Gary F. Spinner has spent his career working to improve the health of underserved people, as a health care provider, advocate, and administrator. As a paramedic in the late 1970s, he was co-director of a free emergency ambulance service in the South Bronx where he worked as a Paramedic and trained neighborhood residents to become emergency medical technicians. After graduating from the Yale Physician Associate Program in 1983, he spent 25 years caring for patients at Hill Health Center in New Haven, where he also served as Chief Operating Officer. He has cared for people with HIV and AIDS since the start of the HIV epidemic, and received his credentials as an HIV Specialist from the American Academy of HIV Medicine.
With a passion for caring for persons with HIV/AIDS, he began work in 2009 at Southwest Community Health Center in Bridgeport where he currently cares for more than 450 patients with HIV, as well as treating patients with Hepatitis C. As an advocate for his patients, he helped Connecticut become the first state in the nation to begin offering Hepatitis C medications to all Medicaid recipients infected with Hepatitis C. He believes everyone with Hepatitis C should be treated, and has spoken out against any restrictions on treating people with Hepatitis C who use drugs. He is a national speaker on HIV Prevention and PrEP, a medication to help prevent HIV for people who have high risk of becoming infected with HIV and has published articles on this. He is the author of a chapter on Diversity and Cultural Competence in the 2017 textbook Fundamentals of HIV Medicine.
Gary has served on a number of non-profit boards including the Columbus House Board of Directors for 24 years, was Chair of the New Haven Homeless Healthcare Network, served as Chairperson of the City of New Haven Homeless Commission, and was chair of the New Haven Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. For 15 years he was a board member and officer of Community Health Network, the Administrative Service Organization that administers the Medicaid Program. He is currently an officer on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of HIV Medicine.
Gary has received numerous awards, including the Jack Cole Society Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Yale Physician Associate Program, the Outstanding Physician Assistant of the Year award from the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Charles Huntington Award from the Connecticut Public Health Association, as well as awards from the Connecticut General Assembly and the City of New Haven.
He lectures on HIV treatment, Prevention, Sexual Health, and Chronic Hepatitis C at multiple academic institutions, and throughout the U.S.
As an advocate for improving health care in the developing world, he has global health experience in Nicaragua, Haiti, and Uganda.
He believes that everyone should have access to health care and that racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in health will only eliminated by strong advocacy for social justice.