Resilience Reimagined: Callen-Lorde Community Health Center

Callen-Lorde Community Health Center steps up in extraordinary ways to provide high-quality healthcare for LGBTQ+ communities


Since the days of Stonewall and the fight for gay liberation, Callen-Lorde has been transforming lives in LGBTQ+ communities for nearly 50 years. As the global leader in LGBTQ+ healthcare, Callen-Lorde provides comprehensive care that is free of judgment, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.

They are the only primary care center in New York City that specifically serves LGBTQ+ communities. From primary health care to HIV and transgender services, Callen-Lorde targets specific needs within their community to best serve each patient. They even have an on-site pharmacy to provide high-quality care for those who need it most. 

But when COVID-19 hit the U.S., many of the LGBTQ+ population were left in a vulnerable position. Unsure of where to get tested for COVID-19 or where to continue their treatments or medications, some were hesitant to go to traditional hospitals due to fear of discrimination and mistreatment.

Callen-Lorde knew they had to quickly mobilize. In just a matter of weeks, staff members and medical professionals shifted their operations entirely into tele-health services. They continuously monitored patients online, making sure they were still receiving consistent care, proper medications, and service. The staff at Callen-Lorde went above and beyond to be there for their patients and loved ones. “Our behavioral health providers who had kids at home would move to their cars to talk to their patients, making sure they were getting help,” says Donnie Roberts, Senior Director of Development and Communications. 

Callen-Lorde Boldly Opens New Clinic in the Middle of a Pandemic 

Their dedication to their community did not stop there. Callen-Lorde also created a temporary homeless shelter inside a hotel in Queens, New York. Those experiencing COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms were welcomed to receive medical treatment and supervision. In collaboration with the city of New York and other non-profits, staff and medical professionals relentlessly dedicated to 24-hour overnight shifts. This emergency shelter was up and running in a matter of a few hours. It speaks volumes to the staff’s unwavering commitment to protecting their community and those most at-risk. 

But, Callen-Lorde did not stop there. With such a great demand in need, the staff not only built a healthcare center overnight, but they also opened a new Brooklyn clinic in May. “We’re going to do it, despite all odds. That’s kind of the Callen-Lorde way. We’re resilient, and we’re going to fight. It’s not going to be easy, but we’re going to do it anyway,” says Aruna Krishnakumar, Health Center Director. 

Capital One is proud to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and support Callen-Lorde as they continue to provide high-quality and holistic care to the LGBTQ+ community. From Queens to the Bronx, Chelsea to now Brooklyn, Callen-Lorde has reimagined the ways to best serve their community.

Related Content