Michael Smithwick
From the Desk of Our
(Retiring) Executive Director

Winter Solstice.  The shortest, darkest day of the year.  Frankly, if it weren't for the festive holiday gatherings, comfort food, seasonal music and shared traditions, I'd find this time of year a bit depressing.  But the holidays sustain us and serve to mark the promise of longer, warmer days ahead as we move forward to 2017.  In short, we celebrate the return of light and warmth and hope.
With my long-planned retirement starting at the end of December, this year's solstice feels even more important to me than usual.  It heralds the end of my busy daily experiences with Maitri and the start of more leisure, less structured time with my husband, family and loved ones.  I look forward to that, but will forever cherish the amazing six years I had the honor to serve as Maitri's Executive Director.
I will never forget all the compassionate volunteers, the amazing staff, our hard-working board members and generous donors and supporters.  So many of you have touched my heart.  Of course, I will also forever remember the many brave residents challenged by advanced AIDS who arrived at Maitri under the most stressful circumstances of their lives to experience our care and our love. 
For the remaining days of 2016, I am busy here at Maitri passing on important information to our next Executive Director, Michael Sorensen.  I couldn't be happier with the selection of Michael for this important position and look forward to helping transition Maitri's leadership in the smoothest way possible. 
The season is changing at Maitri - in more ways than one - but our commitment to the most compassionate care possible for those who may otherwise suffer and die alone will continue.

We have lots of news to share in this issue:  
Please consider forwarding this newsletter to a friend who may not yet know us. As always, thank you so much for your generous support of Maitri's programs benefiting our residents who struggle every day with advanced AIDS.

Warm Wishes for the holidays from all of us at Maitri.


Michael Smithwick

When was the last time
you told someone you
loved them?

As I leave my hometown of Portland, Oregon, for brighter days in San Francisco and Maitri, I have the opportunity to say it daily, sometimes even hourly: "I love you." I have always been a "softie" when it comes to love. My goodbyes are evidence of this as we hug and kiss and tear up. Meaning comes from relationships where love is evident. I have a lot of love.

I am lucky to be leaving a loving community to start new work in a loving city and at (a) love-centered agency­: Maitri. In my interviews, it was apparent the staff and board love the work they do. This drew me in. When I toured and met some of the residents, love was present. Maybe it's unique to knowing you are approaching the last days of life that love becomes so easily given. But it was affirming and true.

I am excited to join the Maitri legacy as the new executive director. This work brings full circle, the efforts that I hold most important: fighting for access to healthcare, a cure for HIV/AIDS, youth and family resiliency, and self-acceptance. My hope as a professional is to bring love into the work I do at Maitri.

In this, my first time writing to Maitri friends, I ask you to think about the last time you told someone, or showed someone, you love them. Think about how you felt and how you hoped the receiver of your love felt. At this time of year, we are in a great environment to think along these lines.

Now, consider how empty your life would be without this love. Abysmal? Many of those we serve at Maitri may only have had intermittent love expressed toward them before they enter our halls. The love offered by staff and volunteers is a vital part of the healing that happens here. I am grateful to be able to join in this effort and I invite you to join as well. We always have a need for volunteers and donors. Your time, talent and treasure are gifts received with love at Maitri. We hope you will continue to express it, joyfully. 

Michael Sorensen, MPA

Michael Sorensen, MPA, has most recently served as the executive director of health centers at the National University of National Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

He oversaw the business and community affairs of its 20 academic health centers, which offer integrative primary care and classical Chinese medicine. He has a Masters in Public Administration from Portland State University's Hatfield School of Government and received a bachelor's degree in business, psychology and communications from Marylhurst University in Oregon.

During his career, Sorensen has provided a range of services to many organizations, including as Director of Development & Communications at the Cascade AIDS Project and helping the Coalition of Community Health Clinics expand healthcare safety-net services. He has raised more than $20 million in the last decade for the Native American Rehabilitation Association, Native American Youth and Family Center, and most recently for Cascade AIDS Project, among others.

Board Spotlight & Changes

Kevin WeWerka
Pierre-Cedric Crouch
Maitri wishes to thank Kevin Wewerka and Pierre-Cedric Crouch for their years of service on the Maitri Board of Directors. Kevin joined our board in 2010 as Treasurer and remained in that role until his recent move to France. Pierre joined the Maitri board in 2012 and was instrumental in implementing our new nursing care model. Pierre will shift his focus to his demanding duties as Director of Nursing at Magnet, a San Francisco AIDS foundation program. Maitri is grateful for Kevin and Pierre's service, friendship and compassion.

Walter Paisley, Treasurer
 Jill Stockwell, Development Chair
Mike Niemeyer, Board President
With Kevins's departure to Paris,  Walter Parsley  has become the new Treasurer to the Board of Directors. Board member,  Jill Stockwell will take on the role of Development Chair in 2017. Maitri is also excited to welcome Lindsay Faeder and Jeffrey Sallot to our Board of Directors this year. They both serve on the development committee and helped support our Bliss 2016 Gala as major sponsors. Mike Niemeyer was appointed new board president effective July 2016.

