Chief Executive Officer
DeeJay Johannessen, Chief Executive Officer of the Health Education Learning Project since 1998, has been a driving force in the development, implementation, and administration of ground-breaking service and prevention programming for the LGBT community and those at risk for and living with HIV/AIDS. Capitalizing upon experience gained over a 30-year career in the non-profit sector – 25 of it in the HIV field – in 2016 DeeJay oversaw the development of an exciting new initiative called the HELP Center for LGBT Health and Wellness, or “The HELP Center” for short. The HELP Center’s purpose is to expand access to sexual health services for the LGBT population in Texas. Currently, the HELP Center operates the largest PrEP program in North Texas via two clinics in Tarrant County serving more than 1,300 patients from 103 cities throughout Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.
Chief Operating Officer
Cheryl joined HELP in March 2019 after 12 years of working as a Project Manager for Oncology Clinical Trials. She has more than 30 years experience in Pharmacy, including Compliance, Quality and Process Improvements, and she is dedicated to HIV and Cancer Prevention, Treatment and solutions to help the patients in need. She is active in a Non-Profit Foundation at her former High School that is providing food, clothing, mentoring and daily essentials to those in need. She assists DeeJay with the activities of HELP, as well as all other day-to-day activities to support the Staff and Clients.
Chief Clinical Officer
Kelle Tillman, DNP, APRN, ACNS-BC, AAHIVS: Kelle serves as the Chief Clinical Officer for the HELP Center for LGBT Health and Wellness. Kelle is a board-certified adult and gerontological clinical nurse specialist and is credentialed as an HIV specialist with the American Academy of HIV Medicine. She obtained her Bachelor of Nursing in 1992, her Master in Nursing in 2013 and her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Texas Christian University in 2019. Kelle has been a part of the HELP Center’s PrEP program since it launched in 2017. In her role as Chief Clinical Officer, she has been a driving force for the expansion of services to include primary care, gender-affirming care, behavioral health, and HIV care. Additionally, she serves as adjunct faculty of graduate nursing for Midwestern State University, a faculty associate for TCU’s Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and a member of TCU Nursing’s Professional Advisory Board.
Josephine Correia, MSN, APRN, FNP-C (she/her/hers): Josephine is a Spanish-speaking, certified family nurse practitioner, practicing in the primary care setting since 2014. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at University of California, Riverside, and her Master of Science in Nursing degree at Vanderbilt University. She has a passion for LGBTQIA focused primary care and strives to keep her patients healthy and thriving through prevention and education. Josephine values the importance of patient provider relationships in fostering healthy choices and lifestyles, and is committed to establishing trust and communication with her patients.
Eduardo Flores-Lopez (Eddie) is a Spanish-speaking, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner. He received his Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington, and earned his Associates of Applied Science in Nursing from Brookhaven College. He has worked in emergency medicine and critical care medicine since 2009. Eddie was named one of Fort Worth’s Top Ten Nurses in 2020 by Fort Worth Magazine. Eddie has a passion for preventative health, patient education and empowerment.
Dallas Voice Award 2023: Best General Practitioner
Johnnie Ireland, DNP, APRN, ACNS, WHNP-BC: Johnnie serves as one of the Medical Providers for The HELP Center, Fort Worth location, and has been at HELP since its inauguration in 2017. Johnnie is a board-certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist. She obtained her Bachelor’s of Nursing in 1987, Master’s in Nursing in 2013 and her Doctorate in Nursing Practice, 2019 all from Texas Christian University. She completed her Post-Masters Certification in Women’s Health from UT Southwestern Medical School in 1996.
Brentton Lowery (he/him/his) is a board-certified Physician Assistant and is nationally recognized as an HIV specialist by the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Brentton serves as one of the Medical Providers for The HELP Center, providing Telemedicine services, and has been at HELP since 2018. He earned his Master of Science in Medicine degree from Mississippi College, where he completed a six-month clerkship in HIV and Adult Medicine. Brentton is focused on empowering individuals with the knowledge to take control of their sexual health.
Director of Behavioral Health
Katherine McDougall-Pillai is a Licensed Professional Counselor and LPC Supervisor with over 18 years in mental health experience. She offers trauma informed care and is nationally certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy. Katherine is a part of the LGBT+ community and specializes in LGBT+ concerns and issues. She is passionate and actively supports freedom of reproductive rights, Transgender rights, sexual health services, and prevention programming for the LGBT community and those at risk for and living with HIV/AIDS.
Director of Marketing
Cody joined HELP in January 2020 with 14 years experience in developing and executing marketing and branding strategies, media relations, social media and design. He has extensive experience with non-profits in fundraising and building awareness during his previous positions and consulting business. He is excited to bring his expertise to grow HELP’s awareness and services in our community.
Director of Prevention
JP Cano, BSN, RN serves as the Director of Prevention for the HELP Center since May of 2023. Before joining our team, JP has 15 years of experience working with a non-profit organization, specializing in sexual health and HIV/STI prevention, education, and community outreach. JP holds a Bachelor Degree in Sciences of Nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington, and he has served as a Registered Nurse for Baylor S&W Hospital. JP has spent his life using personal and career experience to help others to learn tools to live a healthier life, providing them with support and education. As someone who is an immigrant and part of the LGBTQIA+ community, JP has researched for resources for those in need and has applied that knowledge to help provide more services for those underserved. His work with gender-affirming care, HIV prevention and with those affected by HIV, has given him the opportunity to not only to help those communities but also to be an advocate at local, state, and national level. JP has served as co-chair for national conferences like Creating Change, he has been selected as “Enbajador” at the International HIV conference and recently as key speaker at the Biomedical HIV Prevention summit. JP is thrilled to work at HELP Center and to continue advocating, educating, and providing services in Tarrant County and Texas in general following the vision and mission of the agency.