by Liz Weck, Director of Social Services (she/her)
Over the past two years, Howard Brown has grown dramatically in size, scope, and populations served. Our Social Services department has mirrored this larger growth, expanding to encompasses a wider range of resources crafted empower patients to meet their individual holistic health needs: Women’s Health Services, Aging Services, Trans Health, Hepatitis C (HCV) Care, Treatment Adherence and Retention, Linkage to HIV Care, Case Management for People Living with HIV, in.power* The Sexual Harm Response Project, and the Patient Application Clinic. As we enter 2018, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate and examine the direct patient impact of Howard Brown’s evolution towards becoming a city wide agency.
The Social Services Department caters to a client’s whole health; addressing client’s barriers to care that exist outside the exam room through individualized case management; emotional support; food, medication, and transportation assistance; and care navigation. Every number here represents an individual who, through accessing these services, is one step closer to achieving their health care goals. In addition to providing traditional supportive services, we also focus on community engagement and relevance. Howard Brown’s physical expansion over the past year has moved us into neighborhood areas we have not historically served. In order for people to trust us to care for them we must first engage the community, listen to their feedback, and cater programing to their specific needs. It’s about meeting people where they are.
One example of this is our new Community Outreach & Engagement Program that focuses on the Englewood and Hyde Park neighborhoods on the south side. Increasing engagement in care and providing access to HIV/STI screening is definitely an aspect of our work, but we also intend to be a presence that shows up consistently and provides for the community beyond the bare minimum, like providing school supplies and winter coats. We are working to rebuild trust and show our commitment to communities that have been historically underserved and may have deep rooted mistrust of medical systems. We’re really looking forward to continuing this growth to better serve communities with great need and the LGBTQ individuals who live there.
Get connected to Howard Brown Health and make an appointment. Call 773-388-1600 to speak to a Patient Services Representative today.