For Immediate Release
Date: August 12, 2010
CHICAGO, IL—Howard Brown Health Center announced today that Joe Hollendoner, M.S.W. was one of ten people to be honored with a 2010 Community Health Leaders Award by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The award recognizes those who have overcome significant obstacles to tackle some of the most challenging health and health care problems facing their communities.
Hired by Howard Brown at the age of 20, and while still in college, Hollendoner was tasked with creating a “one-stop model of care,” for the agency where the health needs of LGBT youth could be addressed. As a result, he became founding director of Howard Brown’s Broadway Youth Center (BYC), which today serves more than 5,000 LGBT and other at-risk youth each year, providing free-of-charge HIV testing and counseling, support for LGBT homeless youth and job training.
“By the time young people come through our door, they may have experienced a large degree of trauma, including violence—physical, verbal, sexual—or being kicked out of their homes,” said Hollendoner, who was recently named Vice President & Chief Program Officer of Howard Brown Health Center. “Our greatest challenge is the growing epidemic of homelessness among LGBT youth.” His solution includes more resources for prevention and more parental involvement. “We need to help parents understand what it means to support their LGBT child, which includes HIV prevention,” he said. In his new role at Howard Brown, Hollendoner will look to create policies and programs to address these issues more broadly.
Hollendoner received the Community Health Leaders Award during a ceremony at the Foundation in Princeton, N.J., on August 12, after being nominated for the award by community leaders.
“Joe is in large part responsible for my being here at Howard Brown”, stated Jamal Edwards, President and CEO of Howard Brown. “I first learned about Howard Brown in 2006 by listening to Joe speak passionately about his work at the Broadway Youth Center during a leadership council gathering. I said to myself then that if Howard Brown changes and saves this many youth’s lives, then I want to be a part of it. That very thought lead to my increased engagement with Howard Brown and, ultimately, to my becoming President & CEO. Joe’s visionary leadership and inspiring passion has not only impacted the lives of countless youth and patients, but it has forever changed mine and shaped the future of Howard Brown Health Center.”
Howard Brown Health Center is one of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) healthcare organizations. Through a wide array of health, wellness, social service and research programs, Howard Brown cares for more than 36,000 adult and youth clients annually. For more information about Howard Brown, please visit www.howardbrown.org.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation established the Community Health Leaders Award to recognize individuals who overcome daunting obstacles to improve health and health care in their communities. Today, there are 183 outstanding Community Health Leaders from nearly all states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit www.communityhealthleaders.org.