LGBT Center in NYC: Apicha Community Health Center

about us

We promise to always provide compassionate, comprehensive and culturally competent healthcare and wellness services to underserved and vulnerable people living in New York City.  Our cultural competence allows us to care for Asians and Pacific Islanders, the LGBTQI Community and individuals living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

our story

Apicha Community Health Center’s mission is to provide affordable healthcare for underserved and vulnerable people living in the New York City boroughs and on the lower east side of Manhattan.

“We care” embodies everything that Apicha CHC does. Whether it’s our approach to otherized people, the LGBT community, individuals dealing with HIV/AIDS, or anyone else, we show everyone the same amount of dignity and respect. “We care” is what we live and breathe, It’s an essential part of who we are and will always be.

Our leadership, our dedicated providers, and our friendly and respectful staff truly care about the health and well being of members of our community. We believe and are guided by the following 10 core values:

  1. Embrace ‘otherized’ people.
  2. Show respect, always.
  3. Stay culturally competent.
  4. Be vocal advocates.
  5. Lead innovative change.
  6. Provide a safe refuge.
  7. Steward community health.
  8. Deliver quality wellness services with compassion.
  9. Act courageously.
  10. Go above and beyond our calling.

Because we care, our LGBT center in New York City provides a variety of culturally competent health care services that include primary care, HIV specialty care, transgender primary care, sexual health services, mental health services as well as community education programs that have been designed to be sensitive to your unique cultural needs and lifestyle choices.

We understand and respect that protecting your privacy is absolutely necessary. Our friendly staff has been trained to provide discreet medical care and support to everyone who needs it. We are here to serve you regardless of your race, gender, sexual orientation, English competency, immigration status or ability to pay. We provide services to anyone who walks through our clinic doors.

You can visit our clinic located in lower Manhattan at 400 Broadway by using our side lobby entrance off of Walker Street and entering the clinic lobby by the door to the left. When you enter the lobby, you will be greeted by our team of friendly, respectful, and multilingual staff who will provide all the support and guidance you need to stay healthy and improve your overall quality of life.

our mission

Our mission at Apicha Community Health Center is to improve the health of our community and to increase access to comprehensive primary care, preventive health services, mental health, and supportive services. We are committed to excellence and to providing culturally competent services that enhance the quality of life. We advocate for and provide a welcoming environment for underserved and vulnerable people, especially Asians and Pacific Islanders, the LGBT Community and individuals living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.


serving nyc since 1989

Formerly named Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, we were founded in 1989 to address unmet HIV/AIDS-related needs of Asians and Pacific Islanders in New York City.

Founding an LGBT Center

Our founders worked with Native American leaders to disaggregate “Asians and Pacific Islanders” and “Native Americans” from an “Other” category in HIV/AIDS surveillance data. Their successful advocacy opened the doors to government and private funding streams that enabled us to build a continuum of HIV/AIDS services, starting with prevention education and outreach to HIV primary care.

Evolving to a Community Health Center

In 2009 after two decades of HIV-focused practice, we expanded our nationally recognized HIV care model to include general primary care. This expansion initially included offering primary care to HIV-negative people who were at high risk for HIV, which then led to the establishment of an LGBT clinic, an STI clinic, and Hepatitis screening, immunization and treatment. In 2011, we launched our Transgender Health Clinic to address the unique healthcare and wellness needs of transgender, gender variant, gender nonconforming, and gender queer people of color.

Most recently, we began offering high-resolution anoscopy and cervical colposcopy to our patients who are at high risk for anal and cervical cancer. In 2012 we became a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike (FQHC-LA) and in August 2015, we became a full-fledged Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).


meet our team

    Our providers have extensive experience working with Asians and Pacific Islanders, Latinos, African Americans and other people of color. We also specialize in serving individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, as well as people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

