Being On The Board: Making A Difference Through Valley AIDS Network

Like many individuals who lived through the decade of the eighties, I watched with a sense of desperation, as the AIDS crisis grew—seemingly unchecked.  I watched it grow and transform from an unknown malady to a full-blown epidemic.  Fortunately, much has changed since that time.  I am proud to say that I am part of a compassionate, considerate organization born out of a time of hardship for those impacted by the deadly, now treatable disease.  As a member of the board of the Valley AIDS Network (VAN) I’ve been given the great opportunity to work a collection of individuals looking to make the Valley a better place to live for everyone.  Some of the projects I have worked directly with include helping to plan the route for the Tour and Taste, as well as working with the Continuous Quality Improvement Committee.  I’ve also recruited an intern to help Alex in the main office.  In terms of upcoming projects, I look forward to working with the Events Committee to plan for the Silent Auction as well as the Paws Walk this Spring.  I am proud of our work and look forward to continuing to help out in any way that I might.

 

Lee Mayfield, Member-at-large

Valley AIDS Network, Logo

Welcome To The New VAN

It’s the season for change at the Valley AIDS Network. Those of you that know VAN will notice that you are now staring at our amazing new website. You may notice that our site now has a friendly and welcoming feel to it, and that it is professionally crafted and user friendly from any device. Thanks to our new friends at Estland Design we have completely transformed our online presence. With our new site we can be interactive and relevant with our clients, donors, and volunteers. I’m thrilled to see our website change into an incredibly useful, welcoming, and professional resource for the community we serve. I am sending a HUGE THANK YOU to Vada Kelley and Estland Design!

Valley AIDS Network, Harrisonburg

Other changes at VAN include significant staffing transitions. Our original testing coordinator Oumar Sacko has moved on to grad school, and longtime staff member and Medical Case Manager Kim Yoder has also moved on to new opportunities. Oumar and Kim contributed significantly to the growth and success of VAN and I will miss their presence in our office. The departure of loved staff members is never easy but on the flip side it has given VAN an opportunity to search for new talented people who will help us grow in exciting and different ways.

We have been incredibly lucky to find three new staff members who bring diverse skill sets and backgrounds to their work with VAN. Our new Testing Coordinator, Paloma Saucedo, began in July of 2015 and has already started to improve our rapid testing program. New Medical Case Managers Renzo Ramella and Aura Moreno began working with us in October of 2015 and I am confident that much like their predecessors they will quickly learn the ropes and begin making lasting connections with the clients they will serve.

Good things are happening at the Valley AIDS Network. We are growing and adapting to the changing needs of our community.   As we move into a new calendar year I expect to see us expand our services, increase our outreach and educational efforts, and continue to provide crucial services to people in need throughout the Central Shenandoah Valley.