Since 1999, the Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc. (CHCB) has been one of the leading health care providers in Buffalo, dedicated to providing a safety net to the uninsured and under insured by offering comprehensive primary care services in medicine and dentistry to a diverse population.

We recently spoke with LaVonne Ansari, PhD, CEO, Community Heath Center of Buffalo, Inc. about the Coalition’s efforts to eliminate stigma.

Q: Why did your agency choose to become a member of The Anti-Stigma Coalition?

The leadership of the Community Health Center of Buffalo Inc. realizes the role we play in the communities we serve and how important it is to develop and maintain networking relationships with others serving those challenged by stigma and other mental health issues. We are proud to have Karl Shallowhorn as our mental health educator. He is an excellent addition to the Anti-Stigma Coalition team!

Q: How are the people you serve impacted by stigma?

Ninety percent of our patients live life everyday dealing with some form of stigma. Stigma knows no mercy to color, gender, socioeconomic level, LGBTQFI, or physical challenge. Anyone can be a target and most people are at some point in their lives.

Q: What impact is the Campaign having in the community, in your opinion?

Our patients are relieved and grateful to know they are not alone. Our counselors are able to help with referrals that aide with all types of issues, many of which are the collateral damage of some type of stigma – housing discrimination, employment, health insurance enrollment, and access to quality health care without regard for ability to pay.