Action Alerts · APHA · Community Transformation Grants · Funding · LGBT Policy

Thoughts on Tobacco, Evolution, Sustainability & Strategic Planning

Scoutby Scout, Ph.D.
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
At The Fenway Institute

Healthcare Reform Has Started to Change Our World

It seems I’ve been a public health professional for almost a quarter of a century. (really? wow) I’ve gotta say, in those 24 years, one of the things that gives me the most optimism is the advent of health care reform. Cutting through the details, health care reform is fundamentally shifting to being more logical about our health, particularly finally investing more in avoiding problems, instead of just fixing them. When I was in school, we used to describe public health like this; if you’re next to a river and people keep coming down drowning, the doctors will pull them out and resuscitate them, but the public health officials will head upstream to help stop them from falling in. Finally now, our health care system is moving towards that upstream intervention. It took spiraling healthcare costs to spur the shift, a burden that our kids will probably have to keep paying, but at least it’s happening.

85% Is Good News for Us

A while ago folk at CDC started to throw out a startling stat, seems the analysts crunched the numbers and came up with the fact that if we do a better job of avoiding smoking, eating better, and exercising more as a country, we can cut our healthcare costs by a whopping 85%. Eighty five percent, that’s just shocking. Yes, it’ll take a boatload of changes to really shift these 3 health behaviors, but it’s numbers like this that are spurring the 3/4 of a billion dollars the government recently invested in Community Transformation Grants aimed at these three issues. This is all good news for anyone working in tobacco, or in healthy eating or exercise. As the ex-head of CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health said, “We kept saying smoking was important, finally they realized we were even more important than anyone guessed.”

Fewer Silos, More Grain

Hold on, hold on, there’s even more logic coming out of the government. (I know, we try not to expect that). Along with the shift towards more wellness/prevention work, there’s also a lot of reorganization afoot, to combine funding streams to allow more integrated work on the three areas: tobacco, exercise, and healthy eating. Yah, not only does this probably reduce paperwork for someone (not that you could tell from any of the proposals I’ve written recently), but it also just makes sense. If we’re trying to help people be healthier, do we really want several sets of people locally trying to change things, one for tobacco, another for healthy eating, and another urging folk to exercise. Of course not, the concept of pushing Wellness as an integrated focus makes the most sense.

Evolution and Pain

As most of you know, it was this shift that spurred our move about a year ago to change our name from the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network, to the less issue-specific Network for LGBT Health Equity. We knew future funding would come out with a tobacco/eating/exercise combined focus and we wanted to ensure the Network would be ready to compete in the evolving world. Unfortunately, for a group that’s always been community driven, we dropped the ball on the name change, not announcing the opportunities for input widely enough to our membership. While most everyone was very supportive of the name change, some vocal and longtime members were upset. Worrying that we would lose our tobacco focus in the shift. I hope the ensuing time has proven our continued focus on tobacco. It is after all, the only thing we’re funded to address. But I also hope we’ve showed we can be relevant to the other health issues as well, because we really do understand much of our work in tobacco can be useful to other arenas.

Sustainability & Strategic Planning

The Network for LGBT Health Equity has about 1.5 years left on our CDC contract. After that point, there’s no guarantee CDC will continue the tobacco network funding. Of course, we’re working very hard to clarify the value in having networks like ours who can keep pointing out gaps, keep tabs on what’s happening around the country, and keep the people in touch with the policymakers. Considering the new emphasis on changing health policies I believe the value of networked LGBT communities is higher than ever, because if there’s one thing our communities have built skills in, it’s policy change. But the truth remains, this Network has to become sustainable in a shifting health environment.

As always, our strength is in our people. I’m particularly grateful to the Network Steering Committee members. This group has agonized over the name change, created a media plan, is currently creating a new level of detailed best practices document, and in 2011 spent about half a year creating a draft strategic plan to help guide us through the turbulent years ahead.

Community Review & Our Network

Very soon now, this draft strategic plan will be circulated to our constituency for review and input. I hope each of you can take a few minutes to look at it and think about whether this reflects the Network you want to see. I know how hard the Steering Committee worked on this draft, every single word was agonized over. Our history, our core of tobacco work, the evolution of the arena, what we want, all these things and more were put in the hopper and fashioned into a (deceptively) short set of goals for us to use as our compass in coming years.

