The Network

for LGBT Tobacco Control

State and Cities: New Webinar – 411 on Including LGBT Disparities in CTG Proposals: Resources

 You may recall a recent Network webinar: State and Cities: New Webinar – 411 on Including LGBT Disparities in CTG Proposals: Resources.  Well here are some resources from that call!

Powerpoint Presention: States & Cities: New Webinar – 411 on including LGBT Disparities in CTG Proposals 6/13/2011

Cities_States CTG Webinar_Jun_13_11

We also have the Presentation and recording from our 6/2/2011 Call:

How to advocate for LGBT inclusion in Community Transformation Grants Webinar 6/2/2011 

Audio recording of 6/2/2011 Call: Conf_recorded_on_Jun__2_2011__2-50PM

June 21, 2011 Posted by | Presentations, webinar | Leave a comment

Tips for how to get health promotion messages into LGBT blogs

By Scout
Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute, Boston, MA
Reporting from Netroots Nation LGBT Pre-Conference, Minneapolis, MN

It's a packed room of bloggers and LGBT orgs at the Netroots LGBT Pre-Conf

We all have to build new skills

Remember just last year when many state dept of health folk were blocked from Facebook, Twitter and other social media? Well, perhaps because the feds have set a standard of using social media for their routine promotion work, we all now realize that Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter… all these are tools we will need to understand and use in order to ace health promotion work in this new era.

Well, despite the fact that you are reading this on a blog, don’t think we’re not as overwhelmed with all these new media as everyone else. We’re trying our hardest to learn how to use these new tools effectively. But boy it’s a lot.

Many of you know, lots of our LGBT print media has already gone out of business, some have switched to an all online format, some have just folded. This struggle is one of the reasons why the print media is really susceptible when folks like RJR Reynolds start pumping SNUS ads. Like happened in Minnesota, it’s often a real challenge to get the magazine or newspaper to refuse these ads in todays world. Face it, this is one of the main reasons why we have to struggle to raise awareness that we have health disparities like our crazy high smoking rate. It’s long past time for us to take some tips from major corporations and start being more savvy about how to get healthy messages integrated into LGBT media. But how do we do it with a fraction of their funding?

So, you know we’re at this Netroots LGBT Pre-Conf today… I’m listening avidly to all the many LGBT bloggers in the room. Let me share a bit of what I’ve learned about smart strategies for getting those healthy messages into LGBT online media.

First, what are the bigger LGBT blogs?

It’s a little hard to figure out exact readership, and some focus more on social versus serious messaging, but at least each of these LGBT blogs should be on our radar screens.

Tips for getting coverage in LGBT blogs

  1. Buy ads in them! Yes, the blogs are absolutely independent, but this is one way to start building a relationship which helps get your news noticed.
  2. Offer to write for a blog. One of the big ones, is actively seeking new contributors now, go on, sign up, one way to get health covered is to write the posts ourselves.
  3. Repost their stories on Twitter/FB, comment on the stories online, just start engaging with them.
  4. Make a short list of the editors of each of those blogs and send them press releases whenever you think somethink is news. Don’t worry if it’s not national, local is ok too. Pics help too.
  5. Give bloggers scoops or first rights to breaking news, this is one fast way to build a relationship.
  6. Write op-eds about health issues and submit them to blogs (customize them for each submission). See some of the op-eds we put up on the IOM report to see a sample of style.
  7. Did I mention buy ads on them? This seems to be a seriously underutilized strategy. Yet some of the blogs above get 40k views/day… that’s a lot of eyeballs we’d like to have reading our health messages, right?

Many of these strategies will work just as well for your local LGBT media as well. And many of them can be real smart strategies for health departments or hospitals to use as a way to demonstrate that your services are LGBT-friendly.

OK, now off I go to try to put some of these strategies into action!

