CAN Community Health at Lutheran Social Services Welcomes Dr. Dana Barnes to Staff

Dr. Dana Barnes

Sarasota, Florida (January 23, 2018) – CAN Community Health, celebrating its 26th year serving the needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Florida, is proud to announce that Dr. Dana Barnes has joined the staff of CAN Community Health at Lutheran Social Services in Jacksonville, Florida.

Dana Barnes, MD, was born in Jacksonville, Florida and is a graduate of The University of Miami School of Medicine. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at Halifax Health in Daytona Beach where she was co-president of the Residents’ Association and resident representative to the Florida Academy of Family Physicians.

Dr. Barnes is an HIV Specialist with the American Academy of HIV Medicine and a Board Certified Family Physician. She has also earned the designation of Fellow from the American Academy of Family Physicians.

“I am thrilled to join CAN. It is an honor to work for a healthcare organization that truly cares for the whole person and the whole community,” stated Barnes.

Dr. Barnes was appointed by the mayor as a representative to the HIV Planning Council for two consecutive terms, from June 2013 through February 2018. During this time, she also served on three committees and was the chairperson of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. In March of 2015, the State Surgeon General named Dr. Barnes as a physician representative to the Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery. She also served on the Duval County Community Health Improvement Plan Steering Committee.

President and CEO of CAN Community Health, Richard E. Carlisle, said, “Jacksonville has the 3rd highest reported HIV/AIDS cases in Florida. I am confident that the city will benefit greatly from Dr. Barnes’ extensive HIV experience and overall medical expertise.”

For more information about CAN Community Health at Lutheran Social Services located at 4615 Philips Highway in Jacksonville, Florida, please call (904) 508-0710.

CAN Announces 2018 Board of Directors

Jackie Rogers- New Board Member

Dr. Stephen Covert-New Board Member

Sarasota, Florida (January 22, 2018) – CAN Community Health is proud to announce a new slate of members for its Board of Directors. The board members will work closely with CAN president and CEO, Richard E. Carlisle, to establish the overall goals and provide specific direction for the organization.

The CAN Board will be led by 2018 Chair, Bob Trisolini. He is replacing 2017 Chair, Eric Snider. Leona Collesano was announced as Vice Chair. Phil Baker was announced as Treasurer and Bob Nosal will remain in his role as Secretary. Stephen Covert will serve as Assistant Secretary.

Rev. Demetrius Jifunza, Nati Shabat and Meadow L. Walker will remain as CAN board members. In addition, Dr. Stephen Covert and Jackie Rogers were appointed as new members to the board.

Dr. Stephen Covert proudly serves as the principal at Pine View School and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of South Florida.  Jackie Rogers has been a Co-Chair of CAN’s gala CANDance for eight years and is actively involved in the Sarasota community, working professionally as a producer and marketing consultant nationwide.

“I am honored to have been offered the opportunity to become Chair of this wonderful organization,” said newly-elected Chairman Bob Trisolini. “CAN stands for hope and we CAN make a difference. Now is the time to change stigma to compassion!”

CAN has served the needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Sarasota, surrounding counties, the state of Florida and now South Carolina for more than 26 years. CAN seeks to create hope and healing for the HIV/AIDS community, combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, increase knowledge and prevention, remove obstacles to care, and continue essential HIV/AIDS research.

CAN Community Health Expands into Jacksonville & Partners with Lutheran Social Services

Sarasota, Florida (January 10, 2018) – CAN Community Health is proud to announce a joint venture with Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida (LSS) in Jacksonville.

The new clinic is housed inside the Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida building at 4615 Philips Highway and opened on January 10th, 2018.

President/CEO of CAN Community Health, Richard Carlisle is “proud and excited about this partnership and looks forward to bringing its medical team to serve the entire community through its federal and state programs. Florida is currently #1 in the country for newly diagnosed infections of HIV and Jacksonville ranks 3rd in the state.  The numbers are still rising so there is still a lot of work to be done!”

