About

History

The Reginald & Dionne Smith Foundation, Inc. (RDSF) was established on September 13, 2012, by Reggie Smith and his wife Dionne Smith. The organization was created to diminish the stigma and increase the awareness about the unmet needs of U.S. families affected by HIV and Hepatitis.  The couple and their children had experienced the suffering caused by an HIV/AIDS diagnosis because Reggie had been living with AIDS since 1984.  Added to this was the burden of the discovery that Reggie was co-infected with the Hepatitis C virus.  As a result of their experiences, with the love and support of many, Reggie and Dionne focused their efforts on sharing holistic healing solutions for those infected and affected with HIV and/or Hepatitis. From their successful accomplishments, the RDSF was born.  

During its early years, the foundation operated under the leadership of one of its founders, Reggie Smith. With financial support from a variety of sources, the organization was able to work with local and national partners such as HIV Anonymous, HCV Anonymous, Making-A-Way Housing, and the National Minority Clinical Research Association, to create and implement community education programs in live, web based, and print formats.

Today, the Reginald and Dionne Smith Foundation, Inc. (RDSF), led by Dr. Luther A. Virgil, Jr., remains a non-governmental organization (NGO) which is committed to improving the health and welfare of those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and viral Hepatitis.

Mission

The RDSF works with communities, organizations, health care providers, and social support providers in order to improve care, support, and education for men and women living with HIV/AIDS and/or viral Hepatitis, their partners, family members, and advocates with the goal of enhancing the physical, mental, sexual, and emotional health of these men, women and families.

Vision

The Reginald & Dionne Smith Foundation, Inc. will change the way people think about HIV/AIDS and viral Hepatitis, by using education, advocacy, resources, and linkage to care to build the preeminent community of support for families affected by those diseases.

Board of Directors

reggie_smithReginald Smith, Chairman

Reggie Smith is currently the editor-in-chief of RISE Multimedia, LLC., a multimedia business with a focus in the health and wellness arena. He is a Holistic Health Practitioner, a well-known social media personality, and the founder of the Reginald & Dionne Smith Foundation, Inc. (RDSF), a not-for-profit organization that works to provide education, advocacy, resources, and linkage to care to men and women living with HIV/AIDS and/or viral Hepatitis, their partners, family members, and advocates.

Mr. Smith has been an advocate for families affected by HIV and hepatitis for over 15 years. He was Executive Director of HIV Anonymous, Inc. and HCV Anonymous, Inc. during a ten year period from 2002-2012. He speaks internationally at universities, conferences, and community sites, providing education to communities which include those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS and HCV. He and his wife, Dionne, have participated in national HIV media campaigns with the CDC, Black AIDS Institute, and other healthcare organizations. Reggie is an author, radio/tv host, and is currently blogging for TheBody.com.

 

harold_barnes_srHarold Barnes, Sr., JD

Harold Barnes, JD, is the Founder and current President and CEO of the Center for Quantum Leadership. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Southern Christian Leadership (SCL) Foundation, Inc. and an Adjunct Professor at the Elizabeth City State University School of Business. He is a noted author and a well-recognized facilitative leadership specialist with a special interest in “Quantum Responsibility,” the active process of holding one’s self accountable for his/her life’s circumstances while also allowing others to hold one accountable for the same.

Mr. Barnes, a graduate of Elizabeth City State University and North Carolina Central University School of Law is a past member of the United States Air Force and is a retired attorney and Litigation Consultant. In his distinguished past he has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1976 1976 NAACP Outstanding Citizen Award, the 1978 NAACP Outstanding Humanitarian Award, and the 1986 Elizabeth City State University, Teacher of the Year award.

 

luther_brock_srLuther C. Brock, Sr.

