Meet the Team

Susan Sherman

Susan Sherman has been practicing harm reduction for the past 20 years through both research and advocacy.  Her work centers on documenting the lived experiences of people who use drugs and trade sex in order to build a body of evidence for policy change and service delivery.  She has worked on interventions to reduce HIV, STIs, and overdose among these populations internationally and in Baltimore. She has worked with the Baltimore syringe services program for the past 15 years helping to design and evaluate the first naloxone distribution program, collecting data to support a policy change in favor of a distribution policy, and helping to develop a weekly service location on “the block” – a cluster of exotic dance clubs.  She also has validated technologies for testing drugs for fentanyl and has interviewed people who use drugs around their interest in drug checking. Susan serves on the Maryland State Advisory Board for Syringe Services Programs and the Advisory Board for the Baltimore City Syringe Services Program. She is the Chair of the National Harm Reduction Coalition.

Katelyn Riegger
Clinical Director

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Marshiek Long
Community Health Worker

Marshiek Long presently serves as the Community Health Worker at SPARC. Marshiek considers herself a front-line public health worker, with a close relationship to the community that she serves. Her understanding of the community allows her to function as a liaison/link/intermediary between health and social services and the community. It also allows her to educate, advocate and mobilize resources for individuals in need. At SPARC, Marshiek is responsible for managing and facilitating two small support groups, as well as, identifying resources for individuals seeking assistance with various needs. Marshiek is trained in several areas of crisis Intervention, as well as de-escalation, and regularly helps with daily flow of the center. Additionally, Marshiek is trained phlebotomist with expertise in HIV and Hep C testing and counseling.

Katie Evans
Outreach Coordinator

Katie Evans, LMSW has been working to improve community health outcomes in Baltimore, for the past 6 years. She joined SPARC's team in 2019 and and has since added a volunteer program, overseen the implementation of the Overdose Education Program, and supported the outreach team in engaging with the southwest Baltimore community, 3-4 nights per week. 


Prior to her work with SPARC, she worked as a mental health clinician, serving both people experiencing homelessness and those seeking treatment for substance abuse. Katie is a proud Baltimore native and can frequently be found going on evening runs through the city streets.

Emily Clouse
Center Director

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Jan Stevenson
Administrative Coordinator

Jan Stevenson is the Administrative Coordinator at SPARC, and the first point of contact for our guests. Jan is always ready to meet guests with a warm welcoming smile when they first come in! If it is a guest’s first time at SPARC, Jan helps them get settled in, and informs them of the services and resources that SPARC has to offer. Jan completes intakes and needs assessments with guests, as well as, assists guests with laundry, showers, and locker usage. Jan is responsible for the facilitation, organization and daily functions at SPARC. Jan is passionate about the well-being of the women that visit our center and looks forward to welcoming you!!

Heather Kirkpatrick
Community Outreach Leader

Heather Kirkpatrick is currently one of the Community Outreach Leaders at SPARC. Heather is responsible for reaching out to women in the community and letting them know about the services offered at SPARC. She helps with outreach around the center, talking to community members about SPARC, and passing out SPARC swag, which includes hand sanitizer, chapstick, condoms, safe injection kits, and wound care kits. When Heather is not doing outreach she can be found in the center helping guests with the computer, assisting them with the showers and laundry services, and just hanging out in the community room. In her free time, Heather is going to school and raising a new puppy! 

Danielle Pelaez
Project Director, PEARL

Danielle Pelaez is the Project Director for the PEARL study. Danielle has over five years of international and domestic research, program, and volunteer public health experience. She worked at FHI 360 as a Program Officer on a project linking high risk populations across the continuum of HIV services. She also was a volunteer with HIPS, a full-service sex worker organization in DC, providing outreach support to people who use drugs and street-based sex workers. She has worked on several research projects at Johns Hopkins, with the EQUALITY study to develop patient-centered approaches for collecting sexual orientation and gender identity information from patients in the emergency department, before working with the Women and Children's Health Policy Center with the Strengthen the Evidence Project. Danielle has a degree in International Affairs with concentrations in International Development and Global Public Health. In her free time, Danielle can be found gardening, reading, and organizing in her community