LSS has been providing HIV patients with wrap-around services for thousands of clients since 1992. CAN is proud to serve Florida with 27 medical clinics throughout Florida and South Carolina. The Jacksonville location will offer medical care including HIV and hepatitis C and STD testing as well as education, prevention, case management, mental health services, PrEP information, shared housing programs and additional services.

“This partnership is outstanding news for our clients and the community,” stated LSS President and CEO Mary Strickland. “We’re proud of the way our AIDS Care and Education (ACE) Program connects those living with HIV/AIDS with the necessary resources to not only function, but to thrive in the community.  Adding access to a CAN medical facility within our campus makes that mission easier to achieve, and is a great benefit for our clients.”

For scheduling or to find out more information about the Jacksonville clinic, please call (904) 508-0710 or (844) 922-2777.

CAN Community Health Welcomes New Doctors to its Broward House Locations in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Dr. Michael Sension

Dr. Ana Puga

Dr. Sheetal Sharma

Sarasota, Florida (December 1, 2017) – CAN Community Health celebrating its 26th year serving the needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Florida, is proud to announce that Dr. Ana Puga, Dr. Sheetal Sharma and Dr. Michael Sension have joined CAN in a partnership with Broward House at two clinics in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Dr. Ana Puga was formerly the medical director of the Comprehensive Family AIDS Program (CFAP) at Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center. Dr. Puga received her medical training at Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. She completed her residency in Pediatrics and fellowship in Infectious Diseases as well as a postgraduate National Institutes of Health research fellowship in HIV at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.

Dr. Sheetal Sharma offers more than 25 years of experience in HIV medicine, internal medicine and research. He was formerly the medical director at the Center for Special Immunology (HIV) in Ft. Lauderdale and received his medical training at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. He completed his residency in General Surgery, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Surgical Intensive Care at the McGill University Teaching Hospital in Montreal, Canada and a residency in Diagnostic Radiology at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. He also completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Mercy-Fitzgerald Medical Center/Medical College of Pennsylvania, Darby, Philadelphia, PA.

Dr. Michael Sension was formerly the medical director in HIV Clinical Research for Broward Health in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Dr. Sension received his medical training at the John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. He completed his internship and residency at Cornell University, New York Hospital. He also received additional Clinical Fellowship Training in Infectious Diseases at National Institute of Health NIAID in Bethesda, Maryland.

“I’m excited to have individuals with the credentials and experience of Dr. Puga, Dr. Sharma and Dr. Sension working for our organization,” stated CAN president and CEO, Richard E. Carlisle. “They provide a great blend of education and knowledge with a strong passion for providing the best patient care.”

For more information about the Broward House West location at 4101 NW 3rd Court, Suite 9, Plantation, Florida, please call (754) 701-6920 or the Broward House Central location at 1726 SE 3rd Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, FL, please call (754) 701-6911.

Community AIDS Network (CAN) Announces Name Change to CAN Community Health

Sarasota, Florida (December 1, 2017) – Community AIDS Network (CAN) president and CEO, Richard E. Carlisle, announced this week that CAN has transitioned its brand identity from the paired “Comprehensive Care Center, Inc.” dba “Community AIDS Network” to a singular brand: “CAN Community Health.”

The new brand is the result of a team effort by CAN’s senior leadership from all aspects of the nonprofit – operations, clinical services, advancement, compliance, communications and more.

Carlisle, in making the announcement, said, “This brand refreshing is long overdue. For some time now, we’ve understood that patients will be reluctant to be seen going in and out of a building with a sign that says, ‘Community AIDS Network.’ We never want to be in a position where we lose a patient because of the sign on the building. Our name may have changed, but our mission remains the same. This new, unified brand brings it all together in a way that everyone – patients, staff, donors, patrons and volunteers – can embrace.”
Another aspect of the brand refresh is a new web URL. Effective with the launch of the new branding system, the CAN website will have a new address:

Bob Trisolini, CAN Chairman of the Board, said, “Removing the word AIDS helps remove the stigma from those living with HIV/AIDS because CAN is so much more. Our mission now includes the fight against hepatitis C and other STDs. The word CAN stands for hope and we CAN make a difference. Now is the time to change stigma to compassion!”

