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Howard Brown LGBT Health Center Agrees To Return $715,000

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Howard Brown Health Care Center, a medical clinic that primarily serves the gay and lesbian community, has agreed to return $715,000 to the federal government in the wake of a misspending scandal two years ago.

As WBBM Newsradio's Bernie Tafoya reports, the federal government gave the clinic the grant for an HIV/AIDS study. But the federal government claims Howard Brown misspent that money, and used instead to pay for its day-to-day expenses between 2005 and 2010, the Chicago Tribune reported.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Bernie Tafoya reports


Now, the Tribune reports, Howard Brown has agreed to repay the federal government $715,000 over the next three years. The clinic will pay $53,294 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $86,076 to the Health Resources and Services Administration immediately, and will return $575,000 to the National Institutes of Health in the coming three years, the Tribune reported.

Howard Brown chief executive officer Jamal Edwards, who took over after allegations of misspending at the clinic became public two years ago, said the clinic could have been fined as much as $3 million in fines and interest, the Tribune reported.

The misspending of the funds led to the firing of two top administrators, and put the very survival of the clinic in jeopardy. But donors stepped up following the administration shakeup, and the health center raised $650,000 in a period of 50 days to stay open.

Meanwhile, Howard Brown is moving ahead with future plans, including a move for its major East Lakeview clinic. The Chicago Phoenix reports Howard Brown's Triad Health Practice will move from its current location on the seventh floor of the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center professional building at 3000 N. Halsted St., to a nearly 4,000 square-foot site a few blocks north 3245 N. Halsted St., on the bustling Boystown strip.

The Chicago Phoenix reports the new location will include a new live pharmacy, a dental suite, pediatric exam rooms, geriatric care, and mental and behavioral health care, among other services. The site is located directly across the street from the Steamworks bathhouse and stands right behind one of the rainbow pylons that line the Halsted Street strip, and will be more visible to those who frequent Boystown, the Phoenix reported.

The health center was founded in 1974, and opened its first clinic two years later.

The health center now offers everything from HIV and STD testing and prevention, to medical care and counseling. The main Howard Brown clinic is located at 4025 N. Sheridan Rd., and Howard Brown also operates the Broadway Youth Center, and the three Brown Elephant resale shops in the Boystown and Andersonville neighborhoods and in Oak Park.

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