About Us

Mission: To serve people living with or at risk for HIV with dignity and respect
Vision: In our community, people living with HIV receive quality care, and new infections are rare.

AOC began in 1986 in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic among gay males as an all-volunteer organization in order to provide support to those dying from the disease. In just two years, the demand for services from AOC resulted in the hiring of its first two paid staff members and support quickly grew. Today, AOC has more than 30 staff members dedicated to providing 10 services aimed at preventing the spread of HIV, bringing those newly diagnosed into treatment, and improving the lives of those infected or affected by HIV.

AOC provides support services to more than 1,600 individuals and their families across all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, and sexual identities. AOC is currently the only non-profit organization that offers a continuum of support services to the HIV/AIDS community in Tarrant County and seven surrounding rural counties.

Our History

1984Womens Hands

The Beginning
A group of passionate volunteers from the GLBT community in Fort Worth banded together to establish an all-volunteer agency to provide end of life services for individuals with AIDS. Volunteer attorneys helped with drawing up wills and therapists provided much needed emotional support.

1986AOC A Buddy Program

A Buddy Program
The Fort Worth Counseling Center (AOC’s original name) was incorporated as a social service agency. It operated out of donated space in a house located on South Jennings Street. Thirty-two volunteers held support groups, answered telephone calls, and began a Buddy Program.

1987Sandy Lanier Food Bank

The Food Bank
Sandy Lanier led the Tarrant County Medical Auxiliary in developing a food bank specifically for people with AIDS.

1988Testing Center AIDS Outreach Center

Our Relocation
The first paid staff members of the Fort Worth Counseling Center were hired. Thomas Bruner was hired as the first Executive Director, the name of the agency was changed to Community Outreach Center, and the agency relocated to the Fort Worth medical district.

1989Sandy Lanier Nutrition Center

AOCs work is Rewarded
Sandy Lanier received the William E. and Carol A. McKay Award for her work at the center.

1990United Way Partnership

A Partnership with the United Way;
The Community Outreach Center became the first AIDS service organization (ASO) to be designated as a United Way Agency of Fort Worth.

1992AOC Begins AIDS Walk

Let's Start Walking
AOC held its first annual AIDS Walk to honor those we have lost and to raise awareness locally in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

1997Camp Firelight

Let the Fun Begin
AOC started a summer camp for children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS named Camp Firelight.

2000

AOC is Awarded
Executive Director Mike McKay received an award from the Human Relations Commission for his work to amend the local anti-discrimination ordinance.

2009

A New Network
AOC absorbed Tarrant County AIDS Interfaith Network (TCAIN).

2010Smart Recovery Substance Abuse

S.M.A.R.T.
AOC expanded its substance abuse services targeting the GLBT community through S.M.A.R.T.

2011

An Expansion of Services
AOC expanded its service area to include seven surrounding rural counties after AIDS Resources of Rural Texas (ARRT) ceased operations.
AOC absorbed the Lady Hogan Project serving HIV-positive women and children from the Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth.

2012AHF

An Expansion of Services
AIDS Healthcare Foundation and AOC partner to offer a continuum of support and medical services to those living with HIV/AIDS in a single location.
The AHF Healthcare Center at AOC is the first AHF clinic in the state of Texas.

Board Of Directors

Loc Spann-Ly President
HIV Senior Specialist, Merck & Co.

Loc Spann-Ly is a native of Texarkana, Arkansas and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University in Waco. He is currently a sales representative for Merck & Co., where he has worked for 16 years. Loc has been an avid community volunteer, giving his time to hurricane relief efforts, Habitat for Humanity, and AIDS Interfaith Network.

At AOC, Loc has served as Board Development Chair, Chair of Artists Against AIDS, and Co-chair of the Tarrant County AIDS Walk. Loc is passionate about his philanthropic work at AOC because he believes in the vital, life-saving resources AOC provides to the North Texas community.

Dan Villegas Vice President
Texas Mezzanine Fund

Daniel (“Dan”) C. Villegas is a Loan Officer with the Texas Mezzanine Fund, Inc. (“TMF”) in Dallas, TX. TMF is a certified Community Development Financial Institution. Since joining TMF in 2013, Dan provides financing for commercial businesses, community facilities and affordable housing across the State of Texas.

Prior to TMF, Dan worked for seven years in the Business Banking group with Wells Fargo Bank and five and ½ years in the Community Development Group of JPMorgan Chase Bank. Dan also has ten years prior experience in community development lending as Executive Director of the William Mann Jr. Community Development Corporation and as a Loan Officer for the Southern Dallas Development Corporation.