AIDS Walk Sarasota-Manatee 2017

Community AIDS Network (CAN) Hosting 11th Annual AIDS Walk Sarasota-Manatee 2017

(November 7, 2017) On Saturday, December 2, 2017, CAN will host its annual AIDS Walk Sarasota-Manatee to raise awareness and funds for HIV. Several hundred people are expected to participate in the 11th annual AIDS Walk. This year’s walk celebrates the many people in Florida and beyond who have fought and will continue to fight the spread of HIV.

AIDS Walk Sarasota-Manatee will begin at 8 a.m. in beautiful J.D. Hamel Park in downtown Sarasota, continue over the Ringling Bridge, and lead back to the park for shared testimonials, free food, and raffle prizes.  The cost to walk is only $10 and participants can register through midnight on November 27, 2017 at  or on the day of the event.

CAN will be providing free, confidential rapid HIV tests and education about living with HIV. School teams, local businesses, families, and even friendly pets are all invited to participate in this important community event. Suncoast News Network (SNN) will have a walking team and Anchor, Nicole Sommavilla along with Chief Meteorologist, Justin Mosely will be at the walk to participate in the opening ceremonies.

CAN has served the needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Sarasota, surrounding counties, the state of Florida and now South Carolina for more than 26 years. CAN seeks to create hope and healing for the HIV/AIDS community, combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, increase knowledge and prevention, remove obstacles to care, and continue essential HIV/AIDS research. Overall, CAN’s mission is to provide a continuum of medical, social, and education services essential to the health and well-being of those living with HIV/AIDS.

For more information about participation, sponsorship opportunities, and the mission of CAN, please visit or call Jessly Santiago at (941) 366-0461 ext. 14402. CAN will be offering free booths to vendors at the walk. Call Jessly to make your reservation.

Community AIDS Network (CAN) Recognized as one of the ‘Best Places to Work’ in 2017

Sarasota, Florida (November 7, 2017) – Community AIDS Network (CAN) is honored to announce that it was voted as one of the Herald-Tribune’s 2017 “Best Places to Work.” The winners of the “Best Places to Work” award were voted on by company employees. When the survey was distributed, CAN had a total of 134 employees, 82 of whom were located within Sarasota and Manatee counties. The organization’s scores were high enough to secure 9th place out of 25 companies in the competition.

The Herald-Tribune hired the Best Companies Group, an independent research firm that conducted the surveys, analyzed the data and determined the winners and rankings. The employee survey consisted of in-depth statements that employees rated on a five-point scale, from “Agree Strongly” to “Disagree Strongly.” It also included seven demographic and two open-ended questions.

CAN recently celebrated its 26th year serving the needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Florida. CAN boasts 27 clinics in locations throughout Florida and continues to grow, most recently expanding to Columbia, South Carolina. To date, CAN serves more than 15,000 patients within the network.

“We treat people like I would treat my family member, my brother or my sister. We treat our employees well, and they treat our customers well,” stated Richard E. Carlisle, CAN president and CEO. “I think there’s a united effort among us that we all have one mission and we’re very mission-driven.”

CAN Partners with Broward House to Open 27th Clinic

(November 3, 2017) –Community AIDS Network (CAN), serving the greater Sarasota area for more than 26 years, and Broward House are pleased to announce a partnership to expand HIV medical care and wrap-around social services in Broward County.

CAN and Broward House will now provide individuals the opportunity to receive medical care, mental health support, substance abuse treatment, case management and housing in addition to providing testing and prevention programs for HIV, STD’s and hepatitis C.

Broward House CEO, Stacy Hyde states “An HIV diagnosis effects many facets of an individual’s life and the numbers impacted remain alarming. A partnership with CAN’s specialized HIV medical care and our extensive wrap around services can contribute to the overall health of our community.”