Some of you were there in 2003, when 60 people gathered from all around the LGBT communities to create our first tobacco action plan. That document provided the foundation for the Network development and innumerable local programs for years. I feel the development of this strategic plan is a direct outgrowth of that work. I know our world has changed since 2003, but I hope every single person out there concerned with LGBT health, tobacco, and wellness still feels the drive we did back then, to make and keep this Network as one we have built, that represents our joint goals.

So look for that strategic plan to come out for review in a few days, and I hope you’ll take at least a few moments to check it out, and help us make it the best possible guide for the Network that community members built.





Action Alerts · APHA · Community Transformation Grants · Funding · LGBT Policy

ACTION ALERT: One Month to Demand Partnership in Local Community Transformation Grants

Scoutby Scout, Ph.D.
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
At The Fenway Institute

Local CTG Grantees Have One Month To Modify Action Plans

Remember how (just minutes ago) we posted that leaders are urging local disparity leaders to demand partnership in the newly awarded $100M of Community Transformation Grants (CTGs)?

Well good news is, many of the new grantees are right now modifying their action plans! CDC has asked for the new plans to be submitted to them by end of January. This means right now is a perfect time to contact the people who got the award locally and urge this partnership. Clock is ticking!

Who to Contact and How

The entities below are the CTG grantees who have to submit modified action plans by end of January. We have contact information for each of them, or you can just google it and call the top person. Please email us at if you want the direct contact information.

Broward Regional Health Planning Council (Florida)
City of Austin Health & Human Services Department (Texas)
County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (California)
Denver Health and Hospital Authority (Colorado)
Douglas County Health Department (Nebraska)
Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department (Minnesota)
Illinois Department of Public Health
Iowa Department of Public Health
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (California)
Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (Kentucky)
Maine Department of Health and Human Services/Maine CDC
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (to serve state minus large counties)
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (to serve Middlesex County)
Mid-America Regional Council Community Services Corporation (Missouri)
Minnesota Department of Health
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
New Mexico Department of Health
North Carolina Division of Public Health
Oklahoma City-County Health Department (Oklahoma)
Philadelphia Department of Public Health (Pennsylvania)
Public Health Institute (to serve the state of California minus large counties)
San Francisco Department of Public Health (California)
Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (Michigan)
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
South Dakota Department of Health
Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (Alaska)
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (Washington)
Texas Department of State Health Services
The Fund for Public Health in New York (New York)
University Health Services, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Wisconsin)
University of Rochester Medical Center (New York)
Vermont Department of Health
Washington State Department of Health
West Virginia Bureau for Public Health

What to Ask

  • CDC urges you to address health disparities with this award. Do you have LGBT communities identified as a disparity population this CTG award will target in your Action Plan?
  • CDC requires that you have a “Leadership Team” that includes reps from disparity popuations. Do you have LGBT people on your Leadership Team for the grant?
  • CDC requires you to do extensive data collection for evaluation. Are you collecting LGBT status as part of your demographics?
  • CDC requires 50% of these funds to be regranted locally. Are you planning on funding disparity community based organizations with these regranted monies? (versus just health departments)
  • Are you integrating a full range of disparity populations in the Action Plan, Leadership Team, and regranting plans?
  • If no to any of the above – Why not? We can help you fix this, provide data, people, groups, etc. What will it take to make this change?

Talking Points

  • LGBT people smoke at rates from 35% to almost 200% more than the local population
  • If we haven’t collected local data on this disparity – why do you think the national LGBT disparity data don’t apply to us?
  • Remember, even for the exercise/nutrition components of this award, if we change the main population, but don’t integrate disparity populations into that work, this could build a new disparity.
  • LGBT people, and all of the overlapping disparity populations have the ground forces, and policy change organizing skills you need to change local health policies. AKA If you’re trying to change local policy without us, it’s like leaving some of your best racehorses in the stable.

