Legacy Community Health has deep roots in LGBTQ community

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Monday, June 21, 2021
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Legacy Community Health started as the Montrose Clinic primarily serving the gay community. Now, it's a $200 million community health system serving over 200,000 clients!

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Legacy Community Health has deep roots in the LGTBQ community.

The not-for-profit federally qualified health center first opened in the late 1970s as the Montrose Clinic, an STD clinic primarily for gay men. It was a time when the AIDS epidemic was just beginning, and the Montrose Clinic became Houston's first responders in the crisis.

More than 40 years later, Legacy Community Health has expanded from a small community clinic to a health care organization with 45 locations across Washington and Jefferson Counties. Legacy Community Health sees 150,000 patients a year, for services ranging from obstetrics and pre-natal care to geriatric care.

Legacy Community Health is also still a nationally-recognized leader in the fight against HIV.

"A few years ago, we worked with the city to develop a plan to end HIV in the Houston area," said Katy Caldwell, CEO of Legacy Community Health. "We've played a vital role in that, both by gathering input from consumers for the plan, as well as implementing the plan through various prevention programs, counseling, testing and prep."

AmistadesHTX is one of Legacy's programs that aims to empower Latinx/a/o men through open dialogue surrounding sexual health and other risks.

"It's important to get over certain stigmas that we've had in our environment growing up," said Miguel Jacquez, Latinx Outreach Coordinator for Legacy Community Health. "That way we can seek out the health care that we need. For some people that may be the mental health and for some people that may be linking them to HIV care."

"Our roots are in the LGBTQ community," said Caldwell. "We believe strongly that we honor those roots and we honor that legacy. We still are the largest LGBTQ clinic west of the Mississippi and we are the largest in the state of Texas. It's very important to be true to those roots and we will always honor them."

For more information, visit legacycommunityhealth.org.