NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A significant milestone in the treatment and prevention of HIV-AIDS in East Texas happened this week in Nacogdoches.
Health Horizons has dedicated its brand new comprehensive clinic. Soon, it will serve hundreds of patients and teach thousands more from a 12-county region. East Texas News was invited to the private dedication, an event for the agency's most loyal supporters.
The Wilbert Brown Jr. Health Center opened its doors first to its staff and loyal donors.
"People just don't give to HIV," Dr. Wilbert Brown Jr., the director of Health Horizons, said. "It's last. It's least, but God just opened up doors to us."
Thanks to the servants who decades ago helped, instead of turning away, the person with HIV-AIDS.
"The only people that we knew about in those days who had AIDS/HIV were either gay men or drug users, neither of which were the kind of folks that everybody didn't want to have a conversation about," the Rev. Kyle Childress, a Health Horizons supporter, said.
Fortunately caring individuals are breaking the silence.
"I'm a cancer survivor and I can tell people I had cancer," Brown said. "Hypertension, you can tell people you have that. Diabetes you can tell. But have you ever heard anyone tell you they have AIDS-HIV. They don't even have anyone to talk to."
The new health center will give over 250 clients a place to come when they're sick with all kinds of illnesses. It's no longer a place just for the medications which help keep them alive. So many new services will be offered in this building. Clients will start coming to their new facility next week.
Dental care will eliminate long trips to Longview. It's all possible thanks to generous donors.
"And this is what this is all about, the people," donor M. L. Glenn said.
"It helps take care of people that a lot of folks don't want to take care of and we're to take care of everyone without any prejudice," Rev. Steve Newton, the pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church.
And for the gesture, Brown saw to it that rooms are dedicated to loyal supporters.
"I'm at a loss for words," said board member Lonnie White.
But the true thanks will be knowing they're providing a service which Brown says is desired and deserved.