Successful Strategies

  • If LGBT people and/or other disparity groups are not being included — shine a spotlight on this fact, get press, post a blog about it, share with your membership. If a policy gap is widely known, it’s more likely to be fixed.
  • Identify what allies you might have above the grantees, like the Commissioner of the local health department, or allies in the Governors office, etc. Telling them about this gap can also help fix it.
  • Reach out to and partner with allied disparity population leadership to approach the grantee together, remember that parable about one stick and a bundle of sticks!
  • Remember you’re trying to partner with the local grantee, ask the hard questions, ask them loudly if need be, but offer solutions, you want to be the people who can fix a problem for them. You’re trying to build a working relationship here.


ASAP, the groups above to turn in their new plans by end of January! It’ll be much harder to get inclusion once those plans are turned in.

Action Alerts · APHA · Community Transformation Grants · Funding · LGBT Policy

Leaders Urge Us To Demand Partnership in Local Community Transformation Awards

Scoutby Scout, Ph.D.
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
At The Fenway Institute

Asking Officials How We Get Inclusion in Local CTG Awards

Excerpts from the live video of the event

Flashback to American Public Health Association (APHA) conference a few months back. This event pulls together 13,000 public healthians from every walk of life. They had a session there where they were announcing the Leading Health Indicators for HP2020. Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh was there, as were several other leaders in the health and racial and ethnic minority communities. Moderating the session was Dr. Benjamin, the well respected President of the APHA.

You know what we do, when they open it for questions, we’re early in the line, asking about disparities and LGBT inclusion particularly.

This time I asked about this $100M of new Community Transformation Grant (CTG) money that’s just been awarded locally. As you know, we’ve been working on this lots and LGBT inclusion in these new awards wasn’t just optional, the way the CDC guidance was written, it was downright difficult for states to justify. To put out $100M of new local funds for tobacco, exercise, nutrition and not even target our communities is a huge loss. Even more worrisome are signs some states aren’t even reaching out to their existing racial and ethnic disparity infrastructure.

How? Demand Partnership

So, that was what my question was about this time, see full transcript below. Importantly, Dr. Benjamin was really clear and almost strident; local advocates need to demand partnering with local CTG grantees. We will too often be left out until we speak up and demand to be included.

So the question is, will we?

In Their Own Words; The Transcript

APHA PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:  Thank you. Next question? 

SCOUT:  Hi. My name is Dr. Scout and I’m from the Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Health Equity. I love that we’re using social media so much as I’m trying to livetweet this event, which definitely bends your brain.

I did my dissertation on social determinants of transgender health. I love that social determinants are in there.

But my question would be you know something? I do a lot of work with community groups. I’ve been working for many years with a set of health disparity networks in Minnesota that are doing health and wellness disparity work around the Southeast Asian populations, Latino populations, African American and African populations, and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender population. 

It was dispiriting to see millions of dollars come into Minnesota under Communities Putting Prevention to Work and not see overlap with those existing health disparity networks.

We worked hard that the Community Transformation Grants. Had an RFA that said please do more work with your existing disparity populations and your disparity action plans. And it was even more dispiriting to see that they got almost $5 million in the state of Minnesota and they still haven’t even reached out to the existing disparity networks.

So my question I guess and it’s probably for you, Dr. Koh, what are we thinking around plans not just to ask for disparity inclusion for all populations, but to actually monitor and ensure that it happens as we run these huge sets of new funds out across the country? Thank you.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY KOH:  Well, Scout, it’s good to see you again. You always ask me the good questions. [LAUGHTER] We have a commitment to ending disparities that I think is greater now than ever before.

And when we talk about disparities we discuss them not just with respect to race and ethnicity, but also sexual orientation and gender identity and geography and level of disability and many, many other dimensions.

We do have a dedicated action plan on reducing disparities that was unveiled some six months ago. In fact, the next session I’m speaking at in an hour is on achieving health equity.

That is perhaps the most comprehensive plan to reduce disparity that ever unveiled by the department. And also reflects the growing commitment across the country to truly make the vision of health equity come alive.

So we also have committed to monitoring progress very, very carefully. And our assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, Sherry Glied, is a valuable co-partner and leader. And her whole office is helping monitor outcomes.

This is where using the healthy people data, the leading health indicator data, implementing the national prevention strategy, and using the power of Dr. Glied’s office is going to help us track these outcomes over the future.