Luther C. Brock, Sr., an expert in the effective use of cross-cultural education and outreach strategies to communities at greatest risk for HIV/AIDS and HCV infection, has more than 15 years of experience in working with those communities. Mr. Brock is currently working with the AIDS Community Research Consortium (ACRC) in Redwood City, Ca to redesign and refine its HCV and HIV programs in collaboration with the Stanford Liver Clinic, the San Mateo County Department of Health, Kaiser Hospital, and leading infectious disease specialists in that area. For the past few years Mr. Brock has also overseen “HEPC — You and Me”, a Georgia based educational program designed to reduce the spread of HCV and improve the quality of life for its participants. He is well known on both coasts of the U.S. for his extensive knowledge of how to engage populations which are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C Virus infection.

Mr. Brock is a co-founding member of Free at Last, an alcohol/drug treatment agency in East Palo Alto, California which, at one time, had the largest population of HIV positive African American men east of the state of Mississippi. After his leadership role with Free at Last, Mr. Brock coordinated education and outreach activities for the Stanford AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) where he forged a link between local ethnic minority communities and Stanford’s university-based HIV/AIDS clinical trials unit. In 1998, he was invited to serve as Director of Community Education and Outreach Services for the AIDS Community Research Consortium (ACRC) in Redwood City, CA where over several years he co-developed the HIV and HCV Living Now programs, the first peer education programs of their kind in the US.

Over his many years of service, Mr. Brock has participated in and had a leadership role in numerous HIV and HCV related planning groups and committees which have been involved with support, treatment, mentoring, and advocacy for minority populations infected with those viruses.

 

bj_ferguson-01B.J. Ferguson

BJ is president of “Cape” Abilities by BJ, a designer apparel/accessory company which she founded in 2007. She is a resident of Atlanta and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science & History from the University Of Southern Mississippi. She has worked in the pharmaceutical industry over twenty five years in Sales, Marketing, and Community Medical Education. Her diverse background in the pharmaceutical industry has led to many opportunities for leadership roles and community collaborations focused on medical education. Currently, she is a lifetime member of the NAACP & SCLC, and serves as President of the Board of Directors of Homes For Hope, Inc. in Washington, D.C.

 

jean_porterJean Porter, M.P.A.

Ms. Porter is currently the Group Manager for AID Atlanta’s/ Grady Infectious Disease Program, the largest offsite program in AID Atlanta’s HIV/AIDS case management network. As a native of Boston, Massachusetts, a past resident of Washington, DC, and a current resident of Atlanta, GA, she has had a long and distinguished career in community health, health education, and health related disparities.

Ms. Porter earned her BA in Human Services from the University of Massachusetts and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University with emphasis in Health Policy, Non-Profit Management, and Racial Health Disparities. She served as a Health Manager at the Dimock Community Health Center in Roxbury, Massachusetts and worked for the Cambridge Hospital Health Alliance. Her service to the community has included her role as Program Director in Washington D.C. for an at-risk youth program, “The House”. Ms. Porter also has been a guest lecturer at Mercer University; is a member of the Georgia Harvard Club; a member of American Correctional Health Services Association; and has received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for Community Service. She has been recognized publically for co-authoring several articles and papers concerning incarcerated HIV+ individuals and the criminal justice system.

 

Officers

luther_virgil

Dr. Luther A. Virgil, Jr., CEO

Dr. Virgil, the current Chief Executive Officer of the Reginald & Dionne Smith Foundation, Inc. (RDSF), is a physician with a specialty in Internal Medicine and a subspecialty in Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Virgil received his undergraduate degree, medical degree, and his postgraduate training from Howard University, in Washington, D.C. After completing his fellowship in Infectious Diseases, he served as the Medical Director and eventually the Director of Clinical Research for the Family & Medical Counseling Service (FMCS) located in the nation’s capital. His successful first tenure at the FMCS was followed by his hiring as the Medical Director of the Integrated Minority AIDS Network, Inc. (IMANI), located in Dallas, TX. His broad experience has also included a brief term as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Strategist during the early phase of business for the Dhamira Group (Dhamira Pharmaceuticals and Dhamira Partners); a minority focused Commercialization Company based in Mendham, NJ. He has served on the Board of Directors of multiple HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C Virus related service and treatment facilities, and for several years was the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer of the National Minority Clinical Research Association (NMCRA), an organization of medical professionals dedicated to providing education and research focused on addressing diseases that disproportionately affect minority populations.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Virgil was the consultant, Director of Clinical Operations and Clinical Research for the Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases clinic of the Family & Medical Counseling Service, Inc. (FMCS) and also the Director of Health Education for the RDSF.