June 15, 2011 Posted by | Action Alerts, APHA, Blogs en español, Break Free Alliance, CPPW, Creating Change, Creating Change 2010, Creating Change 2011, Minnesota, National Coalition for LGBT Health, NatNet, Presentations, Puerto Rico, Resources, Scholarship Opportunity, social media, Steering Committee, Tobacco Policy, two_spirit_wellness, Uncategorized, USSF, USSF_mlp, webinar | , , , | Leave a comment

SAMHSA Scores A+ on Including LGBT Population in New Strategic Plan!

by Scout
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute, Boston, MA

Praise where praise is due!

SAMHSA's new strategic plan

Sure, we have a tendency to point out when health policymakers leave LGBT people behind… but never let it be said we don’t praise inclusion just as loudly! (if a little belatedly). Well, I’m very pleased to say the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has done an outstanding job at including the LGBT population in every level of their new strategic plan. LGBTQ (questioning) people are mentioned a whopping total of 50 times throughout the document and there’s plenty of toothy initiatives to show it’s not all fluff. Including a brand spanking new action item on enhancing tobacco cessation efforts for LGBTQ folk with mental health or substance abuse issues. Weeha!

Gold star to SAMHSA’s administrator, Pamela Hyde, and special thanks to the many stalwart allies there, including: Larke Huang, Ed Craft, Nancy Kennedy, and Sylvia Fisher.  Special thanks also to Barbara Warren from Hunter College and the Trevor Project folks for being some of the key community advocates (along with us) who kept helping them shape this inclusion. Great job SAMHSA! We say, A+!

May 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We’ve moved!

Ack, this isn’t fresh news!

That’s right cause we changed our name so we’ve changed our blog name.

But it’s still the same great stuff… so come on visit us at

See you there!

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LGBT Inclusion in Federal Leading Health Indicators

By Scout

Network for LGBT Health Equity

New Institute of Medicine Report on Healthy People 2020 Has LGBT Inclusion

So HHS asked the prestigious Institute of Medicine to come up with leading health indicators for Healthy People 2020 and their report just came out today. We’re poring over all 87 or so pages now but wanted to give you the heads up LGBT people figure prominently in the document.

First, the Institute of Medicine recommends 12 Leading Health Indicators, or measures of the overall nations health be used. These include things like “Proportion of the population with access to healthcare services” and of course our favorite “Proportion of the population using tobacco”.

Then they suggested 24 objectives from all of the many in Healthy People 2020 that are very related to the Leading Health Indicators. Now this is where it gets interesting to us, they noted that 12 of those objectives were particularly relevant to LGBT health disparities.

The 12 Most Important Health Objectives for LGBT People

(The garble at the beginning refers to what HP2020 chapter they are in.)

  • AH 5L: Increase the educational achievement of lesbians, gay men, and bisexual and transgender adolescents and young adults.
  • AHS 1L: Increase the proportion of lesbians, gay men, and bisexual and transgender persons with health insurance.
  • AHS 5L: Increase the proportion of lesbians and transgender persons with a usual primary care provider.
  • HIV 17L: Increase the proportion of condom use among gay or bisexual males aged 15 and above who are sexually active with other men or women.
  • MHMD 4L.1: Reduce the proportion of gay, bisexual or questioning males and females aged 12 to 17 years who experience major depressive episodes (MDEs).
  • MHMD 4L.2: Reduce the proportion of lesbian, gay men, bisexual, and transgender persons aged 18 years and older who experience major depressive episodes (MDEs).
  • NWS 10L: Reduce the proportion of lesbian and bisexual female adolescents who are considered obese.
  • SA 13L: Reduce the proportion of lesbians’, gay males’, bisexuals’, and transgender persons’ past-month use of illicit drugs.
  • SA 14L: Reduce the proportion of lesbian, gay males, and bisexual persons engaging in binge drinking of alcoholic beverages.
  • TU 1L: Reduce tobacco use by lesbian, gay men, and transgender adults.

It’s great that they have identified priority objectives for LGBT people, but they even went further, they talked about data!

The Call for LGBT Inclusion in Health Surveys!

“A major difficulty in examining LGBT health relates to the availability of data for analysis. According to the Healthy People website,11 “Sexual orientation and gender identity questions are not asked on most national or state surveys, making it difficult to estimate the number of LGBT individuals and their health needs.” Therefore, the committee believes HHS should focus on improving and developing datasets that will facilitate analysis of disparities in LGBT health, thereby leading to action that can improve the quality of life and well-being of LGBT populations.” p. 43.

