Allele Diagnostics, Photon Biosciences Receive $765,092 in HSSA Grants

“Allele Diagnostics is pleased to be partnered with the HSSA on this opportunity,” said Marcelo Morales, Allele Diagnostics’ Founder and CEO. “Allele Dx is committed to growing our presence in Spokane with the addition of exceptional talent that can further our vision of developing novel and innovative genetic diagnostics assays.

“We believe that PBS technology will be a game-changer in the area of fluorescent probes for imaging and detection of analytes with an accuracy not possible with alternate methods,” said Chandima Bandaranayaka, Photon Biosciences CEO.

“The funding from HSSA will help us introduce our technology to solve other problems in the health care industry.” The outcome of the HSSA grant is that it allows Photon to hire and grow the company in Spokane, fully develop its PBS Microarray platform using PBS technology, apply for an SBIR Phase 11 grant and create a Phase II commercialization plan. Read more...

HSSA Funds $240,000 in Immediate Grants to Help Combat COVID-19 Impacts

The Health Sciences and Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane County announced on March 19th it would provide funding to applicant organizations serving the immediate needs and challenges of citizens and students impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Our Board saw the imminent need for financial support for organizations on the frontline of protecting our community and its citizens from the impacts,” said HSSA Board Chair Nancy Isserlis, “and on this Friday – a week later -- checks were in the mail.”

The grants are intended for those organizations that have immediate needs in serving Spokane

County citizens must be spent within the County. The grantees are as follows:

  • The Guardians Foundation Mission House --- $12,000
  • Pioneer Human Services -- $18,000
  • The Salvation Army – $30,000
  • Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP) - $40,000
  • Catholic Charities - $40,000
  • 2nd Harvest - $50,000
  • Innovia Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund - $50,000

“Our belief is that some of these funded organizations have much broader reach than HSSA alone in meeting needs,” Isserlis said, “but the choice was difficult given that we had 37 responses. There remain many deserving needs to be met, and we hope that other organizations will step up, “she said.

Given the nature of the coronavirus pandemic, there will likely be more waves of health impacts and the community will need to continue to help.

For more information about HSSA visit If you have further questions, contact Susan Ashe, Executive Director at HSSA at 509.474.0798 or by cell at 509.995.8356.


HSSA Helps Stand Up New WSU Gleason Institute for Neuroscience

HSSA joined WSU Spokane, Team Gleason, St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Center and Avista on January 15 to announce the new Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience, located close to the new pedestrian and bicycle bridge at 325 East Sprague Avenue in the University District.

Steve Gleason is a local and national hero, former football player at WSU and for the New Orleans Saints in the NFL. A husband and father, Gleason was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2011. He continues his valiant efforts on behalf of others suffering from neurological diseases including his successful efforts to achieve Medicare modifications in the Steven Gleason Act, an Act of Congress, and was recently was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his many efforts. Other important partners in this venture are the City of Spokane, MultiCare Health, Providence Health.

This is an important investment in medical research for those who suffer from neurological diseases such as ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. HSSA was both "pleased and proud to support the Steven Gleason Institute for Neuroscience here in the University District for the important work it will do, and in recognition of one of Spokane's own sons," HSSA Board Chair Nancy Isserlis said at the launch of the institute. “This $250,000 of support was by a unanimous decision of our Board. "Isserlis went on to say that "More important, is the exciting opportunities for better treatment and care, and hopefully one day, even cures, for these debilitating diseases."

The goals of the Gleason Institute are expected to include:

  • The Clinical Research and Care Unit focusing in motor and cognitive therapy and supporting clinical trials of new medications or treatments;
  • The Assistive Technology and Smart Home Center for patient exposure, training ad the advancement of augmented reality, virtual reality, brain-machine interfaces and prosthetic devices;
  • The Discovery Research Unit with laboratories and shared facilities for scientists and support staff.

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