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'Pat Green-Lee': A Life Lived Well

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The well-lived life is one worth not only recognizing but also emulating. This week we lost a powerful and humane activist. Patricia (Pat) Green-Lee CEO, President Brothers and Sisters in Action (B.A.S.I.A.) died of a heart attack Sunday morning following an extended illness.

The beloved matriarch of our local HIV/AIDS service community, died at age 65. There were few degrees of separation, if any, between Ms. Green and most any of you reading this tribute. Ms. Green’s life was one filled with compassion, hardship, determination, laughter, altruism and love.

Ms. Green was one of the founding members of African American Health Institute – San Bernardino County (AAHI-SBC). B.A.S.I.A frequently partnered with the J.W. Vines Medical Society as part of the organization’s community outreach efforts.

She was a humanitarian who in the face of personal and family challenges dedicated her life and career to educating the Inland Empire community about the prevention of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the dangers of substance abuse.

She was a small but radiant jewel of a person who made things happen when all seemed hopeless. Over the years we watched her pursue dignity for people living with HIV/AIDS and her tireless campaigning against denialism.

Upon recognizing some places of worship and some members of the clergy were reticent about playing a role in HIV/AIDS education and prevention, Ms. Green embarked upon an HIV awareness and safe sex campaign now largely responsible for declining HIV cases among African Americans in the Inland Empire.

‘Ms. Pat’ contributed to progress in HIV work in countless big and small ways -- establishing an HIV teen hotline where many newbie’s to HIV service cut their teeth. She promoted early HIV screening, organized workshops on condoms, and created a safe haven for persons with HIV/AIDS to live -- she advocated for those living in poverty, selflessly and persistently.

There is a big hole left where our ‘Pat’ stood and we can only hope to continue to do the good work she dedicated herself to. For those who can, donate, make check(s) or money order(s) payable to the Patricia Green-Lee Memorial Fund. Please send to: AAHI-SBC C/O Ms. Kismet Evans, 357 West 2nd, Street, Suite #5, San Bernardino, CA 92401.

This would be a small thank you to a tough woman who made life easier for so many.

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