  • Adrian Costello, LCSW
    Behavioral Health Specialist
    Adrian graduated from Hunter College School of Social Work in 2010. He worked at Community Healthcare Network for 5 years, first as a counselor in the transgender program, providing counseling, group support, and psychoeducation, and later as a psychotherapist in the mental health program. Previously, he was as social work intern at the LGBT Community Center. He is interested in the ways that trauma and oppression can impact both mental and physical health and is particularly enthusiastic about de-stigmatizing mental health issues and providing support around gender and sexuality. 
  • Karalyn Dennis, FNP-BC
    Nurse Practitioner
    Karalyn began her journey in healthcare specifically with the goal of working to end the HIV epidemic. She has worked in many different areas of healthcare from elite hospital units to community healthcare centers over the past 6 years as a nurse and nurse practitioner. She has cared for patients with numerous barriers to receiving healthcare, be they unable to speak English, undocumented immigrants, dealing with insecure housing, or struggling with untreated substance abuse and mental health problems. She has come to Apicha CHC ready to focus more closely on HIV prevention and pursue training on how to treat this complex disease. 
  • Dickson Jean, MD
    Medical Director of Mental Health Services
    Dr. Jean serves as the Medical Director of Mental Health Services at Apicha Community Health Center and is board certified in Psychiatry and Neurology. He provides psychiatric care for all patients including evaluating, diagnosing and managing acute and chronic mental health conditions. Dr. Jean is well experienced in providing psychotherapy or medication management, as appropriate. He is Attending Physician and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel. A graduate of McGill University School of Medicine in Canada, Dr. Jean completed his residency at Beth Israel Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
  • Alan Lee, RD, CDE
    Registered Dietitian
    Alan serves as a Registered Dietitian at Apicha Community Health Center. He specializes in developing nutrition programs.
  • Jun Matsuyoshi, LCSW
    Director of Mental Health Services
    Since 2010, Jun Matsuyoshi has served as Director of Mental Health Services. She coordinates psychosocial assessments, crisis intervention services and counseling for all patients at Apicha Community Health Center. She is a graduate of NYU with a Master of Social Work and brings with her over twenty years of experience providing mental health counseling for Public Health Solutions, Project Hospitality, Montefiore Hospital and Health and Hospital Corporation. Her dedication to the communities we serve is evidenced in her prior work experience and membership on the Board of Directors for Apicha CHC from 1994-2004.
  • Henry Nguyen, FNP-BC
    Nurse Practitioner
    Henry is a Family Nurse Practitioner with over four years working in primary care. He is an HIV specialist and previously cared for over 100 positive patients of varying ages, some as young as 13 and as aged as 79. He is dedicated to learning all he can to extend care to those that need it most. He’s skilled in meeting clients’ needs across the lifespan no matter the challenge, from contraceptive management to chronic disease management to child wellness. Henry has come to Apicha CHC to continue growing as a provider because providing full spectrum, quality health care is what he’s passionate about.  
  • Susanne Rendeiro, FNP
    Clinical Director
    A medical professional with extensive experience serving LGBT patients and people living with HIV infection, Susanne Rendeiro provides primary care and specializes in Family Practice and HIV/AIDS. Her experiences include serving as Family Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Manger for HIV Primary Care Services at Greenwich House, Family Nurse Practitioner at Betances Health Center and Field Nurse at Isabella Geriatric Center. She holds a Master of Science (Nursing) from Pace University Family Nurse Practitioner Program and a Bachelor of Science (Nursing from Rutgers University, College of Nursing. In November 2016, Susanne received a promotion to Apicha CHC Clinical Director.
  • Rachel Sakai, DNP FNP-BC RN CDE
    Family Nurse Practitioner
    Rachel Sakai is a Doctor of Nursing Practice and Family Nurse Practitioner. Rachel is an HIV specialist and certified diabetes educator. She graduated at the top of her class and was awarded the Stanley S. Bergen, Jr., M.D. Medal of Excellence for achievement in clinical practice and research. Rachel has returned to NYC from California where she was working with the Aids Healthcare Foundation providing HIV primary care. Rachel is extremely passionate about working with the LGBTQI population, those affected by HIV, and marginalized populations. Rachel is committed to providing holistic, patient-centered care and improving community healthcare outcomes.
  • Therese R. Rodriguez
    Chief Executive Officer
    Ms. Rodriguez has been at the helm of Apicha Community Health Center‘s management since 1997. She led the development of multiple initiatives including the establishment of Apicha CHC‘s culturally competent one-stop HIV care model, and the most recent transformation of Apicha CHC from an AIDS Service Organization into a Community Health Center. She is a long-time advocate of civil rights and health and social services for Asian and Pacific Islanders, especially those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Therese was born and raised in the Philippines where she earned her Bachelor of Arts and Business Administration degree from St. Theresa’s College.
  • Aleli Alvarez
    Executive Assistant
    Aleli Alvarez provides support to the CEO in matters related to Board relations, facility management and human resources. Prior to her current position, Ms. Alvarez served as grants manager. She also currently co-manages the Benefit Committee that plans and implements Apicha Community Health Center‘s annual fundraising event. Aleli received her BA in Sociology from the University of the Philippines in Quezon City, Philippines and a MA in Sociology from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.
  • Yumiko Sano
    Chief Program Officer
    Starting as a volunteer in the 1994, Ms. Fukuda rose from the ranks of Apicha CHC to become its Chief Program Officer. She is responsible for ensuring efficient and effective operations, proper management of resources, provision of services to patients, and data systems analyses. Ms. Fukuda has successfully navigated Apicha CHC‘s HIV prevention, care and treatment activities based on the ever-evolving health care environments, including the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, High Impact HIV Prevention, implementation of Care Management services for New York State Health Homes. Yumiko received her MSW from Columbia University’s School of Social Work.
  • Ira Rothblut
    Chief Financial Officer
  • Gertrudes Pajaron
    Chief Development Officer
    Ms. Pajaron plans and directs activities related to resource development and policy/advocacy. Since joining Apicha CHC in 2003, she has been part of the management team that worked to implement Apicha CHC‘s one-stop HIV care model. She also has been a key player in the planning of Apicha Community Health Center‘s transformation into a patient-centered medical home. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Brooklyn College, Department of Theater, City University of New York. She has extensive experience in advocacy to promote civil rights and the arts, as a community organizer and journalist.
  • David Boyd
    David served as the Vice Chairman of the Board at Apicha Community Health Center until 2017, when he was named Chairman. 
  • German B. Compas
    German serves as the Secretary to the Board at Apicha Community Health Center.

Your Health is Important