Gary Lacasse became the Executive Director of the Canadian AIDS Society in 2015, with the goal of meeting the ever-changing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. After serving as the Executive Director of Maison Plein Coeur, one of Quebec’s largest HIV service organizations, he joined CAS at a pivotal moment: when we needed new and engaging leadership to fulfill the needs of our community.
Before working in non-profits, Gary spent over two decades in the private sector and was Strategic Director in sales and marketing at the end of his career there. But after deciding to shift his professional priorities entirely, he redirected his focus to the not-for-profit sector.
By guiding organizations with his financial and communications experience, Gary was able to lend his knowledge to a number of groups, including: Quebec Health and Wellbeing Commission, COCQ-sida, The Council for Quebec Gays & Lesbians, the Tremblant Chamber of Commerce, Fondation Tremblant.
Gary also has been involved in different research projects; CHIWOS’ Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study, UQAM-Plurielles, Stigma Index and the development of Medical Guidelines for Cannabis and Chronic Pain Research.
Through Gary’s tenure as Executive Director, and previously as Chair of the Board, Gary has overseen and contributed to key projects delivered by CAS including the development of a national HIV Testing Day (now week), the Medical Use of Cannabis Webinar Series, The ‘Greater Involvement of People with HIV/AIDS’ training Toolkits, Clinical Guidelines for Cannabis and Chronic Pain, and many other meaningful projects. Over his career, Gary has been an advocate for people living with HIV, human rights, palliative care and equitable access to care.
National Programs and Fundraising Manager
National Harm Reduction Manager
Patrick Wright is the current National Harm Reduction Manager for the Canadian AIDS Society. He holds a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from the University of Ottawa and a master's degree in health promotion from Dalhousie University. Patrick is co-chair of our taskforce to develop clinical practice guidelines for the use of cannabinoid-based medicines for the management of chronic pain and co-morbidities. Additionally, Patrick is leading our youth sexual health capacity building campaign with a national steering committee. He also works in collaboration with CAPUD (Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs) to support harm reduction initiatives and fight the opioid crisis in Canada.