By Simone Koehlinger, Psy.D. Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago Chicago, IL “Not So Second City”
It’s important to keep us queers and our health needs on people’s radars. I often brag about Chicago’s passionate community activists, dedicated providers, and our health department. With one of the last offices of LGBT Health in the country, the Chicago Department of Public Health makes us proud. Strong partnerships and governmental support are invaluable in making a dent in health inequities.
Another reason I am proud to be from the Windy City: Last month, the health department unveiled a LGBT action plan. This roadmap outlines 22 strategies to address the health and healthcare needs of the LGBT community. As the first companion document to Healthy Chicago, the city’s public health agenda, this release puts queer health front and center.
How’s THAT for government saying our health matters?
Being a glass half-full kind of girl, I really like that the health agenda acknowledges our strengths as a community. I’m also inspired by the plan’s shared responsibility — there is a role for all (community folks, medical providers, government officials, teaching institutions, etc.) to advance LGBT health.
Congratulations to all the organizations and people involved in creating this health blueprint. And here’s to a collective rolling-up-of-our-sleeves to ensure its plans become a reality.
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