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On Thursday, November 7, a historic partnership was formed between Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and the Keith Haring Foundation to further health equity for LGBTQ folks. Through a hefty donation to Callen-Lorde by the Keith Haring Foundation, the innovative and forward-thinking partnership is introducing the first Keith Haring Nurse Practitioner Postgraduate Fellowship in LGBTQ Health.

The $2.5 million donation is the largest private gift ever made to Callen-Lorde, and the largest donation made by the Keith Haring Foundation in its three decades of operation. The Fellowship will have a home within Callen-Lorde’s brand-new site in Downtown Brooklyn, slated to open in 2020. The space will allow Callen-Lorde to nearly double its capacity with an additional 25,000 square feet of space to provide LGBTQ healthcare that is so critically needed.

Callen-Lorde is a global leader in LGBTQ healthcare and has been serving the LGBTQ health community since the days of Stonewall. Prioritizing the dismissed LGBTQ communities, they pride themselves on providing quality care free of judgment and regardless of ability to pay. Through LGBTQ health research, advocacy, and education, their drive for positive change in the field, especially around transgender and HIV/AIDS care, helped them garner the attention of the Keith Haring Foundation.

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The foundation, which was created to honor the legacy of Keith Haring, supports nonprofit organizations that assist children, as well as organizations involved in education, prevention, and care related to HIV/AIDS.

“Keith Haring was a visionary in the fight against HIV/AIDS, raising awareness, challenging stigma, and engaging hearts and souls through his art as a person living with HIV,” said Wendy Stark, executive director of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. “The Keith Haring Foundation continues his legacy, and this landmark grant to Callen-Lorde will significantly impact culturally competent health care access for LGBTQ people for years to come.”

Through the fellowship, the Nurse Practitioner Postgraduate Fellowship directly responds to the need for entry-to-practice training for advanced practice nurses statewide, as well as calls from the Institute of Medicine, National Institute of Health, American Medical Association, and others for LGBTQ healthcare training.

Providing a safe space for queer folks, people living with HIV/AIDS, and the uninsured, this first-ever fellowship through Callen-Lorde with the generosity of The Keith Haring Foundation is long overdue for LGBTQ health.

*Photos provided by Callen-Lorde