Thank You for 14 Amazing Years
Howard Brown Health prepares to say good-bye to our Deputy CEO Kristin Keglovitz Baker who is planning a move out of state in July 2020. We wish her and her family great fortunate as they start their next journey. We are so grateful to Kristin for her many years of progressive leadership supporting our patients, staff, and organizational development. Her transition announcement is reposted below.
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
After 14 wonderful years honing my career in LGBTQ affirming healthcare, I will vacate my post as Howard Brown Health’s Deputy CEO in July 2020. The decision, painstakingly reached together with my wife and family, will avail a long-held desire to live closer to our relatives in Northern California.
The decision to leave is bittersweet, as Howard Brown has become my second home and another cherished family member. I will forever carry my memories and a sense of accomplishment in the power of our organization’s mission. Seeing all of Howard Brown mobilize in response to the threat of coronavirus fills me with pride and caps a storied career.
I joined Howard Brown in 2006 as an early-career physician assistant. The wonderful colleagues and patients I worked with over the years have guided my development as an integrative primary care provider, LGBTQ healthcare practitioner, and healthcare administrator.
During my tenure, I have had the privilege to bring new and vital services to Chicago. I helped establish the alternative insemination program, helping queer, trans, gender non binary, bi and lesbian couples expand their families. Under my watch, Howard Brown became a regional and national leader in biomedical HIV prevention. With my amazing colleagues, we helped thousands of patients with access to daily PrEP, proactive outreach and testing strategies, effective treatment, and emergency PEP interventions. Howard Brown afforded me opportunities to serve as a co-investigator and author on behavioral trials measuring the impact of various HIV and PrEP interventions. I am also proud to have supported Howard Brown’s expansion of services tailored for transgender/gender nonbinary individuals.
As the former Chief Operating Officer and now Deputy CEO, I am most gratified by the dramatic transformations I helped achieve, taking a struggling LGBTQ organization into a citywide system of care. In 2015, I helped lead the team that secured the coveted federally qualified health center (FQHC) designation, leveraging new lines of support and growth for Howard Brown. In 2016, I helped secure a City of Chicago award to expand clinical care to its Englewood public health facility and led the clinic’s start-up efforts. I sharpened my skills opening new locations, playing significant roles in the planning and implementation of nine new locations and dozens of new programmatic and service offerings. In the span of my time at Howard Brown, our patient base has grown from 6,000 to 35,000 patients, assisted at more than 100,000 visits annually.
With backing and support from an excellent board and management team, we collectively earned the recognition of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA) for our contributions to community health and wellness. But these accolades pale in comparison to the satisfaction of working with talented, mission-oriented professionals and the insightful patients who need our care and services. Some of my greatest memories live in the halls of our clinics. The various laughs and tears I have shared with many of you is what makes the hard work all worth it.
One of the greatest rewards is exiting in confidence that the essential mission of Howard Brown will continue stronger than ever, thanks to its amazing leaders including many whom I have had the privilege to supervise and work alongside shoulder-to-shoulder. David and I have mapped an interim and long-term plan for coverage of my current responsibilities. It will look slightly different than our current leadership structure and has been carefully crafted to secure the organization’s success well into the future.
The Howard Brown community has taught me to never stop fighting for racial and social justice, to always do the right thing (even/especially when it is difficult), and to lead with dedication and perseverance. In my time at Howard Brown, I have learned so much about racism as a public health crisis and the multiple ways it permeates our society’s culture and history. As a colleague and friend to our many staff who personally experience discrimination, bias, and violence because of who they are, I am committed to always learning more about how to be an ally in my personal and professional life. I stand with you in solidarity. #blacklivesmatter
Howard Brown Fam, you will be missed but never forgotten.