"Nothing has changed my perspective on life and wanting to make the world a better place more than being a mother."
Although Leslie Raneri's passion for advocacy has been a constant throughout her life, it has greatly intensified since becoming a mother several years ago. Her sincere desire to help others motivated her to pursue an undergraduate degree in sociology, but she didn't stop there; she then enrolled in graduate school and obtained a Masters in Social Work. Later, she returned again to graduate school, this time earning a Masters in Public Health.
Leslie's first position as a social worker was in a program working directly with women, children, and adolescents with HIV/AIDS. Through this work, she developed a strong interest in advocating for people with HIV/AIDS. Future positions with the federal government (US DHHS), in social science research, community-based hospice, as well her current position in a major pediatric hospital offered additional opportunities to advocate for vulnerable populations.
In addition to her professional experience, Leslie actively serves in a number of roles as community volunteer and a leader.
A longtime member of the Texas Children's Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine IMPAACT/ PHACS/ATN/ Ryan White Part D CAB, she is also the Chair of the CAB, which is an active monthly CAB focused on maternal/pediatric HIV. Additional roles of this nature include:
IMPAACT Americas RCAB Member;
PHACS CAB Member;
IMPAACT ICAB Americas Member;
IMPAACT ICAB (leadership) committee;
IMPAACT scientific committee;
Baylor College of Medicine CFAR representative.
Leslie is also active locally with the Ryan White program. Her involvement in this area includes:
Member of the Houston Ryan White Planning Council (which plans and assesses Ryan White Part A and B funds for people living with HIV/AIDS in the Houston eligible metropolitan area)
Former Comprehensive HIV Planning Committee member;
Current Secretary of the Planning Council;
Current Steering Committee member;
Quality Assurance committee;
Project LEAP graduate (Completion of comprehensive 17 week HIV training).
Leslie, who loves learning and collaborating with others, is a co-founder of Advocacy Without Borders, an initiative to reduce disparities through education, community advocacy and self-empowerment. The mission of Advocacy Without Borders is "to encourage ALL people to make a difference, regardless of their differences."
Recently, Leslie has been actively involved in advocacy and leadership regarding preserving Ryan White Part D services for women, children, and adolescents with HIV.
Having served in the capacity of a professional and a parent, Leslie, who is a proud single adoptive mother of two, possesses a unique perspective as an advocate. Not only have her experiences helped her to appreciate different points of view, they have emphasized the critical value of the community's voice and involvement.