On the evening of Thursday, June 28th, the board and staff of GO CARE, along with its friends and community partners, gathered for a celebration.  2018 marks the thirtieth year of GO CARE providing services to the people of Northeast Louisiana, but that's not the only highlight of the year!  GO CARE has recently undergone a renovation and expansion of its location, increasing our overall footprint to 6,000 square feet.  Additionally, we wanted to take the opportunity to recognize the retirement of our former Executive Director, Richard Womack, and longtime employee Deborah Chandler, whose position at retirement was Housing and Transportation Coordinator.  We also recognized former Board President Davy Norris, Jr., and James Randall Moore.
GO CARE is proud to have served the people of Louisiana Public Health Region 8, which encompasses the twelve parishes of Northeast Louisiana, for thirty years.  The organization started as a grassroots effort, utilizing a small office not much bigger than a closet.  Our first stand-alone location was on Justice Street in Monroe, followed by a location on Jackson Street, then to DeSiard Street until 2010, when we moved to our current location on North 7th Street in West Monroe.
In 2015, we leased additional space at the North 7th location to provide space for an in-house clinic for the provision of outpatient medical care to people living with HIV.  Then, in 2017, we had the opportunity to take on the remainder of the property at 1801 North 7th, giving us the entire building.  The enabled us to restructure the physical layout of the organization, with us having the clinical operation as well as prevention and testing in Suite A supportive services such as mental health and substance use counseling, non-medical case management, transportation, and housing in Suite B and administration, accounting, benefits coordination, and conference area in Suite C.
When the expansion was finalized in 2018, GO CARE was in the position to fulfill a dream of its administration and board -- begin the provision of primary healthcare in open and affirming environment geared toward the LGBTQ community.
The evening of the 28th was full of pride, joy, tears, and hope.  We had the opportunity to honor our past, celebrate our present, and look forward to a bright future.  Our vision is to become the premier resource for healthcare and supportive services for people living with HIV, as well as a source of support, encouragement, and provider of medical care to the LGBTQ community -- or to ANYONE who wishes to receive their healthcare in an open and affirming environment.
We feel that we have been given a tremendous opportunity to provide services to populations of people who are in great need and who are worthy of great care -- and we will give our heartfelt best to each and every person who comes through our doors.
Moving Health Forward,
Mark L. Windham