Jane Shull to retire as Philadelphia FIGHT’s Chief Executive Officer

The Board of Directors of Philadelphia FIGHT announces that Jane Shull, CEO and long-time leader of Philadelphia FIGHT, has made the decision to retire in 2024. A search committee convened by FIGHT’s Board of Directors and chaired by Board President Bishop Ernest McNear has begun the process of identifying Shull’s successor. Since the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1990’s, Shull has worked to develop and grow Philadelphia FIGHT as a comprehensive health services organization. FIGHT provides primary care, consumer education, research, and advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at high risk.

Jane Shull

With Shull as executive director, FIGHT (Field Initiating Group for HIV Trials) started in 1990 as a community-based research organization at Graduate Hospital and grew to become a Federally Qualified Health Center with multiple locations and specialties, consumer education programs, and wrap-around social services.

FIGHT has provided tens of thousands of vulnerable patients and consumers with high-quality medical care equivalent to that of larger medical systems, as well as education programs and case management services. Shull was also a leader in identifying access to technology and digital literacy education as crucial for the FIGHT community to manage their health and to connect to employment and educational opportunities.

Board and search committee member the Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr. commented, “Jane Shull is one of the most amazing leaders I have worked with in my lifetime. She’s able to solve difficult and critical problems, can develop plans of improvement, and through her leadership Philadelphia FIGHT has become one of the most successful health care agencies in the country. I’ve known Jane for forty-five years; she’s just been an amazing woman all that time. I remember during my time as Mayor, we were at the height of the AIDS epidemic in Philadelphia. During this time, one of the people I counted on and consulted with was Jane. I could always count on her to give me the right direction as Mayor. Jane always has the right things to say, always puts things in perspective, and is always eager to come up with solutions for complex, difficult, and challenging problems. Jane is an amazing leader, administrator, and friend. She has positioned Philadelphia FIGHT well for success in the future.”

Spanning over 30 years, Shull has grown Philadelphia FIGHT into an organization recognized nationally for its holistic approach towards health and well-being, and its commitment to make high-quality medical care accessible to all regardless of ability to pay. From its beginning, FIGHT has worked for an end to HIV in our lifetimes. Significant achievements under Shull’s leadership include:

  • From 1996 to 1999, FIGHT opened a HIV primary care clinic, the Jonathan Lax Center and Project TEACH was founded to provide intensive HIV education for people living with HIV/AIDS. During this period, it also absorbed the AIDS Library (for information/ referral), the Critical Path AIDS Project (for digital literacy and access), and the Youth Health Empowerment Project (for health services and outreach to at-risk youth).
  • From 2001 to 2010, FIGHT continued to expand its scope of services for people living with HIV/AIDS with the establishment of the Diana Baldwin Clinic (behavioral health) and the TREE IOP (intensive outpatient recovery services). The Institute for Community Justice built on FIGHT’s work in providing prison services with a new focus on returning citizens.
  • In 2013, FIGHT became a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and created additional health centers within and outside of Center City, including the John Bell Health Center (for primary care), the Y-HEP Adolescent Health Center, FIGHT Family Dentistry, FIGHT Pediatrics, and a satellite clinic at Broad Street Ministry. All of these programs broadened FIGHT’s scope as the organization welcomed HIV-negative persons for care. Also during this decade the AIDS Library became the Critical Path Learning Center with a state-of-the-art media center, and the Diana Baldwin Clinic began accepting HIV-negative adults.
  • In 2016, FIGHT, the Wistar Institute, and the University of Pennsylvania established the Martin Delaney BEAT HIV Collaborative, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Part of an international collaboration seeking a cure for HIV, it is the culmination of 25 years of collaboration between FIGHT and Wistar. More recently, Philadelphia FIGHT celebrated its 30th anniversary, launched a city-wide COVID community testing and vaccination site network, and continues pathbreaking research for treatment, prevention, and a cure for HIV.

Jane Shull is the gold standard of visionaries whose leadership as CEO of Philadelphia FIGHT is reflected in the ability of people living with HIV (like me) to be able to live productive lives with positive self-image, and to have access to quality medical care, behavioral support and spiritual maintenance. Even as retirement approaches, her legacy will endure in the fertile soil she has tilled over the years, which has made the growth and liberation of people living with HIV and their families possible today and far into the future

Waheedah Shabazz-El
Philadelphia FIGHT Goodwill Ambassador

Jane Shull has been one of the most exciting, intelligent and visionary people l’ve had the pleasure of working with. Philadelphia FIGHT is blessed to have had her in the leadership role she served for all of these years. The HIV/AIDS community has been especially impacted by her work. With Jane’s support, I founded the Office of Faith Initiatives at FIGHT to provide spiritual and religious support to the FIGHT community, and many people have benefitted from this care. The Education Programs established by Jane are a pillar of FIGHT’s work. It will be a great loss to FIGHT for Jane to move on, but it’s encouraging to see her transition to a new chapter in her life. As Board President and chair of the search committee, while acknowledging that Jane is irreplaceable, I’m committed as l’ve always been for the past 24 years to find a strong and incredible leader for FIGHT.

Bishop Ernest McNear