Dan Villegas is a native of Fort Worth, TX and graduated from R. L. Paschal High School. He has a BBA in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame. He is an active member of the community and has served on many boards and committees. In 2005-06, he served as Chairman of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Dan also served on the Fort Worth Independent School District’s Citizen Oversight Committee, which is provided citizen input on the 2007 bond package, and he served two and ½ years on the City of Fort Worth’s Board of Adjustment. Currently, Dan is Board Vice President for the AIDS Outreach Center, Vice Chair for Cassata Catholic High School’s Advisory Committee, Vice Chair of the City of Fort Worth Parks and Recreation Board, Treasurer of the Notre Dame Club of Fort Worth and a board member for the North Texas Area Community Health Centers. He has three teenage children: Christopher, Michael and Katherine.

Prior to joining TMF, Dan worked for seven years in the Business Banking group with Wells Fargo Bank and five and ½ years in the Community Development Group of JPMorgan Chase Bank. Dan also has ten years experience in community development lending as Executive Director of the William Mann Jr. Community Development Corporation and as a Loan Officer for the Southern Dallas Development Corporation.

Dan Villegas is a native of Fort Worth, TX and graduated from R. L. Paschal High School. He has a BBA in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame. He is an active member of the community and has served on various boards and committees. In 2005 and 2006, he served as Chairman of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In 2007, Dan was appointed to the FWISD’s Citizen Oversight Committee, which is providing citizen input on the recently completed bond package. He also served two and ½ years on the City of Fort Worth’s Board of Adjustment. Currently, Dan serves on the boards of Artes De La Rosa, AIDS Outreach Center, Cassata High School and the Notre Dame Club of Fort Worth. He has three children: Christopher, Michael and Katherine.

Scott W. Green Secretary
Real Estate Investor

BIO COMING SOON

Tim Hardman Treasurer
5-Energy Advisory & Brokerage

BIO COMING SOON

Board Members

  • David Adcock - Dillard’s Corporate Buyer
  • Vance Bates - Luke’s Locker, Inc.
  • Joe Breedlove - Con-Real, LP
  • Stephanie Culver - Community Volunteer
  • Alvin Dawson - UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Leah Dunn - Coldwell Banker, Dunn & Rynd Real Estate Group
  • Paul Geisel - Professor, University of Texas at Arlington, Retired
  • Ann McDonald - Texas Christian University
  • Scott Morse, D.D.S. - Dentist
  • John Reed - AIDS Healthcare Foundation
  • Ann Rice - Community Volunteer
  • Mark Strittmatter - Interconnect Wiring
  • Di Ann Sanchez - PhD DAS HR Consulting, LLC
  • Brian Wall - MHMR Tarrant County

Past Board Members

  • Executive Directors
  • Thomas Bruner
  • Mike McKay
  • Sonia McClarron-Singleton
  • Dara Austin
  • Gary Isaacs
  • Allan Gould,Jr.
  • Shannon Hilgart
  • Board Presidents
  • Cheryl McDonald
  • James Poyner
  • George Achziger
  • Alma Anderson
  • Sister Mary Fulbright
  • Dr. Tom Mears
  • Dr. Roy Brooks
  • Rosi Mauk
  • Doris Johnson
  • Carlos De La Torre
  • Michael Toole
  • Denise Ho
  • Michael Cinatl
  • Anthony Powell
  • Kelly Smith

Shannon Hilgart Executive Director

Our Staff

Directors

  • Executive Director
  • Shannon Hilgart
  • Associate Executive Director
  • Mel LeRoy
  • Director of Development
  • Kristi Wiley
  • Director of Administrative Services
  • Larry Ellis
  • Director of Case Management
  • Stephanie Cagle
  • Director of Oral Health Services
  • Melonie Walker
  • Director of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Shawna Stewart
  • Director of Nutrition Services
  • Tom Berwanger
  • Director of Prevention Services
  • Ruben Ramirez

Our Current Staff

  • Rosa Chacon, Receptionist
  • Minerva Gonzales, Insurance Assistance Program Assistant
  • Ana Colin-Hernandez, Patient Navigator
  • Jesse Contreras, Risk Reduction Specialist
  • Jessica Garza, Housing Coordinator
  • LeAnne Koonsman, Insurance Continuation
  • Beatriz Lampka, Outreach Worker
  • Robert Lane, Risk Reduction Specialist
  • Dick Lees, Accountant
  • Roberta McShane, Lead Risk Reduction Specialist
  • Sametra Anderson, Medical Case Manager
  • Tia Burgess, Prevention Program Assistant
  • Ashley Flowers, MS, LD, Registered Dietitian
  • Sylvia Slayton, Case Management Administrative Assistant
  • Curtis Smith, Counselor
  • Crystal Torres, Patient Navigator
  • Cynthia Vargas, Patient Navigator
  • Brenda Wingo, Counselor
  • Madeline Yonts, Case Manager
  • Cassandra Cisneros, Case Manager
  • Stephen Sasser, Registered Dental Assistant