May has been a busy month filled with submitting new proposals, wrapping-up projects, and visioning for the future as we prepare to close out our current cooperative agreement. We would like to start the month by highlighting a huge win for the Network and our communities. In 2010 the Network released two action alerts and undertook major efforts to generate comments to integrate LGBT people into the future Federal Cultural and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards. We are pleased to report a win a huge win as the new enhanced National CLAS Standards have adopted an expanded definition of culture that now includes sexual orientation and gender identity. To top it off the implementation plan even urges trainings and data collection. Dr. Scout highlights it all in his Blog: After Quite a Long Time: Federal Cultural Competency WIN.
Currently we have two major efforts taking place as we close out our current cooperative agreement. We are in the process of conducting our annual membership survey and our State Census. Our last state Census was 5 years ago; we look forward to see how far LGBT tobacco control efforts have come since then.
As part of our on going technical assistance efforts we have submitted two new proposals this month. The two are both to continue our work Arkansas with both the Minority Initiative Sub-Recipients Grants Office (MISRGO) and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). We propose to facilitate the statewide Arkansas LGBT Health Initiative, including implementation and reporting. Unfortunately, after a year of waiting, we also received unwelcome news about our FDA TRACE proposal. While we received a good review, due to internal changes they decided not to fund any applicants. This proposal was a formal collaboration between ourselves, six governmental agencies, and five other LGBT community health partners. It was a complicated project to develop and while we’re sad none are being funded, we are still grateful to the many collaborators who invested in our vision with us.
Early in May Dr. Scout was invited to attend a planning session for the Association of State and Territorial Health Directors. Dr. Scout and the other disparity population representatives provided input for their strategic direction on disparities. We look forward to reporting outcomes from that event; one immediate positive outcome for us was an invitation to advise the National Association of City and County Health Officials on their LGBT policy.
As in last month’s report we are still heavily focused supporting CDC’s “Tips from Former Smokers” Campaign”. The Network continues to focus on efforts to increase visibility of the campaign to the LGBT market. Currently along with our sister networks we have been collecting tips from members in our community on their quit process which is housed on the National Networks Joint Site. We have highlighted on our blog stories collected from our network base and still encourage folks to share their stories with us. In addition there was a great article CDC Features Florida Lesbian Couple on the Joe.My.God blog this month worth highlighting. Phase two of the Tips campaign launched with the “Talk to your Doctor” series, highlighted in Dr. Scout’s blog as he covered the press release event in DC this month.
Dr. Scout was also able to connect with the Surgeon General while at that launch event and we are optimistic we’ll be having an in-person meeting with her in the near future. While in DC, Dr. Scout helped convene the second meeting of the Williams Institute Gender Identity In US Surveillance expert group. This group released a brief state of the science review recently and is now turning that into a full report.
In other notes, we have a variety of new blog posts this month. Is your home or vehicle smoke-free? Are we protecting the ones we care about and love, highlights CDC’s newest report Smoke-Free Rules and Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Homes and Vehicles Among US Adults, 2009–2010. Additionally, May 17th commemorated the day in 1990 that the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses which Daniella writes in her blog, Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Steering Committee member Juan Carlos Vega from Puerto Rico posted another great blog in Spanish this month; University of Puerto Rico undergraduate students discuss LGBTT health issues / Estudiantes de la Universidad de Puerto Rico discuten asuntos de salud en las comunidades LGBTT, furthering discussions around LGBTT health issues affecting our communities in Puerto Rico. As a reminder our blog is a major source of communication, linking people to information so to stay up to date on Network activities make sure you follow us.