Wednesday, September 4, 2013

GMHC: A Social Justice Organization and Leader in LGBT Health Services

By Robert Finkelstein, Esq.

Most of us are familiar with the tremendous work of NGLCCNY’s not-for-profit partner Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC).  Begun in 1981 by a group of six gay men, GMHC has grown from a telephone and answering machine in a living room, to the world’s first provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. 

GMHC serves a diverse group of clients, comprised of thousands of men, women and families living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.  One-third of GMHC’s clients are African American, one-third Latino, and one-third Caucasian, and thirty percent of all its clients are women, most of whom are heterosexual.  Through its various major events, such as the annual AIDS Walk New York and the Latex Ball, GMHC is at the forefront of raising money and awareness while empowering individuals, including LBGTQ youth, to take control of their sexual health through education, testing and support.  GMHC is particularly proud that 88 cents of every dollar donated is utilized for direct services and programs.

With the effective advancement of HIV/AIDS medications over the years, GMHC’s services have evolved from assisting people with “dying with dignity” to serving people who are living with HIV/AIDS, by providing return-to-work training and assistance, a meals program, legal services, case management and more.  As Dirk McCall, Director, Communications and Marketing, explained, “GMHC is much more than just an HIV/AIDS service organization -- we are a social justice organization and a leader in LGBT health services.”  For example, during the recent meningitis outbreak among gay men and other men who have sex with men, GMHC was a leader in providing free vaccinations in New York City at its Testing Center and on Fire Island. 

Dirk McCall
Director of Communications and Marketing, GMHC

Janet Weinberg, Chief Operating Officer, notes that GMHC continues its vigorous fight against AIDS while providing supportive services to the communities it serves.  As Janet explains, “GMHC is currently seeking licensure from New York State in mental health and substance abuse services, which will allow us to expand our current programs in these areas, further advancing our mission to serve those affected by HIV/AIDS.  These licenses will allow us to assist a wider array of the LGBT community, including HIV-negative people.”  

As a former Executive Director of a Chamber of Commerce that worked closely with NGLCCNY as it began (the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce), Dirk, as well as GMHC’s Senior Managers and Board of Directors, fully appreciate the importance of working with Chamber businesses.  “Just because GMHC is a not-for-profit entity does not mean that we do not engage in business.  We are always looking to partner with businesses, particularly LGBT-owned ones,” Dirk explains.  “Partnering with LGBT-owned businesses is reciprocally beneficial because we are able to support local businesses while further invigorating the LGBT community in our efforts to magnify the urgency of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
GMHC has already enjoyed great success in partnering with Chamber members for a variety of services, including working with L7z Group for assistance with Web Management & Strategy.

For more information about GMHC, to make a donation, or to learn about ways to partner with GMHC, please visit GMHC.  You can also “like” GMHC on Facebook and follow GMHC on Twitter.

Written by Robert F. Finkelstein, Esq., NGLCCNY Legal Correspondent; Media Communications Committee.  Rob is a partner at Finkelstein Platt LLP, a general practice law firm, with practice areas including commercial litigation, construction law, general business law, and employment law.


  1. GMHC fired Dirk McCall, lets hear more about the GMHC scandals.

    "Abuse of Power" Clean Up
    GMHC fired Dirk McCall

    McCall was aware of the "House Ball" community abuse by the Club 1319 youth program and misappropriation of funds for the Latex Ball and Voguing dance classes.
    He did nothing and blocked further meetings with community historians and leaders.

    McCall sold out our community again.

    GMHC Leadership Scandals Continue in 2014. First CEO Dr. Marjorie Hill in 2013
    Now Communications Director Dirk McCall

    Who is next on the GMHC Firing List in 2014: COO Janet Weinberg, Chair Rolfe, Secretary and CAB President Manny Rivera, Publicist Krishna Stone and Luna Ortiz?

    Is GMHC the HOME for the LGBT Leadership Criminals? Is the lack of government oversight is to blame?

    Dirk McCall, aka "Dirty Dick"got finally sacked at GMHC. We have been calling on his firing since January of last year before the firing of CEO Marjorie Hill.
    We are one year ahead of time and the GMHC board finally caught up with us.

    McCall is best known within the LGBT community for writing the book of "ASS KISSING" and for "Selling Out The Community" for years.

    It was only a matter of time to get him fired. "Abuse of Power" Clean Up

    More information about McCall's firing

  2. How on earth did this guy end up in teh Bronx Borough Presidents office? He keeps getting jobs and has no qualifications besides being mr. schmooze.