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  • Project NaviGAte Goals

  • Project NaviGAte will provide much needed navigation services to connect community based organizations and facilitate referrals to increase service utilization for underserved communities.


    Project NaviGate will also conduct a Community Needs Assessment (CNA), develop and disseminate a public health messaging and awareness campaign, increase organizations' capacity to deliver culturally informed services, and provide HIV and substance misuse screenings to help facilitate prevention and treatment in 4 of the 48 federally-designated "hotspots" hardest hit by the HIV epidemic: Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties in Georgia.

    Project NaviGAte Goals 2021-2025

    • Goal #1: In 2021, complete Community Needs Assessment of HIV/substance misuse & barriers /facilitators to prevention & treatment.
    • Goal #2: In 2021, create plan of action with community partners for successful development piloting navigation services.
    • Goal #3: Ongoing through 2025, increase capacity of partners to provide prevention services.
    • Goal #4: Ongoing through 2025, develop a community partnership-based implementation plan.
    • Goal #5: Ongoing through 2025, implement a public health messaging and awareness campaign and provide community-wide screenings.

    Project NaviGAte Impact Area:

  • Community Needs Assessment

  • Excited about this Research? Help us!


    Project NaviGAte targets two pervasive public health concerns, HIV and substance misuse among at-risk and underserved communities, specifically trauma-exposed racial/ethnic minorities in 4 of the 48 federally-designated “hotspots” hardest hit by the HIV epidemic: Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties in GA.


    If you are a community organization that serves ethnic minorities who are at risk for or experiencing trauma, HIV, or substance misuse, we need you to share our Community Needs Assessment form with your clients in these counties. If you are able to help share our flyer and place our survey posters, please email us!

  • Meet The Team

  • Dr. Isha Metzger

    Project Director

    Dr. Metzger is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist focused on consulting and supervising the delivery of evidence-based treatments to underserved individuals seeking treatment for problems related to trauma exposure, anxiety and mood, substance misuse, and risky sexual behaviors. Dr. Metzger is the lead on planning and executing tasks necessary to meet project goals and objectives in evidence-based trauma, HIV, and substance misuse prevention and treatment for racial/ethnic minorities in the community.

    Ashanti J. Brown

    Lead Navigator

    Ashanti is our Lead Navigator in charge of daily project tasks including creating new partnerships, developing sustainable and culturally competent plans for substance use and HIV prevention, developing and implementing navigation services, and identifying and providing opportunities for screening and testing. She will be the main point of contact for all of our community partners.

    Briana Spivey

    Research Coordinator

    Briana has expertise in examining the implications of cultural coping mechanisms on mental health outcomes for African American women, as well as interests in developing culturally-adapted interventions for African Americans. Briana will bring her experience as a community liaison with prevention and treatment for trauma exposed African Americans in community organizations, she assists the Project Director and Lead Navigator in all aspects of Project NaviGAte's program activities.

    Dr. Sierra Carter


    Our Evaluator, Dr. Carter has expertise in evaluating prevention programming for racial/ethnic minorities, specifically African Americans, in healthcare/community settings. Dr. Carter will take the lead on evaluating the project's navigation services.

    Dr. Amanda Gilmore

    Technology-Based Prevention Expert

    Dr. Gilmore has expertise in evidence-based technology-based prevention for substance use and HIV, treatment of individuals living with HIV and/or misuse substances, and LGBTQIA+ communities. Dr. Gilmore with Co-Lead a Practicum experience for Project NaviGAte's Public Health Messaging Campaign.

    Dr. Rushelle Leone

    Substance Use Prevention Expert

    Dr. Leone brings to the team her expertise in evidence-based substance use prevention and treatment, and culturally tailored prevention and treatment for substance use to the team. Dr. Leone will be Co-Leader of Project NaviGAte's Public Health Messaging Campaign Practicum.

    Dr. Natalie Watson-Singleton


    Dr. Watson-Singleton has expertise in mental health among trauma exposed Black women and is an Assistant Professor at Spelman College (a historically Black college for women).

    Dr. Jessica Maples-Keller


    Dr. Maples-Keller contributes to the project her expertise in treatment of trauma exposed racial/ethnic minorities and her professional experience within Grady Hospital and other trauma centers in the greater Atlanta area.

    Wes Unruh

    Digital Engagement Manager

    Wes focuses on digital media production and design, translational research and outreach, and the development of information dissemination strategies.

  • Our Partners

  • Project NaviGAte has a fully funded five year mission to empower community services through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).


    This grant allows for connecting community organizations and disseminating research to improve prevention and treatment of trauma, HIV, and substance misuse with a focus on increasing service awareness, access, and utilization for ethnic minority communities in Georgia, and is overseen by Dr. Isha Metzger, Director, The EMPOWER Lab.