Broward County continues to be one of the leading areas nationally for newly infected individuals.  Through targeted prevention and education efforts, as well as testing, and working with HIV infected patients to control their viral load and reduce the risk of transmission, the agencies are confident their combined efforts will have a positive impact in access and retention to health care.

“We are excited along with our partner, Broward House to now be serving Broward county to continue our work to provide care and services for those living with HIV, hepatitis C, STDs and other diseases,” stated Richard E. Carlisle, CAN president and CEO.

Broward House and CAN will be announcing services and the opening of locations soon.

Donna Koffman-CANDance 017Winner

Suncoast Celebrities Hit the Floor for CANDance 2017

Sarasota, Florida (November 2, 2017) – On Saturday, October 21, 2017 the Community AIDS Network (CAN) held their 18th annual CANDance competition. This exciting event is Sarasota’s version of “Dancing with the Stars” as five local celebrities are paired with a professional dancer and prepare a dance routine to perform for event attendees.

This year’s celebrity dancers were Ben Bobick, Dr. Stephen P. Covert, Rebecca Hanson, Donna Koffman and Clark West. The celebrity emcees were “The Bobs,” Bob Trisolini and Bob Nosal.

The enthusiastic audience was prepared for the main event as cheers and applause filled the ballroom to welcome the dancers. The choreographed performances captivated the crowd. The music was electrifying and the costumes were dazzling. Donna Koffman took home both mirror-ball trophies for “Fundraising” and “Best Dance.”

Sarasota’s “most exciting evening” raised over $240,000 for CAN’s Patient Care Fund.

“This year’s CANDance exceeded our expectations and I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. It was a night filled with compassion, inspiration and hope.  Thanks to our sponsors, committee and guests for making the event such a success!” said Richard E. Carlisle, CAN president and CEO.

The 2017 CANDance event co-chairs were Penny Hill, Jackie Rogers and Emily Walsh assisted by CAN’s Volunteer Fundraising Committee including Leona Collesano, Janet Hunter, Craig Burdick, Bob Nosal, Bob Trisolini and Richard Carlisle.


Richard Carlisle Speaks at South Carolina Ribbon Cutting

CAN Expands Into South Carolina

Sarasota, Florida (October 18, 2017) – Community AIDS Network (CAN), celebrating its 26th year serving the needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Florida, is excited to announce their expansion into South Carolina.

“South Carolina ranks 8th in the nation in the U.S. and the capital, Columbia, ranks 5th in HIV in large part due to diagnoses among specific young adult populations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” stated Richard E. Carlisle, CAN president and CEO. “South Carolina not only maintains a concerning HIV epidemic, but Richland County (home of Columbia, the capital) is challenged by more than a thousand citizens who know their HIV positive status, but remain out of treatment and support.  We are determined to enhance services that attract them back to care and promote better health and well-being throughout Columbia, South Carolina.”

The new clinic will be housed at 1813 Laurel Street in Columbia, SC, within the newly named Joseph H. Neal (JHN) Wellness Center (formally the South Carolina HIV AIDS Council).  “The CAN clinic will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will provide care and services for those living with HIV, hepatitis C, STDs and other diseases,” said Richard E. Carlisle.

“We are thrilled to join forces with CAN as this innovative partnership has been a long-term vision of the Council since our creation 23 years ago,” according to Dr. Bambi Gaddist, Executive Director of the JHN Wellness Center.  “Together, both groups plan to enhance HIV prevention efforts while advancing the provision of high quality and culturally sensitive services throughout the Columbia area.  With the addition of the Comprehensive Care Clinic, the JHN Wellness Center will truly see its dream come true as a ‘one stop shop’ for quality medical care that dramatically breaks down barriers to service.”

The Columbia, SC location will offer medical care including HIV and hepatitis C services, HIV testing and screening for other sexually transmitted infections, health education, risk reduction prevention education, behavioral health, medical case management, support groups, LGBT programs and eventually psychiatric support and trans health services.

