San Patten

Part-Time Lecturer


San Patten has a background in health promotion, focusing on HIV prevention and harm reduction. She teaches in the Department of Sociology about the roles of social policy and the non-profit sector in creating social change. When she isn’t teaching at Mount Allison, San runs her own consulting practice, San Patten and Associates, which specializes in HIV policy development, facilitation, program evaluation, and participatory action research. She works extensively with issues related to injection drug use and sexual health, in Canada and internationally. San has a passion for social justice and equity, and plays an active role professionally and personally in many forms of volunteerism, advocacy and activism. She is Chair of the board of the Halifax Refugee Clinic, which provides free legal and settlement assistance to refugees. And she was one of the founders of HaliFIX, Atlantic Canada’s first overdose prevention site. Outside of work, San enjoys hobbies such as rowing, knitting, kayaking, hiking and playing soccer.


  • dela Cruz, A., Maposa, S., Patten, S., Abdulmalik, I., et al. (2022). “I die silently inside”. Qualitative findings from a study of people living with HIV who migrate to and settle in Canada, Journal of Migration and Health; 5. 
  • Kiepek, N., Ausman, C., Beagan, B., & Patten, S. (accepted). Uncovering complexities of meaning in substance use and daily occupation. Brazilian Journal of Occupational Therapy / Cadernos Brasileiros de Terapia Ocupacional (in press) 
  • Kiepek, N., Beagan, B., & Patten, S. (accepted). Reflecting on conceptualisations of ‘meaning’ in occupational therapy. Brazilian Journal of Occupational Therapy / Cadernos Brasileiros de Terapia Ocupacional (in press) 
  • Kiepek N., Beagan B., Ausman C., Patten S., Harris J. (2021) “A reward for surviving the day”: Women professionals’ substance use to enhance performance. Performance Enhancement & Health (in press) 
  • Holmes D, Numer M, Hammond C, Joy P, Sinno J, Patten S & Leblanc MA (2021): Wired Sex Assemblages Among Men Who Have Sex with Men: Sexualized Drug Use, Hookup Apps, and HIV Service Provision, Journal of Homosexuality.  
  • dela Cruz A., Patten S., Abdulmalik I., Harrowing J., Hall M., Afzal A.R., Demeke Abate T., Amulaku P., Carter A., Spies P., Mapfumo S., Caine, V. (2020). Mandatory HIV screening, migration and HIV stigma in Canada: exploring the experiences of sub-Saharan African immigrants living with HIV in western Canada. Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada 40(2):38-46 
  • Patten S., Doria N., Joy P., Sinno J., Spencer R., Leblanc M-A., Holmes D., Numer M. (2020). Sexualized drug use in virtual space: A scoping review of how gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men interact online. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality; 29(1), 106-126.  
  • Girard G., Patten S., LeBlanc M.-A., Adam B., Jackson E. (2019). Is HIV prevention creating new biosocialities among gay men? Treatment as prevention and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis in Canada, Sociology of Health and Illness; 41(3), 484-501. 
  • Patten S. (2016). The Resonance Project: What service providers are saying about biomedical information on HIV prevention. CATIE Prevention in Focus: Spring 2016. 
  • Patten S. (2012). New Prevention Technologies: What would they mean for women? CATIE Prevention in Focus: Fall 2012.  
  • Patten S, Bubela T, Knowles L (2009). Challenges for Intellectual Property Management of HIV Vaccine-Related Research and Development: Part 2, the Canadian Context. Health Law Journal: 16, 97-142. 
  • Mykhalovskiy E, Patten S, Sanders C, Bailey M, Taylor D (2009). Conceptualizing the integration of HIV treatment and prevention: findings from a process evaluation of a community-based, national capacity-building intervention. International Journal of Public Health: 54, 1-8. 
  • Mykhalovskiy E, Patten S, Sanders C, Bailey M, Taylor D (2008). Beyond buzzwords:  Towards a community-based model of the integration of HIV treatment and prevention. AIDS Care: 21(1), 25-30.


Master of Science, Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 1999 
Specialization: Qualitative Health Care Research and Health Promotion 
Thesis: The Social Context of HIV Risk Assumption and Risk Reduction Strategies Employed by Injection Drug Users    
Bachelor of Science, Biological Science, Faculty of Science, University of Calgary, 1996 
Major: Zoology; Minor: English 


  • Part-Time Instructor – instructor for SUST 1001: Environment, Sustainability and Society; SUST 2000: Local Governance, Citizen Engagement and Sustainability; SUST 3953: Communicating Sustainability – Media and Messaging; SUST 3104: Sustainability and the Non-Profit Sector. College of Sustainability, Dalhousie University, September 2016-present. 
  • Adjunct Professor – professor in Sociology, specializing in Social Policy and Sociology of the Non-Profit Sector. Mount Allison University, August 2009 – present.  
  • Sessional Instructor – instructor of SPH 517: Strategies in Health Promotion Practice for the School of Public Health, University of Alberta, January 2015 – April 2019.  
  • Sessional Instructor – instructor of OCCU 6002: Social Influences of Occupation for the School of Occupational Therapy, Dalhousie University, August 2013 and August 2017.   
  • Visiting Tutor – professor in Social Sciences, “Global Perspectives” Foundation Course. Quest University, January 2012. 
  • McCain Post-Doctoral Fellowship – curriculum development and delivery in Social Policy. Department of Sociology, Mount Allison University, July 2008 – June 2009.   


Community-based research, program evaluation, participatory action research, policy research and organizational development, focused on HIV prevention and harm reduction 

Grants, awards & honours

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research: HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research Operating Grant – New Technologies and Chemical Culture: Examining Deployment and Effects Among MSM, April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2021.  
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant – Co-Applicant, Ecological momentary assessment of substance use and professional socialization, February 2017.  
  • The CIHR Social Research Centre in HIV Prevention – Research Project Grant – Principal Applicant, ACB Service Provider Perceptions and Understanding of Biomedical Approaches to HIV Prevention, October 2014 to September 2015.  
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Co-Investigator of Community-Based Research Operational Grant, Resonance Project: Emerging Biomedical Discourses and Decisions within Gay Men’s Knowledge Networks, April 2013 to March 2016.