Your challenges that you described about the disconnects in various states is reality speaking, so thank you. Please do not give up because I think we are in a new dimension right now with public health, a true paradigm shift with respect to social determinants. And this is our opportunity to make it happen.

APHA PRESIDENT BENJAMIN:  And let me add. I think that’s a perpetual problem and we really, and that’s on us. I’m not sure it’s on them. I think it’s on us and the community to demand that we partner.

We talk about partnerships and collaborations all the time. And then we fail to collaborate and partner. So I think we’ve got to go back to our communities and demand that we do it. Just like in the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

We’ve got to demand it. We’ve got to require it. We’ve got to talk to our local policy makers. You know, beat up on us local officials. You know, I always hated that when I was a health officer.

But the truth of the matter is unless us and those of us at APHA and others demand that that happen, it’s not going to happen locally. All that kind of control is local at the end of the day.

So let’s certainly try to do that. I know that we’re obviously eager to work in all the communities and make that happen.

Conferences · Data · Funding · LGBT Policy · National Coalition for LGBT Health

SAMHSA leading the way in LGBT inclusion

Liz Margolies
Director, National LGBT Cancer Network
Reporting from the National Coalition for LGBT Health Annual Meeting  

I am in Washington DC, at the National Coalition for LGBT Health’s annual meeting. I had the joy of listening to Pam Hyde, Administrator of SAMHSA this morning.  Pam  talk was poignant, as she spoke as both the head of SAMHSA and an out lesbian working in the field for over 30 years.  She began her talk today  pointing out that it is only in the last 2 yrs, in this administration for the first time, that she has been asked to speak about LGBT issues.   She referenced an earlier group that had formed many years ago to look at the LGBT population and she was not asked to participate in it. In fact, she wasn’t disturbed by that.  While she always kept a picture of her partner and their child on her desk, the old system was a quiet version of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  It was OK that she was a lesbian, but no one ever asked her about her family or her holiday plans.  She remembers when DADT was seen as progressive.  She was welcome as long as she kept quiet.

She gave a quick run down of LGBT health disparities in mental health and substance abuse and made very clear that these are a result of social conditions, the difficulties of growing up LGBT and the mental health difficulties that are the result of discrimination.

The bulk of her talk was about the great changes that are underway in SAMHSA incorporating LGBT population and mental health issues in multiple initiatives.  The work being undertaken in multiple diverse areas, including LGBT data collection, LGBT-owned businesses, new precedents in LGBT hiring, foster care, etc.

She stressed that the White House absolutely recognizes that there is still more to do.  She pointed out that SAMHSA RFA’s are becoming explicit about being LGBT-inclusive and, where appropriate, LGBT-focused. Which actually serves as a model for other gov’t agencies.

She concludes that the real impact of these initiatives is not just in changes in the laws and programs, but that effort put forth by Secty Sebelius and the White House are beyond acceptance of LGBT people.  She feels like LGBT people and issues are being welcomed and embraced, with the acknowledgement that there is still a lot to be done.

With that being said, despite these good intentions and commitments, she predicts that the budget is going to get far worse before it gets better. This means we have to advocate more, and keep our efforts on the forefront and keep the movement alive.  The positive results of the administrative commitments will be more apparent when the budget and economy Improves which gives us all hope for the future.

CPPW · Funding · webinar

Dates and Requirements for the Community Transformation Grants, Letters of Intent

Gustavo Torrez, Program Manager

*updated content 6/2/11 12:30pm EST*

by Gustavo Torrez,

Program Manager 

Hello Everyone,

As we prepare for our Health Advocacy Webinar Tomorrow: LGBT Engagement in Local Community Transformation Grants, we want to remind you all of key dates and information for the Letters of Intent required by CDC to be eligible to apply for the Community Transformation Grants.

As I just mentioned applicants are required to submit a Letter of Intent to be eligible to apply for funding. Letters of Intent are only being accepted by mail and need to be received no later than June 6th.

The Letter of Intent (LOI) must be sent by express mail (U.S. Postal Service) or a delivery service to:

Vivian Walker, Grants Management Officer
Department of Health and Human Services
CDC Procurement and Grants Office
2921 Brandywine Road, MS E-09
Atlanta GA 30341


If you do not submit a Letter of Intent or if your Letter of Intent is received after June 6th you will be unable to apply for the funding.