For scheduling or to find out more information about the Columbia, South Carolina clinic, please call (803) 849-8430.

CAN Seeking Nominations for 2017 Distinguished Service Awards

Sarasota, Florida (October 17, 2017) – In celebration of World AIDS Day, on Friday, December 1st, Community AIDS Network (CAN) will be hosting a World AIDS Day Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 pm at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex in Sarasota, FL.

At the event, CAN will present the 2017 Distinguished Service Awards to individuals active in the HIV/AIDS field and is currently seeking nominations for the awards. Nominees must work in Area 8 (Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee and/or Sarasota counties) and may be from the public or private sector.   Nominees may include physicians, nurses, clinical assistants, outreach workers, case managers, advocates, health educators, counselors, researchers, program managers/coordinators, pharmacists, public officials and other individuals active in the HIV/AIDS field.  Nominations will be accepted through November 10, 2017. A nomination form can be downloaded at: The award categories are advocate of the year; patient care provider of the year; case manager of the year; HIV/AIDS prevention and education efforts; and leadership.

To RSVP to the World AIDS Day Luncheon or to find out more information about the event or Distinguished Service Awards, please email Jessly at or call (941) 366-0461 ext. 10141.

CAN Expands into New Port Richey

Sarasota, Florida (October 3, 2017) – Community AIDS Network (CAN), celebrating its 26th year serving the needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Florida, is proud to announce a collaboration with Metro Health, Wellness and Community in New Port Richey, Florida.

The new clinic will be housed within the Metro location at 4747 US Highway 19, and will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We are excited along with our partner, Metro Health, Wellness and Community to now be serving the New Port Richey area to continue our work to provide care and services for those living with HIV, Hepatitis C, STDs and other diseases,” stated Richard E. Carlisle, CAN president and CEO. “CAN is busy expanding our prevention and care services to meet the needs of the city, and beyond. We will be able to serve our community even better by providing a full array of services and support to many more in need.”

The New Port Richey location will offer medical care including HIV and Hepatitis C services, HIV testing and prevention, behavioral health, case management, psychiatric services, LGBT programs, trans health and support groups.

For scheduling or to find out more information about the New Port Richey clinic, please call (727) 312-2040 or (727) 494-7625.

CAN PSA – Opioid Epidemic and HIV

July 27, 2017

A big thank you to the talent, some of whom stepped out of their comfort zone in an effort to raise awareness:  CEO Rick Carlisle, Chief of Program Services John Acevedo, Senior HIV Prevention Specialist Serena Miller, Administrative Assistant Keenan Jenkins, Chief Advancement Officer Peggy Calhoun, Peer Navigator Lyndsay Connors, and PrEP Navigator David White.


Palmetto Mayor Bryant Attends CAN Ribbon Cutting

July 28, 2017

Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant was present at a ribbon cutting presented by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce on Friday, July 28, 2017. A lifelong resident of Palmetto, Mayor Bryant has been involved in city government as a volunteer or elected official for over 30 years. Mayor Bryant expressed appreciation for the services CAN provides to the community in support of those with HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and STDs.

CAN and Mexican Consulate Community Event

Nadine Young, SNN
July 22, 2017

The Mexican Consulate and Community AIDS Network came together to help residents of the Palmetto community. “It’s the first time in this great city and I don’t believe how many Mexicans  community is here,” said Consul Juan Sabines Guerrero. Chief Executive of Program Services, John Acevedo says they are filling in a missing gap.   (Link to SNN Report)

To Fight the HIV Epidemic, We Need the Black Church

By Dr. Marjorie Innocent
Senior Director of Health Programs at the NAACP
July 18, 2017

Black Churches are more than places of worship. They are the vibrant hearts of the African-American community that bring the Gospel into our lives, inspire faith, grace, love and mercy and foster a deep commitment to service. For centuries, Black Churches and faith leaders have been at the forefront of the struggle for civil rights, including voting rights and the right to a quality education. And we need the Black Church’s leadership for another adversary: HIV.  (more…)

METV’s Your Suncoast Health with Alix Redmonde and Vilma Vega, MD

July 20, 2017

Vilma Vega, M.D., CAN’s Medical Director who practices out of Clearwater Comprehensive Care center breaks down everything you want to know about Hepatitis C.

