Realize is pleased to announce that the 2020 recipient of the Elisse Zack Award for Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation is Colleen Price.
Colleen Price resides in Ottawa, Canada, is trained in Psychology, Sociology and as a Social Service Worker. A survivor of trauma, addictions, HIV and Hepatitis C, she is a committed, experienced advocate for testing, access to treatment, care and support for people living with HIV and HIV co-infection. She is experienced in Board and Governance, Capacity Building, KTE, Research, Program and Policy development via her work as a Board Member on Voices of Positive Women, at the Canadian Treatment Action Council (CTAC), as Board member and Chair of the CTAC Peer HIV and Hepatitis C Working Group (2006-2013), and with the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development Board.
Colleen has been engaged in CWGHR, now Realize, work since entering advocacy and research 15 years ago, working on key issues of importance to the health and well-being of PLHIV, episodic disability and rehabilitation and participating in the areas of mental health and HIV and Aging.
Colleen served a public appointment for 10 years as a member of the Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS (OACHA) and 8 years on the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Cohort Study Governance Committee. Colleen was awarded 1/30 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals by the Canadian AIDS Society for her work in HIV/AIDS in 2012.
Colleen has been working for the last 2 years on Chronic Pain and HIV, joining the Global Pain and HIV Taskforce in January 2020. The Clinical Trials Network (CTN) has started a Chronic Pain, Pain Management and Wellness of PLHIV Working group, Colleen will co-chair with Dr. Madeleine Durand (colleague, mentor) and collaborate with an extraordinary team of clinicians, researchers, psychologists, and people PLHIV and chronic pain. All of us are dedicated to developing research evidence to best guide the treatment, care, and support of PLHIV and chronic pain, to evaluate promising interventions and rehabilitative therapies and to positively impact our HRQoL and well-being, services, programs, and policy development.
Extraordinary leaders in chronic pain and HIV, Dr. Jessica Robinson-Papp, Dr. Jessica Merlin, Dr. Whitney Scott from the Global HIV and Pain Taskforce are supportive of our CTN efforts and we are thankful for their assistance and are inspired by their research and clinical care practices.
Colleen is glad and incredibly grateful, that this CTN working group has started. She has lived with chronic pain for 30+ years. She is grateful to Dr. Madeleine Durand and all members of this team for their desire and dedication to improve PLHIV and chronic pain health, wellness, access to services and health equity.
By us, for us, together with us, we can make a meaningful difference. Elisse taught her the importance of collaboration, of unity of PLHIV community, multi-disciplinary allies, to fostering research, fostering rehabilitation, fostering change and to never give up. Lessons she has never forgotten. Lisse inspired her and continues to. She is deeply honored to be given this award in Lisse’s legacy, she was a pioneer, a leader, a collaborator, a visionary in linking HIV and Rehabilitation. She made a huge difference and continues to; she would be incredibly happy with the work Realize has done and continues to do on key issues of importance to PLHIV and others with episodic disability.
Colleen believes Elisse would be happy about her work in chronic pain and HIV. There have been many challenges, and many remain (funding) but she will not give up as there is a tremendous potential to meaningfully impact the services we receive, program and policy development.
Lastly, she would like to thank Dr. Curtis Cooper, he helped her with her Hepatitis C (HCV) treatment despite active SU, believing in her and the HCV treatment. Access issues, stigma, motivated her to become a advocate post 48 week treatment. Dr. Cooper has engaged and supported her in research and advocacy work and continues to, Thank-you, Dr. Cooper for your care and mentorship.
Dr. Sean Rourke, Dr. Kelly O’ Brien, Dr. Mona Loutfy, Dr. Ann Burchell, Dr. Sergio Rueda, Dr. Francisco Ibanez-Carrasco, Realize, and the OHTN for long term support, engagement and assistance in research and advocacy for PLHIV and co-infected. She would also like to thank OAN PLDI (was in pilot group, program graduate) and ABPRO for training that helped her to become an advocate.
She also thanks her friends and colleagues and peers living with HIV, she states that she will never give up on trying to improve our HRQoL and well-being and she looks forward to work ahead. She also believes that together, we can make a meaningful difference. For PLHIV and chronic pain, or if you know someone, The Global HIV and Pain Taskforce has done a very brief survey on chronic pain and HIV, https://painregistry.online/research.
In the words of her peers who nominated her, “As a woman living with HIV and longstanding advocate for rehabilitation in HIV, Colleen tirelessly works to advance the field of HIV and rehabilitation for people living with HIV. As a colleague, activist, and friend, Colleen brings optimism, wisdom, and calm to all those who interact with her.”