If you think there might be a possibility that you will submit an application or if you would like to let others know you are interested it is a great idea to submit a Letter of Intent. Any information you provide in the Letter of Intent does not dictate the content of your application, nor will it have any bearing on the scoring of your application.

Are you Eligible to apply? If you meet the Eligibility Criteria below then yes, and most of you will meet the criteria. So it is important to submit a LOI for this award so others know that you exist. 

First, all entities listed in Section III, (Eligibility Information) of the FOA are eligible to apply.  These are: state and local government agencies, state and local nonprofit organizations, federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Native Villages, Tribal organizations, which include Intertribal Councils and American Indian Health Boards, Urban Indian Health Programs, tribal and intertribal consortia as outlined and defined in the FOA. 

The Bold items in red below are all items that must be included in your Letter of Intent:

  • Funding opportunity announcement title and number.

~ Title: Public Prevention Health Fund: Community Transformation Grant

~ Number: CDC-RFA-DP11-1103PPHF11

  • So, In order to meet the objectives of the FOA, eligible applications must describe the area be served in the Letter of Intent.  The area to be served must be one of the following
    1.  Large counties, defined as those with populations of 500,000 or more according to the 2009 Census estimates
    2.  States
    3. States minus their large counties
    4. Tribes
    5. Territories

You must indicate one of the five areas described in your letter of intent.

Further clarification on this section and areas to be served can be found by clicking here.

  • Be sure to include the name of the lead or fiduciary agency or organization, the official contact person and that person’s telephone number, FAX number, mailing and email addresses. 
  • Additionally, clearly indicate whether the applicant intends to apply for Capacity Building or Implementation grants.

Capacity Building awards will range from about $50,000 to $500,000, depending on the applicant and the area to be served.

Implementation awards will range approximately as follows:

    • For states, local governments, and nonprofit organizations applying to serve large counties, states or states excluding large counties eligible to apply on their own, awards will range from about $500,000 up to around $10,000,000.
    • For territories, awards will range from about $100,000 to $150,000.
    • And for Tribal and American Indian/Alaska Native Consortia, awards will range from about $100,000 to $500,000.

Below you will find characteristics of a successful recipient of both funding categories, as well as the required activities for each direct from the CDC FAQ page.

Capacity Building Applications

What are the characteristics of a successful recipient of Capacity Building funds?

An applicant applying for Capacity Building funds should have limited or no experience in implementing policy, environmental, programmatic, and infrastructure changes, but demonstrates a readiness to develop the capacity to do so. Steps towards developing capacity include:

    • Establishing or strengthening a multi-sectoral coalition
    • Participating in training on policy, environmental, programmatic, and infrastructure changes
    • Summarizing existing community health data and conducting a health needs assessment of the area, including the identification of population subgroups experiencing health disparities
    • Conducting a policy scan and documenting gaps in existing policies, environments, programs, and infrastructure

What activities will be required of recipients of Capacity Building funds?

Recipients of Capacity Building funds will be expected to demonstrate existing capacity and experience in successfully conducting activities in the following areas:

    • Program capacity
    • Fiscal management
    • Leadership team and coalition development
    • Community health assessment and planning, including the development of a Community Transformation Plan (CTP)
    • Development and implementation of a Capacity Building Plan (CBP)
    • Development and implementation of a core evaluation plan

Implementation Applications

What are the characteristics of a successful recipient of Implementation funds?

An applicant applying for Implementation funds should have the following experience and support already in place:

    • One or more active coalitions with demonstrated success in working with state, community, tribal or territorial leaders, as appropriate to implement policy, environmental, programmatic and infrastructure change strategies
    • Demonstrated efforts to reduce health disparities.
    • Demonstrated ability to meet reporting requirements such as programmatic, financial, and management benchmarks as required by the FOA.

What activities will be required of recipients of Implementation funds?