He is a noted author of many articles and educational pieces concerning the epidemiology, clinical presentation and treatment strategies in those infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). Dr. Virgil is an educational speaker of National Notoriety and has given hundreds of presentations in the area of Infectious Diseases. As a member of several panels established for experts in the care of those infected with HIV, Dr. Virgil has taken part in the review and evaluation of therapies and therapeutic guidelines for the treatment of HIV related disease.

Staff

alexius_culpepperA’Lexius Culpepper, Program Manager

“Making my corner of the world brighter the best way I can…” the motto that A’Lexius Culpepper strives to live by every day in all aspects of her life. Those who know her would agree that she does a good job of living that motto.

A’Lexius’ work history includes serving as a Women, Infants, Children, and Youth (WICY) Linkage to Care Specialist for AID Atlanta, Georgia’s oldest and largest AIDS Support Organization. A’Lexius was also the Faith-Based Donor Relations Coordinator with the AID Atlanta Department of Development, where she built and maintained new donor relationships with faith-based organizations in the Metro-Atlanta area.

Before venturing into the world of non-profit, A’Lexius focused on Early Childhood Education. She trained in and practiced the traditional, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia approaches to education in the Preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten – Jr. High classrooms of several preschools and schools in the state of Georgia.

A’Lexius has pursued studies at Kennesaw State University in Communications, with a focus on Public Relations emphasis Special Events; Atlanta Christian College, now Point University, in Human Relations and Counseling; and the University of West Georgia in Mathematics Education. She has also completed an Associates in Business Office Administration from United Education Institute. Throughout her academic career, A’Lexius has been recognized on the National Dean’s List, Dean’s List, and awarded Class President, Honors Graduate, and Mentor Student.

In addition to her academic pursuits, A’Lexius has a strong commitment to volunteerism and serving her community. She has served as a member of AmeriCorps, working with individuals living with disabilities to improve their quality of life. She is a member of The Order of the Eastern Star where she devotes her efforts to scholarship and charity specifically among the Geriatric community. A’Lexius also regularly volunteers her time to causes dear to her heart including Project Open Hand, PAWS Atlanta Animal Welfare Organization, and Embraced Atlanta. She also serves as the Events Chair on the Board of Directors for The Re-Entry Connection, an organization devoted to reducing incarceration and recidivism among formerly incarcerated females.

dionne_smithDionne Smith, Community Relations Manager

Dionne Smith is a wife, mother, grandmother and child of God. She currently has an Associate’s degree in Human Service Management and her goal is to acquire a PhD in Human Services. She is originally from Queens New York, and since moving to Georgia she has found her passion in working with people.

As advocates for families affected by HIV/AIDS, Dionne and her husband Reggie are part of the “we are greater than AIDS campaign”, a leading public information response to the U.S. domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic with a focus on areas and people most affected. Dionne believes that God is using them in a magnificent way that words cannot express.

She is a talented hairstylist who feels that God has enabled her to minister to his people from behind her styling chair, where she receives great joy in sharing her strength, hope, and experiences of her life to help others face the many challenges of life.