Lindsay Faeder_ Development and Bliss Gala Planning Committees Member
Lindsay Faeder brings valuable firsthand experience in due diligence, building and managing high-performing teams and championing strategic initiatives to Maitri. She is particularly adept at identifying the cultural and behavioral dynamics at play  in organizations, allowing her to gain  buy-in for organizational change. Her broad world view comes from diverse experiences: teaching HIV/AIDS education in Tanzania, opening a call center in India and building a strategic plan for an NGO  in Jordan. 

Outside of work, Lindsay, who has a passion for helping others transition through life, believes change happens from within and spends her free time coaching those closest to her. She holds 
an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA in Sociology from the University of Virginia. 

She first joined Maitri as a direct service volunteer two years ago after completing volunteer training. From a young age, she's held the belief that all people deserve compassion and care.

Jeffrey Sallot
Jeffrey Sallot joined the Maitri board last month after serving as a volunteer throughout 2016. Jeffrey was first introduced to Maitri by his husband Dr. Winston Vaughan and both have been avid supporters of Maitri over the past six years. He relocated to San Francisco from New York in 2011, where he volunteered briefly at the Center for HIV Law & Policy.

Serving as a patient liaison, Jeffrey began his career in healthcare in 1987 in Columbus, Ohio. While there he earned his Bachelor of Nursing degree from Capital University in 1993. Until 1995 he cared for HIV+ and AIDS patients at the Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis. In the late 1990s he actively supported AIDS organizations while in Washington, DC.
Jeffrey moved into various leadership roles in the pharmaceutical industry before deciding to attend law school in 2008.  While at Tulane Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana Jeffrey continued his support of those living with HIV / AIDS.  He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Law and Sexuality and supported the AIDS walk and other causes related to the stigma of living with HIV.  After graduating from law school Jeffrey moved briefly to the NYC area before accepting a position at Gilead Sciences where he was responsible for reviewing and approving commercial and medical pieces related to products approved to treat and prevent HIV. 
Most recently Jeffrey served as a compliance professional for Genentech.  Jeffrey is excited to join the board and looks forward to sharing his years of knowledge and experience.

Resident Spotlight 
Erma first arrived at Maitri a decade ago, very sick with advanced AIDS.

"Maitri was a place where I could get the urgent care I needed to get back on my feet and keep living. Everyone was so supportive of me and my family over the past 10 years. I'm happy to say I am now much stronger and still alive - all because of the Maitri family."
When Erma arrived at Maitri in 2006 she was frail and weak, sick with advanced AIDS. But our staff was able to stabilize her, nurturing her back to good health after several months of our signature 24-hour care. But in 2015, Erma experienced severe medical complications from hepatitis C which had damaged her liver so she returned to Maitri under the direct request of her doctor.
"Maitri saved my life twice. And both times 
they helped me get healthy and 
return home to my family."

Today Erma is back at home again  and able to celebrate Christmas this year together with her family.

Erma discusses how receiving care at Maitri has made a world of difference in her life.

"My favorite thing at Maitri was bingo
night with friends and volunteers. And this
Christmas holiday season is especially
beautiful... I am truly grateful for all the
gifts and love that I have received."

New Faces at Maitri

Catherine Vo, Cook

David Tran, LVN

Scott Walker, LVN

Natasha Taylor, CNA

Binta Diakite, CNA

Welcome to our Maitri family. We are glad to have you with us!

Michael Smithwick with Board Member Lindsay Faeder

Holiday Open House

Maitri had our holiday open house on Saturday, December 17, and we had 300 guests including Scott Weiner, Mark Leno, Beth Feingold from Academy of Friends, Santa Claus (John Campbell), Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc., and our new Executive Director Michael Sorensen. Special thanks to Jason Park and Ben Prince, Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus and William Sauerland, Andre Dos Santos Morgan for performing at the event. Thank you all for coming and celebrating this holiday season with our residents and staff. 

Oakland-East Bay Gay Men's Chorus

Toni, Mark Leno and Michael
New ED Michael Sorensen with Board Members Mike Niemeyer and Jill Stockwell
Ben Prince and Jason Park

Board Member Chris Harris and 
Consumer Advisory Board (CAB)

On December 2, Chris Harris, Vice-President of Maitri's Board of Directors and the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) for the City's Ryan White Part D Grant, met at Maitri and collaborated with residents to help find ways to implement effective patient services and programs.

Board Member, Chris Harris (center) with her CAB member

Michael Smithwick with Andrew from M|Spa, San Franscisco's premier spa for men.

M|Spa Shows Its Support

M|Spa SF has got our backs. A ndrew, from M|Spa SF, generously donated eight beautiful robes to Maitri residents in December. We thank you! 

To learn more about the many  wonderful services M|Spa SF offers, please visit

Dream Foundation and Hospice by the Bay Are a Winning Combination

Anne-Marie, Michael Smithwick and Susan Canavan present the winning travel gift package to Maitri resident Will. 

