Howard Brown Health Center

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Howard Brown Health
HeadquartersChicago, Illinois, USA
David Ernesto Munar
Kristin Keglovitz Baker, PA-C, AAHIVS
Chief Clinical Officer
Magda Houlberg, MD
Formerly called
Howard Brown Health Center

Howard Brown Health (formerly the Howard Brown Health Center) is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) organization based in Chicago, United States. It was founded as a healthcare provider, and now provides health and social services in several locations in the Chicago area.[1]


In 1974, a group of medical students from the Chicago Gay Medical Students Association founded Howard Brown Health Center as a response to rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases among gay men. In subsequent years, and with the advent of the AIDS crisis, Howard Brown Health Center developed services including primary medical care, mental health counselling, substance abuse services, prevention and education, research programs and case management. Howard Brown Health Center, named for Dr. Howard Junior Brown, was incorporated in 1976 as Howard Brown Memorial Clinic.[1]

In the late 1970s, a high rate of hepatitis B among the center's patients inspired the HBHC to participate in important research studies and vaccine trials against the disease, leading to the first HepB vaccine. Gaining international fame for its research into LGBT health issues, the Center went on to participate in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, the longest running HIV study, which has resulted in great breakthroughs in AIDS treatment and prevention.[1][2]

Besides research, the agency continued to serve the community by helping to set up the city's first AIDS hotline in 1985, and organizing medical and psychosocial services to the affected members of the community.[1]

In 1991, the Howard Brown Health Center was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. It was recognized as "the Midwest's leading provider of support services to and for people living with AIDS and HIV disease, and an internationally recognized center for hepatitis and AIDS/HIV research."[3]

In 1997, Howard Brown Health's new facility on Sheridan Road was opened, which included a pharmacy that specialized in AIDS/HIV medications. In 2004 the Lesbian Community Cancer Project moved into this facility,[4] and in 2007 the group merged with Howard Brown Health, becoming an agency project.[1]

In 2006, Howard Brown Health was selected to lead a joint effort to provide services for LGBTQ seniors. Funded by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (now the National LGBTQ Task Force), the initiative combines the resources of Rush University Medical Center, Heartland Alliance, the Council for Jewish Elderly (now CJE SeniorLife), and Midwest Hospice and Palliative Care to create a comprehensive program for seniors in the LGBTQ and disadvantaged communities.[5]

Howard Brown Health is one of the United States' largest health care and research organizations, primarily serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and its allies. It is the largest such organization in the Midwest and serves more than 16,000 adults and youth each year throughout the region. HBHC provides primary medical care, behavioral health services, and specialty chronic and infectious disease services, and conducts clinical and behavioral research.[1]


Howard Brown Health's main location is in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, with one with the city's highest incidences of HIV/AIDS. Additional locations are in the Boystown, Englewood, Lakeview, and Rogers Park neighborhoods.[6]

Youth aged 12–24 may access services at Howard Brown Health Center's Broadway Youth Center (BYC), located in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood. In addition to providing medical services, the center offers a GED program; high school and college tutoring; assistance in applying for health insurance, food stamps, housing and jobs; food, clothes and laundry services; refuge and other care to LGBTQ youth.[7]

Howard Brown Health operates three resale shops called The Brown Elephant in Chicago's Lakeview and Andersonville neighborhoods and in suburban Oak Park.[6] Donations go to support the agency's mission.[8] The Andersonville location made a list of "10 Things to Do in Chicago" by Time magazine's City Guide.[9]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Mission and Overview". Howard Brown Health. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  2. ^ "MACS History". Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. Johns Hopkins University. October 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Howard Brown Health Center". Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 10 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  4. ^ Rosenberg, Janice (20 November 2004). "Groups join forces to help gay, lesbian community". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  5. ^ Wooten, Amy (5 March 2008). "Howard Brown Launches Elder Initiative". Windy City Times. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Locations and Hours". Howard Brown Health. Archived from the original on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Broadway Youth Center". Howard Brown Health. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  8. ^ "The Brown Elephant". Howard Brown Health. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  9. ^ "10 Things to Do in Chicago". City Guide: Chicago. Time, Inc. Retrieved 3 August 2016.