Brenda M. Letts Achieves Board Certification

July 18, 2017

Comprehensive Care Center, Inc. dba Community AIDS Network (CAN) is proud to announce Brenda M. Letts, CMPE, Practice Administrator at the Comprehensive Care Center in St. Petersburg, has earned the professional designation of Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) by the American College of Medical Practice Executives, the certification entity of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). (more…)

Richard E. Carlisle Live on SNN Discussing 340B

SNN Newsroom
July 18, 2017

Community Aids Network CEO Rick Carlisle stopped by the studio to talk with Grant and Nicole.  (Link to SNN Report)

Free Testing by CAN on National HIV Testing Day

Samantha Sonner
June 27, 2017

The only way to know your HIV status is to get tested. According to the CDC, one in every 7 people living with HIV is unaware of their condition. HIV Prevention Specialist with the Community Aids Network Jimmy Laza says getting tested is the best way to prevent the spread of HIV. “It’s a 15 minute test,” Laza said. “It’s free of charge, and everyone should be able to go and participate and get tested,” Laza said. “And one of the reasons is, everyone wants to know his status.”  (Link to SNN Report)

National HIV Testing Day

SNN Newsroom
June 27, 2017

Today is national HIV testing day. John Acevedo of Community Aids Network, CAN, talks about the importance of getting tested for HIV.  Florida ranked #3 in the nation for HIV cases, but is #1 for newly diagnosed cases.

To find a testing centers near you visit: Results are available in as little as 15 minutes.  (Link to SNN Report)

Pride Month – Different Generations, Different Perspective

Nicole Sommavilla – SNN
June 21, 2017

Thousands of people are getting ready for this weekend’s St. Petersburg Pride Parade, but some Baby Boomers are concerned with a lack of interest and understanding in Millennials and Generation Z.

“The generation a step right before us did all the leg work, they did all the work that they needed to do to make it so that our generation right now can enjoy being alive,” says William Williams. He plans on marching in the 2017 St. Pete Pride Parade to show he’s no different than anyone else, but Williams knows it’s a right many people his age take for granted.  (Click for SNN story)



CAN Supports National HIV Testing Day

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, a day to get the facts, get tested, and get involved!

Community AIDS Network is supporting National HIV Testing Day by providing free testing at 4210 East State Road 64, Bradenton, FL 34208 from 3:00 to 7:00 pm.  (more…)

CAN Opens Palmetto Facility

June 10, 2017

CAN celebrated the opening of their newest facility on Florida’s Suncoast on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The stand-alone building sits prominently in the middle of Palmetto in Manatee County. The majority of CAN staff at this location are bilingual to accommodate the many Spanish speaking people in the community.  (Click for SNN story)

HIV Education and Testing Center Now Open in Palmetto

Erika Jackson, ABC7
June 10, 2017

Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, attacks the body’s immune system and can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus, or AIDS. Florida’s Community Aids Network is working to educate and diagnose Suncoast patients in its brand new facility.  (Click for ABC7 story)


Suncoast Man Inspires With His Transition Story

By Nicole Sommavilla – SNN
June 6, 2017

A Suncoast man is sharing his transition story hoping to help others. (Mason Fitzpatrick is a Prevention Specialist at Community AIDS Network)

“The only way that I can explain it is living 24 years and feeling like my entire body was chained to the ground, that no matter what I did or said, I was never free,” says Mason Fitzpatrick as he thinks back to his childhood. (more…)

Nati Shabat Joins CAN’s Board

June 6, 2017

Community AIDS Network (CAN) is proud to announce the appointment of Nati Shabat to its board of directors. (more…)

HIV Prevention, Statistics, Treatment and Hope on METV

June 5, 2017

CAN’s President and CEO Rick Carlisle, Chief of Program Services John Acevedo and Peer Program Manager Valerie Wojciechowicz discuss HIV prevention, statistics, treatment and hope on METV.  (METV YouTube Link)

June is Pride Month – A Look at LGBTQIA

By Nicole Sommavilla – SNN
June 5, 2017

June is National Pride Month and the LGBT community is growing. What was once a four letter term is now seven. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, “Maybe even the last 5 or 8 years some of the other letters were added,” says Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Clark West. (Click here for SNN report.)

