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UCCN, Division of Infectious Diseases Host Drag Show to Support HIV Services

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

The Division of Infectious Diseases and the UI Health Community Clinic Network (UCCN) hosted an Amateur Drag Show on April 23 to raise funds to support services for people living with HIV through UCCN, which provides HIV-related medical services at six clinics around Chicago, and at the Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN), the oldest HIV service organization in Chicago.

Photo of staff and performers at UCCN event
UI Health Staff donated their time and talents to raise funds for UI Health Community Clinic Network (UCCN) and TPAN to support services for people living HIV and those at risk. Pictured from left: Nicolas Gordon Llinas, administrative and clinical research associate; Dr. Richard Novak, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases; Wardrick "Rodd" Markeet Nealon, outreach specialist; Charlie Peterson, community outreach manager; Michelle Agnoli, UCCN nurse (in the audience).

The show, held at Hydrate Nightclub in the North Halsted neighborhood of Chicago, raised more than $1,000 in donations.

UCCN has been providing excellent outpatient services to HIV patients at six community-based clinics throughout Chicago since 1992. Their unique program utilizes a collaborative, multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurse clinicians, pharmacists, mental health professionals, and outreach workers to offer quality patient-centered care. All patients at UCCN receive compassionate care and services regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.

TPAN has been providing critical healthcare and social services to patients with HIV and at-risk clients, for over 35 years. Their programs include drop-in services for LGBTQIA+ youths experiencing homelessness and programs for older adults living with HIV.

This year UCCN and TPAN have joined forces as community partners in TPAN's Ride for Life Chicago. The Ride for Life Chicago is an annual fundraising event hosted by TPAN that brings together hundreds of cyclists and volunteers to raise money to support services to thousands of Chicagoans affected by HIV, including housing, health care, and mental services. The apex of the events concludes with a 200 miles bike ride to Sawyer Michigan and back. As community partners, UCCN and TPAN will share the processes raised by Team UCCN thought this funding season.

Photo of Dr Trotter and performer Colin Mascarenhas
Infectious disease physician Dr. Andrew Trotter, right, and performer Colin Mascarenhas.

The Division of Infectious Diseases and Team UCCN would like to acknowledge the hard work of Dr. Elena Llinas, Nicolas Gordon Llinas, Colin Mascarenhas, Wardrick "Rodd" Nealon, Mary Nimmer, Dr. Richard Novak, Charlie Peterson, Reynce Powell, Sharon Steckler, Dr. Andrew Trotter, Lisette Villarreal, the staff at TPAN, and many others that donated their time and talents to make this an incredible success. They would also like to offer a special shoutout to Keanna Rose Boyko for her amazing photographs of the event. A special thanks is in order for Nirmalpal Sachdev, the General Manager of Steamworks Chicago, and the team at Hydrate Nightclub, especially Grayden Dixon, Brad Gebbia, and Mark Liberson for their generous support. Without their help, this would not have been possible. Finally, they would also like to acknowledge everyone that came out to support their cause as cheerful audience members and donors. In particular, they appreciated the enthusiasm shown at the event by Dr. Patricia Finn, head of the Department of Medicine, and Dr. David L. Perkins, professor of Medicine and Surgery in the Division of Nephrology — their vigorous cheering throughout the evening helped energize both the crowd and the performers.

The show was sponsored by Hydrate Nightclub and Steamworks Baths Chicago, who generously provided the venue, the makeup artists, some of the performers, and the amazing supportive staff.

For more information on the various sponsors who supported the show, please visit their websites below:
Hydrate Nightclub
Steamworks Baths Chicago
Keanna Rose Boyko Photography
Project WISH