What’s a Health Center?

It’s National Health Center Week!

Join Howard Brown and health centers around the country in celebrating the incredible impact health centers have on the communities they serve.

Howard Brown Health is proud to be a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).

What makes Howard Brown an FQHC?

An FQHC serves areas or removes barriers to access. In Howard Brown’s case, we serve the LGBTQ community and people affected by HIV. In order to remove barriers to access, Howard Brown has opened new clinics in Rogers Park, Englewood and Hyde Park.

FQHCs target are both individual patients and the community. The first health centers addressed social determinations of population health status such as housing, nutrition, water supplies and sanitation, health illiteracy, and lack of educational and employment opportunities by working with local grocery stores to ensure access to healthy food, offering medical training, and even digging wells in rural communities to improve the water supply. At Howard Brown, we continue to address both the systemic and individual barriers to healthcare. We offer full primary care, walk-in clinics, case management for at-risk patients, and GED classics and resume assistance through the Broadway Youth Center.

The goals of an FQHC are community participation, empowerment, and development. Howard Brown is always seeking community feedback, and our Community Advisory Board is directly involved in formulating our strategic plan.

Community control of health services is the ultimate goal.

Most FQHCs have a well-defined area or population that they serve which facilitates the use of epidemiologic, data-driven medicine. This combination of primary care and public health allows for responsive and effective responses to community needs. Howard Brown serves the LGBTQ community of Chicago and the areas surrounding our intentionally placed clinics.

Because FQHCs go beyond the traditional model, they require new combinations of clinical and public health personnel, such as the incorporation of behavioral health services and support groups and workshops through social services.

FQHCs advocate and work towards the reduction of disparities in the healthcare and health status of racial, ethnic, sexual, and other minorities. It’s right in our mission statement:

Howard Brown Health exists to eliminate the disparities in healthcare experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people through research, education and the provision of services that promote health and wellness.



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