Cyndee Clay is the Executive Director of HIPS

HIPS is a Washington DC metro area organization the promotes the health, rights and wellness of drug users, sex workers and their communities utilizing a harm reduction model. Ms. Clay is an internationally recognized expert with over  20 years experience in program development, nonprofit management and evaluation for improving the health and safety of injection and non-injection drug users, sex workers, and transgender individuals.  She is a graduate of the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Program at UCLA Business School, convened DC’s first working group on drug user health, and serves as the DC Prevention Planning Group’s community co-chair elect,  DC community representative for the Urban Coalition of HIV/AIDS Prevention Services UCHAPS, and the DC Recovery Advisory Council.





Elizabeth Saracco, Director of Programs

Elizabeth Saracco has been with HIPS since Valentine’s Day 2003.Ms. Saracco works closely with the Executive Director in all aspects of program development and organizational goals. She is responsible for HIPS program supervision, evaluation and administration as well as acting as a liaison to foundation and public funders.  Ms. Saracco has developed and implemented numerous interventions including, “Choices” for NJ DOH  and “Charm School” for HIPS which provides peer support, health education, goal setting and advocacy geared towards women who use drugs. She has also worked as a consultant for NECAPT (Northeast Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies-) and has presented various workshops on peer based strategies regarding public health and issues around the sex work community at national and international conferences. Ms. Saracco possesses an AA in Liberal Studies from Harcum College, BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a MS in Clinical Psychology from California Coast University. While not doing HIPS stuff Ms. Saracco likes collecting 80’s punk and metal records, watching Celtic F.C. matches, and experimenting with street and mail art.

catherineCatherine Paquette, Manager – Outreach and Mobile Services

As the Mobile Services Manager at HIPS, Catherine manages HIPS needle exchange program, which distributed over 200,000 sterile syringes last year, as well as HIPS street-based sex worker outreach program, HIPS 24-hour crisis and support hotline, and DC’s LGBTQ Violence Response Hotline. She is also responsible for the recruitment, training, and supervision of over 100 volunteers each year who provide direct services to HIPS clients on the Mobile Van, Wellness Center, a

nd Hotlines. Catherine got her start at HIPS through the AIDS United Americorps program, serving for one year in the HIPS Outreach Department, and she has been managing the Mobile Services program since 2012. She was born and raised in the Philippines, and before she came to DC, she did outreach to male sex workers with a Chicago non-profit and did research on public policy and enforcement of sex work laws. More recently, Catherine has collaborated with HIPS volunteers to conduct research on the impacts of gentrification on street-based sex work in the District. 


1658686_717383068343535_6715771104588443967_oDebbie McMillan, Manager – Enhanced Harm Reduction Services

Debbie McMillian holds the position of Enhanced Harm Reduction Service Manager with Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive, (HIPS). Her responsibilities include managing all in house services including CTR, CRCS, Community Health Worker Programs, HIPS Wellness Center and the Crisis Response Team. Before holding the position as EHR Manager, Ms. McMillian worked with the Transgender Health Empowerment Center as a Drop In Coordinator and CRCS Specialist.  Ms. McMillan also previously held the position of Client Advocate/Diversion Special a Trans-In-Formation. Working in partnership with the US Attorney’s office and HIPS, Debbie assisted transgender women who were involved in pending court action with risk reduction and goal setting. Ms. McMillian is an active member of her community and is a past member of the HPCPG, RAC and holds the distinction of being the very first transgender woman to be the main plenary speaker at the 2012 International AIDS Conference. 


10498712_10152307219838873_8347613908645346648_oSara Knotts, Manger- Operations and Finance










Sherri Meeks, Community Health Worker









randyRandy Kier, Community Health Worker














1463952_10151816325888873_846749039_nMs. Kenny Mayo, Drop In Center Coordinator










Earline Budd, Treatment Adherence Specialist









1378385_10151693366873873_1624674885_nShakita Chapman, Testing Specialist












OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKiefer Paterson, CRCS Specialist









OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaurice Abbey-Bey, Syringe Exchange Specialist









OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMeadhbha Monaghan, Mobile Services Program Assistant - Global Health Corps







OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACharlotte Sawyer, Mobile Services Program Assistant – Global Health Corps








Joe Caldwell, Mobile Services Program Assistant - AmeriCorps