Krista Heitzman Martel joined The Well Project in 2009 and has overseen the redesign and expansion of its online educational resources, as well has led the development of its global community, advocacy programs, and partnerships. Krista became the Executive Director in 2013. During her time at The Well Project, Krista has witnessed the profound impact that access to information and an online network of support can have on the lives of women living with HIV and is working to further expand the organization’s reach and network across the globe. She is also committed to building leadership to ensure women living with HIV are represented at every level of the decision-making processes that affect their lives. Krista began working in the area of HIV education in 1995, shortly after her sister was diagnosed with HIV. Struck by the amount of stigma attached to the disease, as well as the lack of available resources for women living with HIV at that time, Krista was inspired to focus her career’s efforts on advocacy for women living with HIV, reducing stigma, as well as providing accurate and easy-to-understand information to people living with HIV and their providers. Today, Krista is excited to see several advancement in HIV treatment, research, and care for many living with HIV, but the ongoing social stigma, high rates of HIV among women, and lack of universal treatment access continue to fuel her passion for her work at The Well Project.
Prior to her work at The Well Project, Krista helped develop and implement several women's peer-based treatment education training programs for women living with HIV--in partnership with W.O.R.L.D--assisting in training over 40 teams of women across the US to conduct 'HIV Universities' in their communities. Krista also was the Vice President at Visionary Health Concepts, where she supervised the production of over 40 topical low-literacy educational booklets/comic books in English and Spanish related to HIV and hepatitis.