Many thanks to the Dream Foundation (hotel stay and $300) and Hospice by the Bay ($250) for giving one lucky Maitri resident a Dream Trip to Monterey, CA to enjoy a whale-watching expedition. The staff at Maitri was happy to make the presentation to Will. Check out some of the amazing photos. Will took on his trip.
Resident Will takes pic of a whale in Monterey California 

Resident Will takes pic of a seal and handlers.


Each year Maitri celebrates Thanksgiving with the residents and their families with a special dinner prepared by Ann Kong and her staff. The atmosphere is filled with love and sharing and fun activities.

Toni Newman with AOF Board Chair, Gil Padia, and AOF Board Member, Beth Feingold 

Celebrating with Academy of Friends

Maitri joined Academy of Friends for a celebration at their 2016 Holiday Party held at Williams Sonoma-Union Square earlier this month. Maitri has been chosen by Academy of Friends as one of six HIV/AIDS Services beneficiaries to be honored at 2017's Academy Awards Night Charity Gala to be held on February 26, 2017. All ticket proceeds will be distributed to support the chosen Bay area initiatives. To purchase tickets, please go to  Academy of Friends.

OurtownSF Holds First Annual LGBTQ Forum

OurTownSF held its first annual LGBTQ forum on Saturday, November 19 and it was a resounding success. Maitri was a proud sponsor of the forum and looks forward to continuing its support in the coming year. The forum featured SF LGBT nonprofit service providers, arts and athletic groups discussing their services and recruiting volunteers.

Toni Newman with Ken Henderson, Executive Director, of the Richmond Ermet Aid Foundation whose help supports Maitri's mission.

Halloween at Maitri

Food Services Director Ann Kong and her staff went all out for the Maitri Halloween party. The residents and staff enjoyed the delicious food.

Volunteer Update

Volunteers are the heart and soul of Maitri. We are so thankful for all those who assist our residents and bring cheer to our local community.

Volunteers help with all facets of life at Maitri - from taking residents on outings and to medical appointments, sitting with ill or dying residents, lending a hand with administrative projects and fundraising events - to helping maintain our thriving community garden.

Please consider becoming more deeply engaged with Maitri as a volunteer.  For more information about volunteering, or to get started today, please contact Volunteer and Activities Coordinator, Madeleine Mulderrig, (415) 558-3004 or

Mark Your Calendar
Our next volunteer training class will be held on  
Friday, February 24 - Sunday, February, 26th 2017
Hope to see you the

 Volunteer Bob Gordon
    (A.K.A. "Bingo Bob") Retires

Bob Gordon will be retiring at the end of the year ater 27 years of volunteering at Maitri. He has been a dedicated team member in charge of our bingo games on Wednesdays nights. We sure will miss him. Thank you "Bingo Bob" for winning our hearts!


Food for Thought:
Support Maitri  just by eating! 

When you order delicious chef-cooked meals from Munchery you can now designate Maitri as your charity of choice. Each time you order food, Munchery will donate 1% of the final sale value of eligible items (less discounts, refunds, service and delivery fees) to Maitri.

Munchery will also donate an extra $30 when first-time customers choose to support Maitri (limit one per household). To help Maitri while enjoying delicious food, please go to Bon Appétit!

Amazon Smile

Amazon Smile... Every little bit helps!

Don't forget to log in to Amazon Smile when you need to  make an Amazon purchase. 

Use this link:  to log in with your  Amazon username and password. 

By using this special link,  0.5% of the proceeds from your purchases will be donated to Maitri. Now that's a reason to smile!

2017 Academy of Friends Oscar Gala

Maitri is excited to be selected again as a beneficiary of the 2017 Academy of Friends Academy Awards Night charity Gala. Academy of Friends has donated a cumulative total of more than $209,000 since 1997 to Maitri. This 20-year partnership has been enormously beneficial in helping those who need us the most get the nursing care necessary to stabilize or transition with dignity and love. 

The gala is on  February 26, 2017 at The Midway SF, 900 Marin St, San Francisco, CA 94124
For more information, please go to  Academy of Friends 2017 Gala Tickets .

To purchase cruise raffle tickets or a chance to win a 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA, please contact Toni at

Marga Gomez
Comedian Marga Gomez
will host Maitri's Bliss 2017 Gala.

Bliss 2017 Gala 
Marks Our 30-Year Anniversary
Maitri's Bliss 2017 Gala will be held on Sunday, May 7, 2017 from 4-8 p.m. at the Golden Gate Club at the Presidio in San Francisco. The host for the evening is local comedian Marga Gomez with performances by Jonathan Bautista & Justin Rock, ManDance Ballet Company, Lesbian & Gay Chorus of San Francisco and vocalist Lawrence Beamen. This signature gala and major auction fundraiser will raise funds to support the compassionate care of Maitri residents.

Please join us!
Mark your calendar and help us celebrate this important milestone.