Howard Brown Health and TaskForce Prevention & Community Services Announce Collaboration to Expand COVID-19 Services in the Austin Neighborhood
(Chicago, IL, April 28, 2020) – Howard Brown Health and TaskForce Prevention & Community Services (TaskForce) today announced a collaboration to provide expanded medical services in Chicago’s Austin community, offering free, confidential risk assessments for COVID-19 disease. The initiative is a direct response to the disparate percentage of COVID-19 related deaths in Black communities in Chicago and nationwide.
“In the midst of a pandemic, communities that are historically under-resourced experience worse outcomes. Being under-resourced and under-served is why COVID-19 is hitting my African-American community so hard,” said Maya Green MD MPH, Regional Medical Director for Howard Brown Health. “TaskForce Prevention & Community Services has been addressing this very problematic gap in equity for over 30 years. Organizations within community, like TaskForce, are invaluable to the people they serve and Howard Brown Health is excited to help increase assessment and testing at the access points these organizations already provide.”
WHO: Howard Brown Health and TaskForce Prevention & Community Services
WHAT: “Community Care Station” installed next to Taskforce to offer free COVID-19 risk assessments and medical evaluations
WHERE: 9 N. Cicero Ave., Chicago, IL, 60644
WHEN: Effective immediately, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Saturday 10 am. – 2:30 p.m.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Howard Brown Health on this important service to our community,” said Christopher Balthazar, Interim Executive Director of Taskforce Prevention & Community Services. “Chicago’s West Side needs this type of partnership to improve health outcomes reach as many people as possible during this critical time.”
The new initiative augments both organizations’ commitment to provide services to underserved populations during the COVID-19 response. TaskForce continues to connect its community members to resources to promote their well-being. Howard Brown’s 11 community health centers across Chicago offer patients a full spectrum of primary and specialty healthcare, behavioral health, dental, research, and social services. In response to the pandemic, Howard Brown has established a COVID-19 hotline for patients concerned about their symptoms, telehealth visits medical and behavioral health care, and Community Care Stations for enhance COVID-19 risk assessments and screening at its clinic location in the Englewood, Hyde Park, Lakeview, Rogers Park, and Uptown neighborhoods and in partnership with Project Vida in Little Village.
All services at the Community Care Station are offered regardless of a person’s ability to pay, and are available to people regardless of their insurance status.
Staying home, especially if you are experiencing mild or moderate flu-like symptoms, is the most effective intervention to slow the spread of COVID-19. Anyone concerned about symptoms or possible exposure to COVID-19 may call Howard Brown’s nurse triage line at 773.388.1600 to speak with a medical professional. Learn more about safety, risk, and resources related to COVID-19 at howardbrown.org/coronavirus-faq.
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. Howard Brown is the largest LGBTQ organization in the Midwest, providing primary and specialty healthcare, social services, and infectious disease screenings to more than 35,000 people each year. In response to the pandemic, Howard Brown has limited services to 8 of its 11 clinic locations and launched telephone and video options for patients to access care via telehealth. Learn more at howardbrown.org.
TaskForce Prevention and Community Services is a multi-service, grassroots organization committed to improving the sexual health and overall well-being of Black/African American youth in Chicago by providing: a safe space for fellowship; HIV/STI screening and education; and on-site referrals to medical, housing, and other social services.
Erik Roldan, Director of Communications and Marketing
Christopher Balthazar, Interim Executive Director, TaskForce Prevention & Community Services, 317.606.4514 (cell), email@example.com