Dear Fellow Blog Readers,
As you may have seen we have started posting mini activity reports to our blog outlining some of our work over the past month. The reports are generally posted the third week of the month so we can share some of the Network’s current efforts with you all. We will continue to send out Newsletters every other month and we will have one coming out soon, but in the meantime here is our March 2011 Activity Report.
March 2011 Activity Report:
The Network has been extremely busy this past month. We started off the month with Scout presenting on LGBT Health Policy to a huge crowd at the 32nd Annual Minority Health Conference at University of North Carolina. From there we went to Puerto Rico, where we trained local advocates on our LGBT Cultural Competency Training, held a two-day Strategic Planning Retreat with our Steering Committee, and participated in two local events, the first ever LGBTT Health Summit and Puerto Rico’s Tobacco Conference. (In Puerto Rico, they use LGBTT because they say transgender and transexual.) The events were all a huge success. The Strategic Planning Retreat brought new ideas, direction and clarified identity for the Network as we grow into our new name. The LGBTT Health Summit was more popular than we could have imagined, organizers finally cut off registration at 130 people. Steering Committee chair Francisco Buchting presented on surveillance and as one of the main sponsors, our Director Dr. Scout actually managed to give a short welcome speech to the crowd in Spanish. But the real stars were the local organizers, who assembled an amazing program. Attendees were so enthusiastic about the event that many planned to continue meeting about LGBT health issues. Overall, Puerto Rico is a Dream. They already have some of the most comprehensive tobacco free laws in the country (you can’t even smoke on the beaches or in cars with kids), now we learn that local advocates have been successful in getting them to add LGBT questions to both their quitline and BRFSS survey. The Network for LGBT Health Equity was even listed as a main sponsor of their tobacco conference. In preparation for our Puerto Rican journey we also our proud to report four newly translated Spanish language resources: our brochure, a smokefree air factsheet, the Sharing our Lessons HIV booklet, and our Quitline Poster. After Puerto Rico Scout moved onto Washington D.C. to attend the New Beginnings Initiative convening of LGBT policy organizations from across the country. Attendees reviewed the LGBT gains at a federal level and created a priority list for future years coordinated policy priorities. Spurred by this meeting, Scout wrote to HHS officials about policy gaps. Initial information shows the communique was circulated up to Sebelius’ office and well received, more on that effort as we know it. To round out the month, Scout presented on nutrition and exercise at the Missouri Checkout Advisory Committee meeting.