About Health Brigade
In 1970, a small community clinic opened in conjunction with the free university movement and patterned after similar efforts in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in Richmond's historic Fan District. Health Brigade, formerly Fan Free Clinic, became the first free clinic in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
*In the 1970s, we championed women's access to oral contraceptives, providing safe birth control in the light of day. We wore armbands identifying as medical personnel when we went into street protests to provide first aid. We provided primary care to the poor and uninsured.
*In the 1980s, we were early responders to the world's AIDS pandemic, sending care teams to support those living and dying from AIDS. Volunteers warmly embraced those who had been abandoned by family, friends, the community, and society.
*In the 1990s, as HIV/AIDS became a manageable, chronic disease, we shifted our focus to HIV/AIDS education, prevention, testing, and support services. We became known as the place where you could obtain services and support if you were infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.
*We ushered in the new millennium by opening our doors and welcoming the transgender population, a decade before transgender had become the mainstream word it is today. And we expanded our free mental health services well before headlines about mass shootings became tragically commonplace.