Potential Budget Cuts May Affect CAN and Clients

May 24, 2017

CAN’s Chief of Program Services, John Acevedo, appears in report on SNN sharing valuable information on how budget cuts may affect CAN and our clients. (Click here for SNN report)

Introductions for CANDance 2017 Held

SNN, May 9, 2017

Introductions for CANDance 2017 were held Monday evening at a cocktail party at Michael’s On East. CANDance is the annual fundraiser for the Community Aids Network. It’s Sarasota’s version of, dancing with the stars, as local celebrities are paired with a professional dancer and prepare a dance routine for the event on October 21st. With their 26 clinics throughout Florida, can serves over 10,000 patients who are living with HIV/Aids. This year is the 18th annual CANDance, and it’s poised to be the best one yet.

This year’s local celebs include Pine View School’s Principal, a Lawyer and SNNTV’s own Ben Bobick!  (Click here for SNN report)

CAN is Stage Sponsor at Harvey Milk Festival

May 11 – 13, 2017
Five Points Park, Sarasota

Community AIDS Network is proud to be the stage sponsor for the Harvey Milk Festival, recognizing the organization’s efforts to support diversity and reject discrimination, promoting equality for LGBTQ people through supporting equal rights legislation. (more…)

HIV Prevention Drug – Experts Call It A Game Changer

By Nicole Sommavilla, SNN
May 3, 2017

SARASOTA – Experts are calling it a game changer. A drug designed not to treat HIV, but to protect someone from contracting it. More than 70 million diagnosed since the start of the epidemic. Still no cure for HIV, but with a preventative drug, there’s hope to stop the spread. It’s called PrEP.  Click here for SNN report.

Elliott Mitchell Joins CAN’s Board

April 27, 2017

Community AIDS Network (CAN), celebrating its 26th year serving the needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Florida, is proud to announce the appointment of Elliott Mitchell to its board of directors. (more…)

Hepatitis C Drugs Approved for Pediatric Use

Samantha Somer, SNN
April 26, 2017

Hepatitis-C is curable, but the youngest patients haven’t been able to benefit from groundbreaking treatment, until now. Hepatitis-C drugs were just approved by the FDA for pediatric use. Plenty of Public Service Announcements tell Baby Boomers to be tested for Hepatitis-C, but parents might not know kids can have it. “I have a 4-year-old son,” Patricia Dore said. “And he falls down and bleeds all the time, so I can understand it. It was a surprise to me, but I could totally understand where that would happen.” While her son may be too young for many of the risk factors for transmitting the disease, if he does get it as a teenager, new drugs were recently approved to cure the disease. “Can cure it? That’s amazing!” Dore said.  Click here for SNN Report.

Baby Boomers! You’re Especially at Risk for this Disease

Nicole Sommavilla, SNN
April 17, 2017

Calling all baby boomers. Doctors say you’re especially at risk for a disease that many times, comes without symptoms. Approximately 3.5 million people are infected, 75 percent are baby boomers. We’re talking about hepatitis C.  “That’s first because we didn’t know about the virus in early years, in early decades, and unfortunately many people in that age category did things in their youth that might have led to get infected,” says Dr. Stephen Nicholas, Chief Medical Director at Community AIDS Network.  Click here for to SNN Report

“The First Time Club”

March 31, 2017

As reported by SNN, “The First Time Club” provides entertainment with a message. Click here for full story.


