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LGBT HealthLink: Teaming and Teeming with Talent


by Scout, Director, LGBT HealthLink at CenterLink

JulieJuanCarlosNicole
HealthLink’s New Team: (L to R): Nicole Sutton, Julie Balter, and Juan Carlos Vega

I think this is a historic level of change at HealthLink; we just hired three new staff all at once. In fact, I’m the only remaining staff from the old days (#grandpa). But while change is always a challenge, I couldn’t be more pleased with the incoming team. I think you’ll agree that it’s hard not to get excited about the level of experience they bring to the table. This week, each staff member will introduce themselves directly in a blog article and talk a bit about their history with wellness, cancer, and tobacco. But first let me overview the whole team. Drumroll please…

Juan Carlos Vega starring in the role of Policy Manager. Juan Carlos is a former HealthLink Steering Committee member and regular blogger on this site. He’s worked closely with local volunteer coalition groups, and the School of Nursing and the Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of Puerto Rico to establish the biggest LGBTT (they use two Ts in PR for transsexual and transgender) health event on the island (their biannual convening); worked with the local government to add LGBT data collection to their surveillance; and conduct the first wellness/tobacco needs assessment for Puerto Rico. He’s jumping right in already raising his voice and asking states “What are you doing for LGBT health?” Juan Carlos will be the frontline person to ensure both states and community organizations have the tools they need to improve measures for LGBT wellness. Hablo español. JuanCarlos@lgbtcenters.org

Nicole Sutton starring in the role of Grant Administrator. You might know her as the new Daniella. Nicole was also a HealthLink Steering Committee member. She comes to us from Hawai’i where she managed a youth empowerment counter-marketing tobacco project for fourteen years at University of Hawai’i. She was in charge of training and mobilizing thousands of youth to engage in tobacco control advocacy. She frequently talks to other states about how to engage youth with the same level of success. Nicole is an accomplished trainer and public speaker, and brings years of project management experience to our door. Already she’s whipping us into great behind-the-scenes shape, and I think CDC likes her more than me. Nicole@lgbtcenters.org

Julie Balter starring in the role of Program Specialist/Social Media Guru. Julie is a yoga instructor, as well as a social media specialist. She’s served as a marketing and social media consultant for the global marriage equality campaign, a Kiss for Equality (aka The Supreme Kiss). Most recently, she was the marketing coordinator for teacher training programs at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, the largest U.S. yoga retreat center. She also comes with long-term experience in communication campaigns, union organizing, and legislative initiatives for Screen Actors Guild (now SAG-AFTRA). Julie recently returned to Florida to be close to her family and we’re grateful for it. She’s jumping into our social media presence head first and we’re just waiting for big things to happen as a result. Want to blog for us? Got a hot tip for LGBT wellness news? Talk to Julie. Julie@lgbtcenters.org

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