Monthly Updates From The Network
Last month we mentioned Dr. Scout’s Huffington Post OpEd urging NIH to accelerate their response to the LGBT IOM report. We are happy to say that this generated a few responses from HHS. First, we were assured the NIH response to the report would now include some level of external expert review. Second, Scout has been invited to present to NIH staff at their pride event next month. We’ve been working with students at Boston University to conduct an analysis of LGBT funding in the full NIH portfolio; while we had first planned for them to present the findings at APHA, we hope they might be ready to present directly to NIH at that pride event.
Last month we also reported that Gustavo was just leaving for the Promising Practices conference thrown by our sister network, Breakfree Alliance (the tobacco poverty disparity network). One of the main tenets of our work is to collect the community information and convert the good strategies into lessons that can be saved and shared nationally. So, Gustavo worked with Promising Practices participants to record and save as much information as possible. We are happy to report we already have nine new promising practices videos on our YouTube channel now and more to come.
At the request of the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Gustavo conducted a full day cultural competency training for their grantees and interested community partners. With over 60 folks in the room, participants interacted throughout the day and truly embraced this vital training. This is one of the Networks most requested trainings, and we are pleased to offer it to our state and community partners.
As a result of our advocacy to include LGBT populations in the new health care reform Community Transformation Grants we are pleased to report South Carolina included LGBT people as a target population for their award and this month Scout flew down there to give a talk on cultural competency as part of their statewide grantee training. Interestingly, this was the first time we used LGBT as a lens to present on general cultural competency. We’re happy to report the talk was very well received by the hundreds of attendees and we will have a printed version up in the coming month.
Scout followed this up with a trip to Minnesota for our ongoing technical assistance contract there. We’ve been helping Rainbow Health Initiative revamp their community health needs assessment by convening national experts to help advise on how this can be enhanced and also be a template for other localities to use. The new survey is finalized in Minnesota now and should launch nationally soon. We also have been doing a lot of work with the Southeast Asian tobacco network there. This trip we helped them revamp their wellness policy and create a new streamlined strategy to allow more community groups pass the policy. More news on that as we get a report on implementation.
Later, Gustavo was in Alaska invited as a Keynote speaker and presenter for the Alaska Tobacco Control Alliance statewide tobacco control conference. You can read the highlights on our blog. In addition to Alaska, Gustavo was the opening plenary speaker for the Minority Initiative Sub-Recipient Grant Office’s (MSRGO), 9th Annual Clearing the Air in Communities of Color in Arkansas. The opening address focused on reaching community through online social media platforms.
Despite all this travel most of our month was dedicated to preparing and submitting our largest and most complicated proposal to date, a $10M six state project on LGBT tobacco education. While we understand competition will be intense, we partnered with six different departments of health, five different community-based organizations, and many of the top LGBT media experts to create a strong project we hope will be a serious contender for this significant award. This is our third major proposal in the last year, as we enter the final year of this CDC disparity network award, we will continue to aggressively pursue all sustainability options.
Rounding out the month, Scout is now in Missouri as a guest presenter for their LGBT Health Access Roundtable series, he’ll be giving a talk today on LGBT Health Policy: National and Local Opportunities. We expect a video of the event to be up soon. Scout is actually flying directly from there to Milan Italy. We are pleased to report that he was one of a few people invited to the Rockefeller Foundation retreat center in Italy for a weeklong planning session with Sellers Dorsey Foundation staff on creating a new national (U.S.) LGBT health disparities project. We will report out on that event next month.