Since the 1980s, around 80 million people have become infected with HIV, and over 30 million people have died from AIDS-related illness.* Dr. Thanes Vanig and his team at Phoenix’s Spectrum Medical are dedicating their careers to getting these numbers down to zero. With Gateway Bank as their banking partner, Spectrum is helping reduce transmission, prevent loss of life, and enable people who have been infected to live completely normal lives.
For over 25 years, Spectrum Medical has provided compassionate and inclusive, state-of-the-art care for LGBTQ+, straight, and non-binary individuals. After working with a big, national bank since the beginning, Dr. Vanig and his business partner, Peter Taylor, applied for funding to start a new non-profit contract pharmacy arrangement for HIV patients. Despite Spectrum’s perceived creditworthiness, the situation didn’t fit the bank’s typical lending profile, so they denied the application.
Spectrum’s team was discouraged, but when they reached out to Gateway Bank, they were relieved to find out they not only could get the funding they needed, but also get it even faster from a team who truly cared about their work. After talking with President James Christensen and his staff, Spectrum applied for a line of credit and was quickly approved. They were so impressed with Gateway’s speed and service that they transferred all of their bank accounts as well.
“Gateway is a no-hassle bank. Anything I want or need gets done the same day. I can email or call, and they take care of it right away,” Dr. Vanig says.
Spectrum’s mobile health screening unit. Source: Facebook
The funding went to immediate use, helping Dr. Vanig and his team fulfill their contract pharmacy start-up costs. It has enabled Spectrum to purchase a mobile unit for valley-wide health screenings and invest in several exciting local and global initiatives. Dr. Vanig conceived the State’s START (State of Arizona Rapid Treatment) Program. Rapid Start is program that helps people who have been diagnosed with HIV get on medication upon diagnosis, which has proven very effective in reducing transmission.
Dr. Vanig (left) and the Fast-Track Cities Ad-Hoc Committee. Source: phoenix.gov
All of Spectrum’s work contributes to one central goal: end the HIV epidemic. Testing is getting better and becoming more widespread, and with preventative medications and treatments, transmission and fatalities can be greatly reduced.
“We can end the HIV epidemic through prevention, testing, treatment, and reducing the stigma,” Dr. Vanig says. “Our goal is ‘90-90-90-0.’ We want 90% of people who are HIV positive to know their status, 90% of people who know their positive status to be on medication, and 90% of people on medication to be undetectable. We can only do that if there is zero stigma.”
Gateway is proud to support Spectrum as they dedicate their lives to saving others’ lives. To learn more about their meaningful work and how you can help, visit spectrummedicalcareaz.com.