Recipients of Implementation funds will be expected to successfully conduct activities in the following areas:

    • Program infrastructure.
    • Fiscal management.
    • An established multi-sectoral leadership team and coalition (or coalitions).
    • Selection of strategies.
    • A Community Transformation Plan (CTP).
    • Performance monitoring and evaluation.
    • Participation in programmatic support activities.
  • Furthermore, you must complete the LOI Strategic Directions and Strategies Checklist (Appendix G in the FOA which can be accessed by clicking here

This document provides information on which strategies the applicant anticipates addressing in their CTG application. As mentioned before the information provided is not binding. CDC States “Any change in the strategic directions from those outlined in the LOI and those in the final application will not be held against the applicant”.

  • Finally, indicate whether you will allow the name of your organization and contact information to be provided on a Web site.

We recommend that you allow your information to be posted to the CTG site. This site will be accessible to all applicants who submitted a Letter of Intent. Even if you think you might apply but are not 100% sure yet, submit a Letter of Intent. The information shared will be organized by state to facilitate local connections and collaboration. So even if you are not 100% about applying submit a Letter of Intent and allow others to access your information so you are not invisible as groups are writing their proposals.

Now that you have all the requirements for the Letter of Intent here is the specific Format CDC requires for all Letters of Intent:

The LOI should be no more than two pages (8.5 x 11), double-spaced, printed on one side, with one-inch margins, written in English (avoiding jargon), and unreduced 12-point font.

The Letter of Intent (LOI) should be:

    • No more than two pages (8.5 x 11 inches).
    • Double-spaced.
    • Printed on one side with one-inch margins.
    • Written in English (avoiding jargon).
    • Written in unreduced 12-point font.
    • Include completed copy of the LOI Strategic Directions and Strategies Checklist (Appendix G of the FOA ).

I hope this information helps as you all decide on submitting for this award.

Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions if you would like more assistance. There is an entire section on Letters of Intent as well!

Gustavo Torrez

Data · Funding · LGBT Policy

SAMHSA Scores A+ on Including LGBT Population in New Strategic Plan!

by Scout
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute, Boston, MA

Praise where praise is due!

SAMHSA's new strategic plan

Sure, we have a tendency to point out when health policymakers leave LGBT people behind… but never let it be said we don’t praise inclusion just as loudly! (if a little belatedly). Well, I’m very pleased to say the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has done an outstanding job at including the LGBT population in every level of their new strategic plan. LGBTQ (questioning) people are mentioned a whopping total of 50 times throughout the document and there’s plenty of toothy initiatives to show it’s not all fluff. Including a brand spanking new action item on enhancing tobacco cessation efforts for LGBTQ folk with mental health or substance abuse issues. Weeha!

Gold star to SAMHSA’s administrator, Pamela Hyde, and special thanks to the many stalwart allies there, including: Larke Huang, Ed Craft, Nancy Kennedy, and Sylvia Fisher.  Special thanks also to Barbara Warren from Hunter College and the Trevor Project folks for being some of the key community advocates (along with us) who kept helping them shape this inclusion. Great job SAMHSA! We say, A+!


The Long-Awaited Community Transformation Grants? Thumbs down so far.

Scoutby Scout
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute in Boston, MA

$102 Million New Dollars for Prevention Falls Short For Us

As folk might remember, we worked pretty hard analyzing the grant announcement that was going to shape these long-awaited Community Transformation Grants. We worked with the allied national networks consortium to deliver our Joint Policy Statement on How to Include Disparate Populations in Health Funding Awards. This statement actually included line by line recommendations on how to enhance the forthcoming CTG grant announcement.

So now we see the long awaited grant announcement. Does it do a good job of urging disparity population integration at many levels of the local community transformation work? Yes, big win. Does it do a good job of urging LGBT inclusion as one of those disparity populations? Not so much.

Now remember, HHS has committed to outreach to LGBT people with this funding, to quote the HHS Factsheet on LGBTs and Healthcare Reform:

“In addition, the Affordable Care Act is funding preventive efforts for communities, including millions of dollars to use evidence-based interventions to address tobacco control, obesity prevention, HIV-related health disparities, and better nutrition and physical activity. The Department of Health and Human Services intends to work with community centers serving the LGBT community to ensure the deployment of proven prevention strategies.”

Now according to this grant announcement we see the following lead statement: “All Americans should have equal opportunities to make healthy choices that allow them to live long, healthy lives, regardless of their income, education or race/ethnic background.” Well I agree, but the omission here of LGBT really starts to set a precedent we see throughout.

