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The Beginning:


  • The first known case of AIDS in Spokane County was diagnosed in 1984

  • SAN began as an informal network of friends, medical caregivers, and concerned citizens in 1985. Dr. Jeff Collins, Dr. Dan Coulston, and Tom Crowe of the Spokane County Health District met to discuss creating an AIDS support group which would include Community Mental Health, Department of Social and Health Services, members of the gay community, and other volunteers to coordinate services for people with AIDS. 

  • Early SAN work concentrated on coordinating end-of-life services and encouraging "safe sex" practices.   

  • Articles of incorporation were filed in June 1987, and members of SAN's first board of directors were elected. Jerry Watts was chosen to chair the board.

  • SAN's first part-time staff person, Diane Jeffers, was hired that summer to provide education, volunteer training, and referral services. SAN's first full-time staff person joined us the following winter, and SAN soon opened its first office at Broadway and Ash.

  • The Washington State Legislature passed the Omnibus AIDS Act of 1988, which mandated AIDS education for health care providers and allocated some funding for AIDS-related services.

  • SAN's Pantry program began in 1985 with the opening of the program in the basement of a church.

  • World AIDS Day first declared by the World Health Organization on December 1st, 1988.

  • SAN offered some of the first AIDS education programs in Spokane in the spring of 1989.

  • SAN's first executive director, Rich Bailey, was hired in 1989.

  • SAN offices moved to 10th and Perry in the fall of 1989, around which time SAN was awarded its first Community Development Block Grant. Holiday Baskets were introduced that year as well, and delivered to 25 clients; the program now serves 85 families.


SAN Grows


  • SAN's focus expanded in the mid 1990s as client needs changed with advancements in drug treatments that extended lives and redefined the disease. 

  • SAN also begins receiving Ryan White Care Act funding. 

  • The offices moved again, to a house on Gardner, before SAN bought the building at 9th and Monroe in the spring of 1996. The purchase was made possible through the generous contributions of the Comstock Foundation and a successful Capital Campaign. 

  • In 1998, SAN puts on it's 1st Annual Oscar Night Gala.  

  • SAN staffing has changed too. Rich Bailey was executive director from 1989 to 1992.  Ginger Goble served from 1992 to 1997.  Anne Stuyvesant servied from 1997 to 2002. Susan Fabrikant served from 2002 to June of 2009. Katie Coker served from 2009 to 2012.  Gaye Weiss serviced from 2012 to 2017. 

  • SAN started hosting the Spokane AIDS Walk in 2002

  • In 2010, SAN provided services to 157 clients.  


SAN 2013 - 2017


  • In 2013 SAN joins a statewide consortium – known as WAcare (Washington Care Coordination Services Group) – to provide medical case management and related services to people with chronic conditions in Eastern Washington.

  • The U.S. FDA approves the use of Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) for reducing risk of HIV infection in uninfected individuals at high risk, marking the first HIV treatment to be approved for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

  • In December 2014 Governor Inslee declared his public commitment to ending AIDS in Washington State.

  • SAN joins the new END AIDS Washington Collaborative “of community-based organizations, government agencies and educational and research institutions working together to reduce new infections in Washington by 50% over the next five years.” The group hosts the first statewide End AIDS Walk in September 2015.

  • SAN begins community education and outreach around PrEP in 2015.

  • In 2015, SAN rebrands the 'Oscar Night Gala'  as the 'Red Ribbon Gala' after 16 years under the previous name.

  • In October 2015 the SAN Board of Directors voted in a new mission statement to reflect our recent expansion to also provide our continuum of services and care to individuals with chronic conditions in Eastern Washington. As our history reflects, our core services and advocacy will continue to support those at risk of, or impacted by, HIV/AIDS.

  • In 2016, SAN's staff reaches 19 professionals in Spokane, Wenatchee, Tri-Cities, Moses Lake and Walla Walla, as well as more than 50 committed volunteers and interns. The organization serves over 230 clients with HIV Medical Case Management and over 200 clients with Chronic conditions in 16 counties in Washington State.

  • Spokane AIDS Network adopts the new name SAN and re-brands the organization to re-align with the updated mission statement.

  • In the Fall of 2016 SAN was not awarded a contract with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to provide HIV care and prevention services.

  • SAN Clients transition to the Spokane Regional Health District for continuing HIV care and prevention services in March 2017. The SAN Board of Directors decide to maintain SAN’s 501c3 status and committee to determine SAN’s future role in the Spokane community.

  • The former SAN house on Monroe is officially sold in June of 2017.


SAN Today


  • SAN remains focused on maintaining the organization’s legacy by remaining a visible partner to raise awareness about the impact of HIV and AIDS in Spokane.  SAN also works in close partnership with community stakeholders to serve as a bridge for resources for people living with and impacted by HIV and AIDS.

  • In September 2019 the SAN Board of Directors name Grant Ogren, former Board Chair, as the organization’s first Executive Director since 2017. The organization will focus on creating more opportunities for events and safe spaces for people impacted by HIV/AIDS to gather, build community, raise awareness and fight stigma in Spokane.

For a history of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic please visit: Kaiser Family Foundation

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