The Imagine Hope Team
has a passion for finding creative solutions
to complex social problems
and for overcoming barriers to well-being.
Imagine Hope Team
Marie Sutton, CEO
Winona Holloway, Communication & Training Director
Tina Gossett, RN, BSN, Quality Assurance Nurse
Eileen More, Data Manager
Yahazia Odelia, HCV Linkage Navigator/Metro Atlanta
Barbara Taylor-Scott, LPN, HCV Linkage Navigator/Coastal
Samantha Kinsey, LPN, HCV Linkage Navigator/North Georgia
Christina Jagoe, Administrative Specialist
Becky Vashon, McGyver
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, for more than 2 decades Imagine Hope has managed a robust HIV testing program on behalf of DBHDD. Providing HIV screening in 36 substance use clinics across the state, the program has tested more than 200,000 people for HIV, linking 95% of newly diagnosed clients to life-saving treatment and helping hundreds of HIV+ clients who have fallen out of care due to chaotic drug use back into care.
In 2015, we launched the Imagine Hope HCV Project, which currently provides screening and linkage to care for clients in 41 substance use treatment facilities - including 19 MATS and 2 drug courts - throughout Georgia. We have screened more than 42,000 individuals, identified 3,108 chronically infected clients, and linked 786 to medical treatment. Unlike the well-established system of care for HIV-positive clients, treatment for those with chronic HCV is limited. In response, we have marshalled resources to help 4 MAT clinics begin to treat HCV in-house - lowering barriers to whole health recovery.
In Georgia, approximately 56,800 people are living with HCV.* The state ranks 11th in prescription opioid overdoses and saw a 241% increase in newly reported HCV infections among Georgians under 30 from 2010 to 2015.
At Imagine Hope, we realize that we have created something very unique. With support from Gilead FOCUS, DBHDD, and DPH, we have built a matrix of HCV screening and linkage in a statewide project with 41 partner agencies. This model has been effective in changing the landscape of HCV screening and linkage opportunities for individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) in Georgia. We seek to make these services a standard of care for every client entering treatment for SUD.
Embedding HIV and HCV testing in substance use treatment programs addresses some of the harms of the opioid epidemic among some of the most vulnerable in Georgia. Whole health is a significant goal of recovery from chaotic substance use.
* Emory's HepVu