PRESS RELEASE: May 6, 2014

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For Immediate Release
Dr. Scout
(954) 376-2701

Michigan Leads Way in LGBT Health Data Collection

Four Community Centers Awarded Grants


Ft. Lauderdale, FL – May 6, 2014 –CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers today announced that four LGBT community centers located in Michigan will receive grants for the purpose of collecting health related data, such as tobacco use rates, from their community members at various programs throughout the summer months, including PRIDE events.  The awards came as a result of technical assistance provided by CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity to The Michigan State Department of Community Health Tobacco Section, which is funding the grants.

The four agencies are Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center in Ferndale, MI; The Network in Grand Rapids, MI; Perceptions Saginaw Valley in Midland, MI; and KICK-The Agency for Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender African Americans in Detroit.

Very little health data exists on the LGBT population.  The intent of this project is to collect and analyze health related data from Michigan’s LGBT community through a Wellness Needs Assessment which has been developed, and will be analyzed, by CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity.  In addition to the collection of data, the four agencies have committed to disseminate culturally competent “quit tobacco” messages and facts to their constituents, healthcare professionals and legislators in order to demonstrate the need for increased funding of, and access to, health related services for the LGBT population.

According to Dr. Scout, Director of CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity, “Smoking is one of the biggest health burdens in the community, as LGBT people smoke cigarettes at rates that are nearly 70% higher than the general population. Other health disparities include increased suicide attempts, access to fewer preventive services for cancer, higher risk of HIV and AIDS, mental health issues and lack of culturally competent healthcare professionals.  Michigan is one of first ‘demonstration states’ – the first states to utilize our Wellness Assessment to gather these data proving the need for better and more comprehensive healthcare services for the LGBT population. CenterLink’s Network is on the cusp of rolling out an automated needs assessment process that other LGBT community centers throughout the country can deploy. We will create local needs assessment reports to profile the health needs of community center constituents. We are enthusiastic these reports can help grow local resources and add to the national dialog on LGBT health disparities.”

The Network will continue to provide technical assistance through the project and is working with The Fenway Institute to analyze and report the findings.

For more information about the project, contact Dr. Scout at (954) 765-6024.



About CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

CenterLink was founded in 1994 as a member-based coalition to support the development of strong, sustainable LGBT community centers. Serving over 200 LGBT community centers across the country in 46 states. Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, as well as centers in Canada, Mexico, China, Cameroon and Australia, the organization plays an important role in supporting the growth of LGBT centers and addressing the challenges they face, by helping them to improve their organizational and service delivery capacity and increase access to public resources. (

About CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity

The Network for LGBT Health Equity is a community-driven network of advocates and professionals looking to enhance LGBT health by eliminating tobacco use, and reducing cancer risk through enhancing diet and exercise. The Network, one of six CDC-funded tobacco and cancer disparity networks, directly trains state health departments and other policymakers in LGBT cultural competency and forges bridges between those agencies and local LGBT health specialists. The Network also actively monitors national and state health policymakers and urges community action when there is an opportunity to enhance LGBT wellness. (


  1. Rainbow Health Initiative has been collecting LGBTQ Health specific data for years throughout the state of Minnesota. We would love to expand our capabilities!! Congrats Michigan.

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