Hear hear, we agree heartily. And face it, if one more government policy doc comes out suggesting LGBT data inclusion, it’s going to be pretty hard to keep excluding us!

Read the whole report on the Institute of Medicine website.

March 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Call for Applications: The 2011 Summer Institute in LGBT Health

Aimeeby Aimee Van Wagenen

Guest blogger / Program Manager of the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health

Call for Applications:

The Summer Institute in LGBT Health, open to postdoctoral trainees, doctoral students and advanced Masters’ students, provides participants with foundational training in interdisciplinary theory, knowledge and methods for conducting population research in sexual and gender minority health. To be held July 18-August 12 in Boston, the Institute includes a 3 week seminar that will overview key topics, methods, and perspectives in the study of LGBT Health, a one week intermediate-level statistics and data analysis course, and hands-on training and supervision in work on an independent analysis project with LGBT population health data.

The Summer Institute is part of The National Mentoring and Training Program of the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health at The Fenway Institute and is co-sponsored by the Boston University School of Public Health.  Please visit to learn more about the program and how to apply.

There is no cost for tuition and slots are available for free housing in Boston University dormitories during the Institute.

Applications are due April 18, 2011.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Aimee Van Wagenen ( for further information.

March 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2011 National LGBTI Health Summit in Indiana: Call for Abstracts

Dear Colleagues,

Indiana University Health Bloomington and the Local Steering committee of the 2011 National LGBTI Health Summit are proud to announce our call for abstracts. Abstracts may be submitted at until April 15th, 2011.

We invite you to spend a few days in Bloomington working intensively with colleagues from all over the nation and world who are grappling with similar challenges, and engage in deep thinking and extended discussion about innovative programming related to the theme of “LGBTI Health: At the Crossroads.” We welcome presentations from diverse health care disciplines, community members, and anyone with a vested interest in addressing LGBTI health discrepancies. Based on the content of the abstracts accepted for workshop presentations, the workshop will be organized into tracks.

Workshop tracks/themes may include:

  • Mental health care
  • Health disparities by age
  • Health disparities by race or ethnicity
  • Health disparities by sex or gender
  • Health disparities by sexual orientation
  • Substance abuse
  • Policy/Health care reform
  • And more.

The 2011 National LGBTI Health Summit will be held in Bloomington, Indiana on July 16-19, 2011 at the Indiana Memorial Union on the campus of Indiana University. We would like to invite all members of the LGBTI Community and their allies to join us in beautiful, Bloomington, Indiana. Please feel free to forward this message!

Patrick Battani

2011 National LGBTI Health Summit

March 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

LGBQQ Youths Wanted: For Online Health Behavior Survey

by John Blosnich, guest blogger


A research study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the West Virginia University (WVU) Department of Community Medicine seeks participants to complete an online survey about sexual orientation, health behaviors and life experiences.  We are looking for people who:

•     Are between 18-24 years of age

•     Identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, or questioning (i.e., sexual minority)

•     Have 15-20 minutes to complete an anonymous, online survey

The survey website is:

If you deem it appropriate, we would greatly appreciate it if you could pass along this information to others who might qualify to participate.  For more information, contact John Blosnich at 304/293.1702 or email

This study has been reviewed and approved by the West Virginia University Institutional Review Board and approval is on file.

Thanks for considering,


John Blosnich, MPH

PhD Candidate, Public Health Sciences

West Virginia University Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center

Department of Community Medicine

Translational Tobacco Reduction Research Program

March 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

In Awe of San Juan: Guest Report on 1st LGBTT Health Conference

Tom Rachal, Steering Committee Member

by Steering Committee member Tom Rachal

Reporting on the First LGBTT Health Conference in Puerto Rico

Have you ever spent an entire day attending a LGBT Health Conference and were glad you did?  Was that conference entirely in Spanish and you don’t speak the language?  Was that conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico only a few blocks from the sandy beaches?  Well, I, along with several members of the Steering Committee of The Network for LGBT Health Equity,  have just returned from such a conference and how glad I am to report it was absolutely outstanding!

