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Gayest & Greatest: Health and Beauty

Legacy Community Health’s CEO Katy Caldwell works to ensure the LGBTQ community’s trust.

Legacy Community Health CEO Katy Caldwell


After Katy Caldwell’s close friend was diagnosed with HIV in the late 1980s, she became a Montrose Clinic volunteer to help others affected by the virus.

“Many people were dying,” Caldwell recalls. “Giving someone an HIV diagnosis was basically handing them their death sentence. As a volunteer, there were days when I had to give multiple people HIV-positive results. That was tough.”

Caldwell again stepped up for folks affected by HIV and AIDS in 1996, when she accepted a job as executive director of the Montrose Clinic. Just as she took over the clinic, there was an HIV/AIDS medication breakthrough that allowed clinics across America to create a practical system of holistic HIV care. When Montrose Clinic morphed into Legacy Community Health in 2005, it became a place where anyone could receive health-related services—physical and mental health, social services, dental and eye care, and medication management.

Twenty-three years later, and under Caldwell’s leadership, Legacy Community Health has full-service clinics in 36 locations throughout Houston, offering comprehensive care to over 189,000 people, regardless of their ability to pay.

“Offering people affordable healthcare is important, because Texas has the highest number of uninsured people in the nation and Houston has the highest number in the state,” Caldwell notes, referencing data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. “Legacy’s mission is to drive healthy change in our communities, and the only way we can do that is to provide affordable access to healthcare services.”

It is in Legacy Community Health’s DNA to be LGBTQ-affirming, Caldwell says, but it hasn’t been easy to get everyone on the same page as the Trump administration rolls back healthcare protections for LGBTQ—and specifically transgender—people.

“We’re fighting the administration’s attacks on trans people in every way that we can,” Caldwell says, adding that Legacy is working with lobbyists in Washington to defeat anti-LGBTQ healthcare proposals. “We’re one voice in a large collective of voices (including our sister clinics across the country and the larger medical community) who believe in equal treatment for the trans community.”

Legacy Community Health will always be a place that provides affirming and affordable healthcare to trans people, Caldwell says. Everyone who is hired to work for the clinics must be LGBTQ-friendly, and employees are given training on how to best work with LGBTQ patients.

Commenting on Legacy Community Health winning OutSmart’s Gayest & Greatest 2019 awards for Best Community Healthcare Provider and Best Pharmacy, Caldwell says: “It’s one of the best compliments we could ever get that the community feels this way about our organization. I’m incredibly humbled and flattered. Legacy will continue to work every day for your trust.” —Lourdes Zavaleta

Best Community Health Services Provider

Avenue 360 (tie), Legacy Community Health (tie)
Finalist: City of Houston HIV Services

Best Cosmetic Skin Care Center

The Skin Renewal Center
Finalists: Share Wellness & MediSpa, Skin Renaissance, West Ave. Plastic Surgery

Best Cosmetic Surgeon

Forrest S. Roth

Best Female Aesthetic Psysician

Angela Sturm

Best Male Aesthetic Physician

Patrick McNamara
Finalists: Herb De Souza, Russell Kridel

Best Foot Doctor

Vanessa Barrow
Finalist: Jim Jacobs

Best Day Spa

Alira Boutique Spa & Salon

Best Female Dentist

Cynthia Corral
Finalists: Melicia Tjoa, Dianna Wilde

Best Male Dentist

Sam Carrell
Finalists: Marcus De Guzman, Austin Faulk, Cory Logan, Randy Mitchmore, Bruce Smith

Best Female Eye Doctor

Michelle Hung
Finalists: Juliet Farmer, Christine Tyler

Best Male Eye Doctor

Stewart Zuckerbrod
Finalists: Paul Lovero, Charlie Nguyen

Best Female Hair Stylist

Celina Gonzalez
Finalists: Lana Blake, Patty Gooch

Best Male Hair Stylist

Joel Quinones
Finalists: Reza Nouri, Anthony Skoogie, Randall Valentino

Best Female Massage Therapist

Rose Carle

Best Male Massage Therapist

Ryan Fugate
Finalists: Joel Quezada, Adam Skidmore, Tom Zeppelin

Best Female Mental Health Therapist

Denise O’Doherty
Finalists: Tara Bates, Yvonne Champion, Blythe Twosisters

Best Male Mental Health Therapist

Ty David Lerman (tie), Robert Snellgrove (tie)
Finalist: Tony Aucoin

Best Male Mental Health Therapist/Psychologist

Denis “Woodja” Flanigan

Best Male Psychiatrist

Daniel Garza
Finalist: Barry Gritz

Best Female Personal Trainer

Danielle Sampey
Finalist: Shana Ross

Best Male Personal Trainer

Michael Shallis
Finalist: Tony Hood, David Muniz

Best Female Physician

M. Sandra Scurria
Finalists: Julia Kovacs, Jennifer Meyer

Dr. Gordon Crofoot

Best Male Physician

Gordon Crofoot
Finalists: Octavio Barrios, Colt Keo-Maier, Ted Voloyiannis

Best Fertility Clinic

Aspire Fertility
Finalist: Houston Fertility Institute

Best Gym/Place to Work Out

FIT Athletic Club
Finalists: Club Houston, Houston Gym, Skyline CrossFit

Best Chiropractor

Sherman Yeager
Finalist: Byron Menard

Best Pharmacy

Avita Pharmacy (tie), Legacy Pharmacy (tie)
Finalists: Kroger Montrose, Walgreen’s

Best Physical Therapist

Roy Rivera Jr.
Finalist: Ariel Harlev

Best Tattoo Parlor

Electric Chair
Finalists: Corazones Tattoo, Red Eye Gallery

Best Urgent or Emergency Care Center

SignatureCare Emergency Center
Finalist: Elite Care 24 Hour Emergency

Best Hydrating IV Spa

Vitality IV – River Oaks

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Lourdes Zavaleta

Lourdes Zavaleta is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine.
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