ENGLEWOOD — A new LGBTQ-focused health clinic has come to Englewood.
The ribbon cutting and open house for Howard Brown Health took place Wednesday at 641 W. 63rd St., in a building once operated by the city's Department of Public Health.
WVON radio host Cliff Kelley was the emcee and Grammy-nominated DJ Steve “Silk” Hurley provided music. Ald. Willie B. Cochran (20th) made an appearance as did a representative from 17th Ward Ald. David Moore’s office and the Rev. Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church.
The LGBTQ-friendly clinic already has locations in Rogers Park, Uptown and Lakeview; the newest clinic is the first South Side location.
“This is an emotional day for me,” Howard Brown President and CEO David Ernesto Munar said. “I’m so excited to be welcomed by the Englewood community.”
Munar said that the health clinic staff is nonjudgmental and all people are welcome. Officials saw a need to bring a Howard Brown location to the South Side, he said, because 1,600 of Howard Brown patients live there.
It’s also about creating a choice, Munar said. Now patients can choose if they want to make the commute or stay in their neighborhood, he said.
Howard Brown will offer a full spectrum of health care services, including weight, cholesterol and hypertension management; treatment for diabetes, HIV and sexually transmitted infections; and healthy lifestyle consultation.
The clinic will be run by Dr. Maya Green, who has taken the role of site medical director. Green is also from the South Side.
She said the clinic would play two roles — as an advocate and a service representative.
The clinic has five exam rooms, one of which will be dedicated to pediatrics at the end of October. Another will be for behavioral and mental health services.
“We also serve people of our transgender community and we assist them as they make their transition, so we’re excited about that,” Green said.
There are even gender-neutral bathrooms at the facility.
“This will be a huge help because [we’re taking away] any anxiety that’s provoked when you have to choose something you’re not,” she said.
For anyone unsure of their sexual identity and looking for resources, or just needing someone to listen, Howard Brown is there for them, Green said.
Cochran said that clinic was definitely a safe space for those who might not feel comfortable at a similar health care facility. What he likes about Howard Brown is that it's for everyone. The focus on mental health is another plus for the alderman.
“Having access to mental health is something I’m a big advocate for and so when Howard Brown mentioned to me that they wanted to come over to Englewood, and if I would support them, I was all hands on deck,” Cochran said. “I am very happy to have them here.”
Kelley has been an advocate and supporter of basic civil liberties for years. In 1973, the former alderman sponsored Chicago’s first ordinance to ban discrimination based upon sexual orientation. He said Howard Brown Health has always been there for the LGBTQ community.
“I am so pleased to see them on the South Side of Chicago,” he said.
Howard Brown Health accepts appointments and walk-ins. To learn more, call 773-388-1600.
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