In her spare time she enjoys crocheting, quilting, and scrapbooking. She loves to travel, with a special joy in taking cruises by boat.

margot_jordanMargot Jordan, Financial Consultant

Margot is a knowledgeable and experienced financial professional who has dedicated many years to ensuring that the organizations that she is a part of have an “accurate financial picture at all times”. She is currently the Controller, of the Atlanta firm, William Stewart Designs Inc., where she manages all operations of the Accounting Department and Financial Reporting. Prior to that appointment and the joining of The Reginald & Dionne Smith Foundation, Inc., for more than ten years she has served as the Senior Staff Accountant for a number of well-known companies in the Atlanta, GA area including The Philly Franchising Company – Franchisor for “Philly Connection” and Long Engineering Inc. She has a long history of working with nonprofit organizations, having affiliations with organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, Hope for Women, and Making-A-Way Housing.

Margot’s education history includes the successful attainment of her Bachelor of Sciences degree in Accounting & Finance at Georgia State University. She later received her MBA in Strategic Management at the University of Phoenix.

lauren_virgilLauren Virgil, Health Services Administrator

Lauren is a bright, energetic, and caring person who has a great love for children. She is a 2015 graduate of Middle Georgia State University, located in Macon, Georgia, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Service Administration. Although her work history is brief, she has been noted to provide service to her community and to the underserved community while at the Macon Rescue Mission. During her post graduate period, she has been recognized on a number of occasions for her strong work ethic, ability to multitask and teamwork.

Lauren enjoys shopping, dancing, posting pictures on social media, and spending time with her nieces and nephews.

drew_virgilDrew Virgil, Health Activities Project Coordinator

Drew is a popular young lady who is recognized by her friends for her faith, her loyalty, and her big smile. She is a 2015 graduate from Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. Her current desire is to use her training in the pursuit of experience in fields such as Cardiac Rehabilitation, Sports Performance, Physical Therapy, and Strength and Conditioning. She developed an interest in medical care at an early age, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant while in her senior year of high school. Her education, training, and work history have been marked by recognition for her superior communication and interpersonal skills.

Drew is a strong believer in and follower of the word of God. She enjoys sports — especially tennis and the Dallas Cowboys football team, science fiction, mysteries, and spending time with her family.

Employment

We appreciate your interest in joining the Reginald and Dionne Smith Foundation, Inc. (RDSF) team. We encourage you to review our employment opportunities and apply for the specific opening which matches your knowledge, experience, ability, and passion.  At the RDSF we believe that enjoyment of, and satisfaction in your work will lead to the best opportunity for success.

Transparency

The Reginald and Dionne Smith Foundation, Inc. (RDSF) recognizes its responsibilities to stakeholders, including its donors, sponsors, program beneficiaries, staff, and the public. Because of this, the organization is committed to transparency and accountability throughout its work.

Annual Reports:

The annual reports highlight the work and achievements of the Reginald and Dionne Smith Foundation, Inc. (RDSF) throughout the year. At the RDSF we recognize that none of our accomplishments would be possible without the support of dedicated individuals within and outside our organization. Therefore we place a great importance on keeping them aware of their efforts.

Recently Awarded Grants:

Grants are “gifts” made to fund specific projects for the common good. In exchange for the grant support, we believe in a responsible level of compliance and reporting. As a responsible grant recipient, the Reginald and Dionne Smith Foundation, Inc. believes it important to make public the kind gifts provided to us which allow us to successfully complete our passionate work.

Partners & Fundraisers

On behalf of The Reginald and Dionne Smith Foundation, Inc. (RDSF) team members, supporters, and the community we serve, we wish to thank our generous Community Partners. Thanks to these partners, we are able to provide much needed services and programs which are focused on education, advocacy, resources, and linkage to care to men and women living with HIV/AIDS and/or viral Hepatitis, their partners, family members, and advocates. Contributions and grant funding from Community Partners come in many forms, and each bring extraordinary value to us and to our community.

Below we have recognized many of our Community Partners in hopes that they realize how extremely important they are to us.


abbvie
boehringer-ingelheim
coalition-on-positive-health-empowerment
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janssen
recovery-consultants-of-atlanta
making-a-way-housing