Today we’d like to introduce you to Richard Andrews.
Richard, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in New England but when I was 1 year old my family moved to southern Spain, where I grew up. When I graduated college with a geography major, I had no idea I would go into medicine. I knew I wanted to work with people and with science, so that is what drew me in.
I studied medicine in Connecticut and then family medicine at Georgetown University in the nation’s capital. I then worked in rural Virginia for about 20 years before deciding to heat things up a bit by coming to Houston. I did additional training in preventive medicine and in obesity medicine.
Much of my professional work has been with foreign-born patients, and I enjoy the challenges this presents. More recently I have learned how to care for patients with hepatitis B and hepatitis C — at this stage most of my patients are hepatitis patients.
Since some patients get infected with hepatitis through sharing needles for drug use, I am also getting increasingly interested in the topic of state and national policies regarding recreational drug use.
I have been at HOPE Clinic since 2008, with most of that time being in the role of Chief Medical Officer.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Overall, I would say it has been pretty smooth, although I realize that is not very interesting.
Maybe part of that is philosophical, as I adopted a position a long time ago of trying to make the best of whatever situation I happen to find myself in at the moment.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about HOPE Clinic – what should we know?
HOPE Clinic is a primary care clinic that operates as a “community health center” (CHC). This means we are a non-profit operation that grew from the local community, and over 1/2 of our board of directors must be either patients or immediate family members of patients.
Our original focus was to provide culturally and linguistically-competent primary medical care to patients of Asian ancestry, and this remains a core part of what we do. However, we treat anyone that comes in the door, and most of these patients were born overseas. Many are refugees, others are non-refugee immigrants, and still others are USA born. Over 75 languages have been heard within these walls in the 15 years that HOPE Clinic has existed.
We provide adult and pediatric primary care, psychiatry and counseling, dietician care, optometry, dentistry, and ob-gyn services including deliveries.
We are proud of our emphasis on cancer screening and prevention, our multi-lingual staff, and our viral hepatitis program, among other things. Our hepatitis C program has about 20 hepatitis C cures so far.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
HOPE Clinic is definitely a team operation, starting with the local Asian community itself, which conceived and then carried out the whole idea. HOPE has always had substantial support from and deep connections to neighborhood organizations and individuals. We have a talented staff of well over 100 administrative and clinical employees at three sites, from the custodians that are critical to a clean “ship”, to the health care providers and their supporting clinical co-workers. and to the senior leadership and their support staff. Similarly, the vessel would grind to a halt without critical team members like the referral staff and the IT department and medical records and front desk staff.
- Website: www.hopechc.org
- Phone: 713-773-0803
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org