Scout Director, Network of LGBT Health Equity A project of The Fenway Institute Reporting from Charleston, West Virginia
I love me some West Virginia! About four years ago they brought us out to train and I was so pleased they committed right then and there to be one of the best states on LGBT tobacco control in the country. Now that alone would endear them to me, because sure enough they’ve followed it up with a series of LGBT tobacco awards. But more than that, I love the contrast, a state that has a stereotype of being backwards actually showing true leadership in disparities and tobacco disparities nationwide.
Well, West Virginia does it again this past week. Not only did they reach out to include the Network as one of the invited lecturers in their West Virginia expert lecture series, but they arranged for continuing education credits for the lecture, and automatically recorded it as an online webinar. So for the first time ever, if you want to see an example of the type of talk we go out and give as a starting point for many states or practitioners dealing with tobacco, you can see an hour-long version of one on the web anytime. (We often do longer trainings, so this just gives you the shortest version. It doesn’t include the local experts or action planning that are routinely part of the longer trainings.)
I had a great time spending a day out there visiting with old friends like Bob Anderson, the leader of the advisory committee for the low socioeconomic (SES) network called Breakfree Alliance (oh, I see they have a new blog). He really brought up that we need to do a joint factsheet about low SES LGBT tobacco use. I agree! (Any volunteers to help work on that?) And meeting new ones like John Blosnich who’s finishing his dissertation on LGBT tobacco use (yes!). Or the evaluators for their state tobacco control activities, or the members of their LGBT campus group (the WV teams are names Mountaineers,, they’re thinking of changing their group name to Mountainqueers, I love it!) There’s a lot of great stuff going on out in West Virginia, and now thanks to them, we’ll have one of our main trainings online for all to access. See it and find out more about TRILS here.