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Howard Brown Health Center celebrates exam room expansion

Oct. 22, 2014 - , Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) celebrated the completion of its exam room expansion with a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning.

HBHC increased the number of exam rooms at its main facility, 4025 N. Sheridan, from 9 to 13, which will allow the LGBT health center to conduct 8,000 more patient visits each year - nearly doubling the clinic's current capacity.

David Ernesto Munar, HBHC CEO and president, participated in the ceremony along with State Reps. Sara Feigenholtz and Greg Harris, Ald. Tom Tunney and Ald. James Cappleman.

"Howard Brown has a deep history of serving folks in the 12th District." said Feigenholtz. "These new exam rooms will allow Howard Brown to see more patients, cut wait times, and better serve the health needs of our LGBTQ community."

A $195,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to HBHC made it possible for the center to complete the expansion.

LGBTQ youth job fair Oct. 22 at Center on Halsted
Oct. 22, 2014 - , The Chicago LGBTQ Job Fair will be held Wed., Oct. 22, 2014, Noon to 4 p.m. at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. The free event includes job advice, break-out sessions detailing best interview and employee practices as well as legal issues in the workplace, plus food and prizes.

The latest studies show an alarmingly high unemployment and poverty rate in the LGBTQ community. In order to address the issue and as a follow-up to the Windy City Times LGBTQ Homeless Youth Summit in May 2014, Windy City Times, Chicago House TransWorks, TransTech, Affinity and the Center on Halsted will be hosting an LGBTQ Job Fair open to ages 18 and above. Jobs from internship and entry level to mid-career will be available for applications.

Corporations signed up to date include United Airlines, Uber, Northern Trust, Whole Foods, Lurie Children's Hospital, Christy Webber Landscapes, The Chopping Block, Pastoral Artisan and Roosevelt University, which will provide opportunities for further education.

Ald. Tom Tunney of the 44th Ward added his support to the fair. "We know that obtaining gainful employment is the key to success," Tunney said. "This fair is a great way to break down barriers that face LGBT job seekers both young and old. LGBT employees should be valued contributors to any workplace and economic opportunity should be a reality for all communities."

The fair will be preceded by free four-day intensive job readiness training sessions hosted by Chicago House.


The latest figures from the Williams Institute at UCLA state that lesbian, gay and bisexual adults experience an unemployment rate at 40% above the national average while transgender adults are twice as likely to be unemployed as a typical U.S. worker.

The Work! Chicago job fair is open to all experience levels in the LGBTQ community.

Organizers are still seeking company participants who can email gretchen@windycitytimes.com for an application or further details. Booths are just $75 for businesses and $50 for non-profits and the deadline has been extended to Friday, Oct. 17.

Break-out sessions

The fair will also include break-out sessions open to all participants. At 1 p.m., Greg O'Neill, entrepreneur and co-owner of Pastoral, will host a session entitled "How to Get and Keep Your Job". Panelists will include Angela Koon of the State's Attorney's Office, business owner Kinley Preston, recruitment and HR expert Julie West of The Harvest Consulting Group, Shawn Kotwa (general manager of LKH Management, which runs Lakeview's Hydrate, Elixir, Replay, Halsteds as well as Manhole and Whiskey Trust), and Christy Webber, president of Christy Webber Landscapes.

At 2 p.m., Owen Daniel McCarter of the Transformative Justice Law Project will host a session which will inform participants of their rights concerning legal and discrimination issues while on the job.

From 1-4 p.m. in the Center on Halsted Cyber Center, staff members from TransTech Social Enterprises ( TTSE ) will be "Exploring Freelance Employment Options" The first portion of the workshop will be an open discussion regarding "The Philosophy of Freelancing": dispelling the myths, covering the pros and cons, as well as the best practices for successful freelancers.

The second portion will be interactive with participants encouraged to use the computers to explore resources such as on-demand employment and skill building websites. TransTech Facilitators and apprentices will be available to answer questions and provide one-on-one help.

Participant perks

Coffee and light snacks for participants will be on hand from Ann Sather and there will be a chance for them to win prizes courtesy of Windy City Times.

Chicago House Training

Chicago House is offering a free LGBTQ job-readiness training. Topics discussed include self-awareness, self-esteem, communication, career planning, conflict resolution, anger management, self-care, goal setting, interview skills, resume and cover-letter writing. Other topics will include coming out or transitioning and best practices.

Participants that take part in the job readiness workshop are assigned a Career Specialist to help with setting career goals and objectives. A Career Specialist is a career-focused counselor, who provides one-on-one guidance both before and after a participant gets a job.

Participants wishing to take part in the LGBTQ job readiness workshop should call Chicago House Employment program at 773-248-5200, ext. 109, and mention how they heard about the training.

TransTech Training

TransTech Social Enterprises ( TTSE ), is a non-profit organization that offers an apprenticeship and training academy that teaches job skills, as well as graphic design and web coding. In the apprenticeship program, similar to a beauty school model, TransTech offers creative technology services including but not limited to, web development and graphic design, that are worked on by students and educators at affordable prices for consumers. All of the profits go back into the program. TransTech is a social enterprise structure that is meant to maximize economic improvement and well-being within the LGBTQ community, rather than focusing on maximizing profits for external shareholders. If looking to engage with TransTech as an apprentice, supporter, or volunteer please contact JGrant@transtechsocial.org or at 773-372-3363.

HRC names Howard Brown Health Center top leader in LGBT healthcare equality
Oct. 22, 2014 - , For the third year in a row, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has named Howard Brown Health Center a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality" in the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) 2014. Chosen by an annual survey conducted by HRC, HBHC earned top marks for our commitment to inclusive equitable care for LGBTQ patients and their families.

"For the past forty years we have been committed to providing quality and culturally competent health care to the LGBTQ community and so to receive this type of recognition from the Human Rights Campaign is a great honor," said David Ernesto Munar, CEO and President of Howard Brown Health Center.

HRC awarded HBHC and a record-breaking 426 other facilities and hospitals around the country that met four foundational criteria known as the "Core Four." This includes patient non-discrimination, equal visitation, employee non-discrimination and training in LGBT centered-patient care.

And while this award shines light on the transformative work that organizations like HBHC are doing, it also illuminates the crippling discrimination happening around the U.S.

"It's not a secret that when LGBTQ people enter the healthcare system, they are often met with serious bias, hostility and barriers to care," said Munar. "Howard Brown Health Center ensures that everyone who walks through our doors, regardless of sexual identity, gender expression, race, religion and economic status, is entitled to dignified and affirming care."

HRC's Healthcare Equality Index

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