficking.

Featured interventions blend innovation with HIV primary care services, behavioral health, motivational interviewing, harm reduction, and trauma-informed care.

Our presenters share best practices, intervention replication tips, and participate in a Q&A session. This webinar is brought to you by the SPNS Integrating HIV Innovative Practices (IHIP) project.


Brendan O’Connell Brendan O’Connell

Bienestar Human Services, Inc., Los Angeles, CA


Brendan O’Connell is the Director of Program and Services at BIENESTAR. Mr. O’Connell manages BIENESTAR's prevention services which includes HIV/STI screening, linkage to medical care, behavioral interventions, food bank, HOPWA and syringe exchange. Before joining BIENESTAR Brendan worked in NYC with PLWH, the LGBTQ communities, and formerly incarcerated people, at ACRIA (AIDS Community Research Initiative of America,) The Fortune Society and the Center for Community Alternatives. In 2007 Mr. O’Connell graduated received his Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin and his Master of Social Work from Fordham University. 


Dr. Luis Freddy MolanoDr. Luis Freddy Molano

Community Healthcare Network, New York, NY

Transgender Women Engagement and Entry to Care Project (TWEET Care Project)

Dr. Luis Freddy Molano is Vice President of Infectious Disease and LGBTQ Programs and Services at Community Healthcare Network in New York City. Dr. Molano is a Member of the New York State HIV Advisory Board (HAB) and sits on the New York City HIV Planning Council.  He has served on the Board of Trustees of the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA), the New York State Prevention Planning Group, and the New York State AIDS Services Delivery Consortium.  Dr. Molano has been with Community Health Network’s Transgender Family Program since its inception in 2004. The program current has over 400 participants.  



Jessica ContrerasJessica Contreras

Community Healthcare Network, New York, NY

Transgender Women Engagement and Entry to Care Project (TWEET Care Project)

Jessica Contreras is the Project Manager for the H.I.P.P DOH grant that focuses on high-risk and HIV people of color in Long Island City, Queens NY. Ms. Contreras implemented Community Healthcare Network’s first Transgender Family Program in Jamaica, New York in 2010. Since then has provided medical and legal advocacy, group counseling and education, and support services to more than 500 persons of trans experience and their families. Ms. Contreras has focused on improving the quality of clinical outcomes comparable to the New York State Dept. of Health HIV QUAL indicators.