In 1986, Dr. Trevor Hawkins met his first AIDS patient. “He was a wonderful guy, a superintendent of schools from New York. He said, ‘I have AIDS and I came here to die.’ He taught me a lot,” Hawkins said. “He inspired me to get involved.” Hawkins eventually sold his private practice and joined forces with Visiting Nurse Services to provide medical assistance to those affected by the disease. In 1996, he founded Southwest CARE Center.
Chad Upshaw worked for Hawkins as a case manager from 1992 to 1994. “I’ll never forget. People came here from all over the country, because they heard there was no wait for services,” he said. “A client once arrived in a taxi directly from the airport, and the employees had to help him into the clinic and then probably get him to the hospital. When I took a month off and went to Mexico, I said goodbye to one client who I knew was probably going to die. When I came back, 11 were gone. There was Trevor and a staff of eight or nine doctors. They were constantly seeing people, managing everything that happened. There was a phenomenal hope people on the staff had. It sustained everyone.”
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