Christopher Hamilton

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  • What does your organization do?

    Texas Health Action is an Austin-based nonprofit organization that works to advance the community’s sexual wellness by providing culturally competent, comprehensive sexual health services. Since 2015, Texas Health Action has worked to promote and provide sexual wellness, free of stigma and judgment, and has empowered the entire community through community outreach and education, medical care through Kind Clinic, highly effective programs and research.

    Texas Health Action’s Kind Clinic offers comprehensive sexual health and wellness services to all members of the community with special attention to LGBTQIA+ people and allies, regardless of race, creed, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability to pay. Kind Clinic provides PrEP and PEP access, services for HIV prevention, HIV testing, care for people living with HIV, STI testing and treatment, and gender-affirming care in Austin and San Antonio.

    On August 24, Texas Health Action announced a new vision to provide affordable, high-quality integrated sexual and behavioral health services in 2021. Waterloo Counseling Center, a local nonprofit provider of counseling services, will become a program of Texas Health Action alongside our established program Kind Clinic, which provides sexual healthcare.
  • How did you become interested in this work?

    As a member of the LGBTQIA community I always wanted to find a way to give back to my community, to make health care better, more accessible, and more competent/aware for LGBTQIA people. I have had negative experiences in seeking health care as a gay man, I’m sure others in the LGBTQIA community have as well. The effects of delayed care compound the disparities that exist in the LGBTQIA community, particularly for people of color.
  • What drives your passion?

    After graduating from Texas A&M, my passion for improving access to quality healthcare in not-for-profit, mission-driven organizations was ignited. Upon graduation, I held communications roles with the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, which gave me a better understanding of the challenges facing the health sector and how to focus on advancements. I enjoyed this so much that I pursued my master’s degree in public health.

    Outside of my day-to-day responsibilities, I have given my time and counsel to several boards including the City of Austin Boards and Commissions HIV Planning Council, and the Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse.
  • Did you have a mentor or a role model?

    Not in any formal sense. I have a friend that worked in health care as a consultant, entrepreneur, and leader. He is part of the LGBTQIA community so he knew what it was like to take leadership roles in organizations that until June this year could fire someone for being gay. He was always helpful to bounce ideas off of and talk through challenges, and to also just have coffee and have fun.
  • What's the biggest challenge in your work?

    Growing everything fast enough. There are such tremendous needs for sexual health and mental health services in our communities.
  • What's the best advice that you have ever received?

    Surround yourself with people that challenge you.
  • What are your top tips for new Executive Directors?

    A. Be acutely aware of your board member’s areas of expertise and who can be a thought partner with you.
    B. In general, tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them, then do it several more times. You can’t communicate it enough, whatever it is.
    C. Be the most authentic version of you to lead, not who you think others think you should be.