The Puerto Rico Health and Tobacco Summit was attended by an overflow crowd, and they provided an excellent English interpreter for those few of us who do not speak their language. The entire program was filled by presenters who had their own Powerpoint presentations, and at no time was I ever bored by the information they provided.

Juan Carlos Vega (left) & Tom Rachal (right)

I learned many great things there but the one I find most disturbing is the following.  There are some unique problems on this beautiful isle which most of us do not face on a daily basis.  Hate crimes against LGBT people are rampant, the police don’t conduct proper investigations and many such crimes are not ever solved.  But, nonetheless, these are strong people who are determined to overcome all obstacles placed in front of them.  They will eventually win over their opposition… it is just a matter of time.

I cannot remember when I was so warmly greeted by the host organization as I was here in San Juan.  When you visit here, I am sure you will be glad you did and will dislike having to fly back home as I had to last week.

Tom Rachal

March 9, 2011 Posted by | Presentations, Puerto Rico, Steering Committee | 1 Comment

Network February 2011 Summary

As usual, February has been a very busy month for the Network. One major effort was assessing our current years progress and developing an action plan for the future year as part of our re-application for next years CDC award (year four of the five year cooperative agreement). We are happy to report that we have already exceeded our two major foci for the current grant year: expanding our social media presence and engaging people in direct advocacy. The hub of both successes has been our blog with over 7,500 views so far this fiscal year, it is rapidly becoming one of the largest LGBT health blogs online.

We are pleased to report great success at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s annual Creating Change Conference in Minneapolis. Not only did we have Scout and Emilia live blogging from the conference, but we sponsored three blogging scholars to present a well-rounded report on the event: Dean Andersen, Megan Lee and Sasha Kaufmann. Together, we wrote and publicized 24 blog entries on this premier gathering of LGBT leaders. We are happy to say that in line with our goals and expansion, Creating Change has significantly expanded health programming in the last three years. For example, there’s now a routine pre-conference institute on LGBT health; this year Scout participated by presenting on HP2020. Our other major effort at Creating Change was to get signatures for a letter to the CDC requesting routine national LGBT data collection. This was a response to CDC’s lack of data and simultaneous call for data collection in their new health disparities report. We collected well over 200 signatures, exceeding our original goal of 70. In other small data related issues, we are pleased to be informally helping National Center for Health Statistics as they conduct historic cognitive testing on LGBT surveillance questions and we have joined the organizing team for a forthcoming transgender surveillance meeting being led by The Williams Institute.

In addition to Creating Change, Gustavo presented at the Food and Drug Administrations, Center for Tobacco Products Stakeholder Discussion Series Session focusing on Minority Communities and Groups Affected by Tobacco-Related Health Disparities in Oakland. Also Scout facilitated the first LGBT community meeting on health and wellness in Atlanta. We’ve been providing technical assistance to Atlanta’s Lesbian Health Initiative as they conducted the first ever LGBT wellness survey and focus groups. This community meeting was the next step in this process, engaging leaders to participate in tobacco and wellness action planning.

A major gain that took place within the last month was the Arizona Department of Health’s announcement of $400K for LGBT Health Projects. We have been supporting and advising Arizona in best strategies for funding local groups, now we’re offering technical assistance to the applicants. In a similar vein, we are helping Iowa Department of Health find ways to integrate LGBT work in their forthcoming low socio-economic status tobacco award. Following up with last month’s news about SAMHSA’s request for enhanced LGBT plans in their state suicide funding, we collaborated with The Trevor Project, The Equality Federation, and CenterLink to conduct a technical assistance call helping local groups contact their states to advocate for smart LGBT strategies in the state proposals. While the health topic isn’t a focus area for us we have strong hopes the strategy will be a successful one we can deploy for the soon-to-be-released Community Transformation Grants (see the new White House press release with detail on this funding). We were very pleased with initial results: we engaged 44 new (to us) LGBT groups from 21 different states with this single event.

-Your Friends at The Network

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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