Gándara Center was first housed in a storefront on Main Street and then on the Mercy Hospital campus on Carew Street. In 1982, when the Gándara Center’s Outpatient Clinic doors at 2155 Main Street first opened, no other agency in the area specifically met the needs of the Hispanic community in providing culturally sensitive care. In the early years, our first executive director, Dr. Philip Guzman (pictured right), laid the foundation for what the agency would later become; his vision and advocacy for the Hispanic community set Gándara Center apart from other agencies.
In 1982, Dr. Henry Julio East-Trou (pictured to the left of Dr. Guzman) joined the team as a supervisor for the agency’s psychiatric day treatment program. At the time, Gándara Center had just one Springfield location and approximately 50 staff to house all of its programs—residential, outpatient, and substance use. Over the years, numerous contacts and grants were secured, services expanded, additional programs were created, and staff size increased. In 1989, when East-Trou began shepherding Gándara Center through an unprecedented era of growth as executive director, the agency employed 100 people and served approximately 2,000 clients. Today, Gándara is home to behavioral health, substance use, prevention, and educational services to more than 40 communities throughout the state—both in eastern and western Massachusetts—employs over 900 staff, and serves over 13,000 adults, children, and families from all backgrounds in its care.