First, as some of you may or may not know the Network is available to conduct LGBT Cultural Competency Trainings. A major goal of the Network is to assist states in closing disparity gaps in LGBT tobacco control.
We have crafted an amazing LGBT Cultural Competency Training that will leave participants with a stronger understanding of the LGBT community, and how to best address LGBT health Disparities.
Training your frontline staff is a great way to ensure your programs, organizations, and services are accessible & welcoming to LGBTs. Having the training offered at conferences and summits is another way you can help train individuals to be more welcoming to the LGBT communities.
The Objectives of the training are to:
- Help participants learn how to reach LGBT people through community access points and structures
- Gain a better understanding on ways to ensure their agency is accessible to the LGBT community
- Establish individualized goals to reach and serve more LGBT people, with Network resources to assist them
Enough about Network plugs, let’s talk about NORTH DAKOTA!
The North Dakota Department of Health brought me out to the Beautiful town of Bismarck for their Annual Statewide Alcohol and Substance Abuse Summit and their quarterly sites meeting of CDC grantees. We conducted a 4 hour LGBT Cultural Competency Training during one of the breakouts at the summit, and their quarterly sites meeting of CDC grantees. During Both presentation the Network linked with Sharri Paxon, a local North Dakotan for both presentation to explain the local climate and to link participants with a local advocate willing to assist them in their work.
A little more about Sharri, she is an advocate for health equity, she supports the practice of looking beyond race and ethnicity to fully define affected populations. Through QPax Unlimited, Sherri provides consultation and training on a variety of public health topics, including health equity, cultural competency, the social determinants of health, program planning and integration and survey development. She specializes in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health and equity issues.
Sharri was a great asset and provided so much great information which led into a group discussion and project where participants identified ways they could make themselves and their programs more accessible to LGBTs. Some of those ideas included:
- Posting LGBT friendly materials in the lobby of their building
- Posting a comprehensive non-discrimination statement and informing staff of the new statement
- Set up LGBT Cultural Competency Trainings for entire staff
- Partner with local LGBT organizations on projects
- Ensure intake surveys/questionnaires asks sexual orientation and gender identity
- Encourage all 28 Local North Dakota Public Health Programs to adopt a non-discrimination policy
North Dakota has been doing some great work and we will continue to see significant progress from North Dakota in the future. We look forward to going back and building on some of the major accomplishments we achieved earlier this month.
Many thanks to all of the ND Health Department staff for opening your doors and your program to us! I am so impressed on all of the great work you are doing and can’t wait to see what comes next…