Testing for Liver Damage Without a Biopsy

Samantha Sonner, SNN
March 30, 2017

SNN’s Samantha Sonner reports on the benefits of using CAN’s mobile non-invasive liver Fibroscan unit as an alternative to invasive liver biopsies. (Click here for SNN report)


Non-Profit Spotlight – Community AIDS Network

The Bradenton Times
May 30, 2017
Dennis Maley

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Florida leads the nation in new HIV diagnoses, with young people and seniors among those most at risk. The Community AIDS Network (CAN), a locally-based non-profit, has been on a mission for over 25 years to reduce outbreaks in our community, while providing essential services to those living with the disease.  Link to article (more…)

FOX13 HIV Drug Segment

FOX13 segment with Dr. Joette Giovinco
March, 2017

CAN’s Debbie Sergi-Laws and Dr. Brian Elliott appear in a FOX13 segment on HIV drugs, and the experimental drug called Pro 140.

Community AIDS Network Supports Manatee Pride 2017

Valerie Fisher
February 17, 2017

The LGBTQ Pride event, fundraiser for Prism Youth Initiative, is being held March 18th at the Bradenton Riverwalk on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Click here for more information.


Darwin Brewing Makes Special Beer for Manatee Pride

The Manatee County Pride Festival returns to Bradenton next week, sponsored by Community AIDS Network, and this year it will have its own drink for adults. (more…)

Women Raising Awareness about HIV

March 8, 2017

The topics of HIV and sexual health were covered by women on the Suncoast. Community Aids Network and the Sarasota Y-Achievers collaborated Tuesday night at an event at Michael’s on East. Attendees at the event learned from Serena Miller, Senior Prevention Specialist at CAN, who discussed the importance of women discussing matters of sexual health with their daughters. Dining with My Daughter is part of the 5th annual National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day. Click here for the complete story.

Challenge of Finding a Dentist when HIV Positive

March 6, 2017

Finding a good dentist when you are HIV positive presents one of the biggest challenges. CAN’s Debbie Sergie-Laws, Peer Navigator, and John Acevedo, Chief of Program Services, speaks of stigma to Nicole Sommavilla of SNN, the Suncoast News Network. Click here for the full story.

CAN’s Miguel Nieves Acknowledged in USF Article

By Rich Shopes, USF
February 24, 2017

Miguel Nieves hadn’t given much thought to the non-profit sector, but when an opportunity came up at the Community AIDS Network (CAN), part of the Comprehensive Care Center, the USF Sarasota-Manatee MBA student and USF alum (Class of ’11) started thinking seriously about a career change.  (more…)

Do Reporting Laws Stop the Spread of HIV?

February 15, 2017

As reported by SNN, Florida Law makes it a misdemeanor or even a felony to knowingly have an HIV or another STD and have sex with another person without first disclosing your status. To see the full report, click here.

CAN’s Richard E. Carlisle Interviewed on SNN

February 5, 2017

CAN’s president and CEO, Rick Carlisle, explained in a live interview on the Suncoast News Network how CAN offers hope to those living with HIV and AIDS. Click here for the full SNN report.

CAN’s Outreach Team Featured on SNN

February 5, 2017

CAN’s Outreach Team of HIV Prevention Specialists and educators recently participated in a Health Fair at Fredd Atkins Park in Sarasota promoting National Black HIV Awareness and offering HIV and health tests. Click here for full SNN report.

CAN Supports National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 5, 2017

It’s a disease that can affect each and every one of us, but one group finds itself especially hard hit. National Black HIV Awareness Day is February 7th. It’s a disease once associated with gay men, but Serena Miller with Community AIDS Network says it doesn’t discriminate based on sex, skin color, or culture. “HIV affects everyone in every community in every racial background,” says Miller. Click here for full SNN report.


CAN Supports NFAN’s 12th Annual Dining Out For Life Event

February 1, 2017

Dine Out, Fight AIDS

Participating Jacksonville restaurants will contribute 25% or more of their day’s food, beverage and liquor sales to support Northeast Florida AIDS Network (NFAN) on April 27, 2017. (more…)