  1. T left off altogether. (yet again!)
  2. When LGB is mentioned, it’s at the end of a long list of possible groups you could choose to report disparity data on. That’s a far cry from urging inclusion. Since most applicants have no local LGBT data this framing gives them a big loophole to walk away from addressing our disparities with the new dollars.
  3. Finally, “communities” are still narrowly defined by geography, not demographics. So, the chance of there being any LGBT focused community transformation award is really really tiny. <– note: but this still allows LGBT inclusion on other proposals, and there might even be another mechanism coming soon that allows an LGBT-specific award.

We’re reaching out to folk now. In my opinion, this really is simply a mistake, the feds are really trying to include us effectively. But they didn’t yet. Well, they’re having the first tech assist call on this now, let’s see if they get back to us and change this. I hope so.

Is REACH Reaching Further Now?

Anyone catch that interesting comment on the tech assist call? An early presenter who mentioned another big CDC grant portfolio, the REACH awards, said those awards were for all disparities, not just racial and ethnic ones. Hmmm… CDC’s web says “REACH Across the U.S. (REACH U.S.) is a national multilevel program that serves as the cornerstone of CDC’s effort to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health.” Maybe they’re going to expand that? If so, hope it also expands the funding amount a bit, don’t want to take money away from the excellent work of overlapping disparity populations.


Community Transformation Grant announcement to be released today + stakeholder call!

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the opportunity for communities to apply for $102 million in capacity building and implementation activities, called the Community Transformation Grants. This work, led by CDC, expands the federal investment in prevention in states and communities across the US, and is supported by the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund.The Community Transformation Grants will build on decades of CDC experience in community health promotion, including the work of the 50 communities involved with Communities Putting Prevention to Work and the work of REACH US and Healthy Communities grantees. In addition to smoke-free living, and active living and healthy eating, these new grants will also focus on high-impact quality clinical and other preventive services (specifically prevention and control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol), social and emotional wellness, and healthy and safe physical environments.In addition to these core areas of focus, communities will have the opportunity to identify other strategies relevant to their community’s unique needs and can address additional topic areas including adolescent health; arthritis and osteoporosis; cancer; diabetes; disabilities and secondary conditions; educational and community-based services; environmental health; HIV; injury and violence prevention; maternal, infant, and child health; mental health and mental disorders; health of older adults; oral health; and sexually transmitted diseases, as related to the overall goals of the program.

Through a competitive selection process, up to 75 communities will soon be expanding their work on disease prevention and health promotion for both youth and adults.

Please join us at 1pm EST on Friday, May 13th for a stakeholder call announcing this opportunity.

Phone number: 888-946-3818<tel:888-946-3818>

Participant Passcode: 1513943Applications are due in July. For more information about the application process, including details of technical assistance calls for eligible applicants, please visit:

For the full announcement and application, check out their website.


Susan G. Komen Funds SGM Health Equity Work

Megan Lee
Midwest Queer, Former Blogger Scholar, and LGBTQ Heath Equity Aficionado

Susan G. Komen’s Mid-Missouri Affiliate is supporting the sexual and gender minority (SGM) community in Central Missouri through two separate grants aimed at breast health education and awareness in the LGBTQ community! The two grants, totaling more than $25,000 will go to support community outreach throughout Central Missouri.

The first grant, at $5000, will support the Mid-Missouri PrideFest held in Columbia, Missouri. Volunteers at Pride will speak to attendees about breast cancer risk factors and will provide information about healthy lifestyle choices that can reduce the risk of breast cancer. As anyone who’s ever been to a Mid-MO Pride can vouch, it’s a great time – and it just keeps getting better (and healthier)!  

The second grant, awarded to The Center Project (TCP) at $21,200, will fund community outreach and education in the LGBTQ community in and around Central Missouri. Research has shown that LGBTQ individuals have higher rates of the risk factors associated with breast cancer and, moreover, are often under-educated on breast health issues and are under-served by public health initiatives. It also doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that LGBTQ folks seek out health services and screenings far less than other groups in large part due to the stimatization of the LGBTQ community in health facilities (and, frankly, outside of them as well).  

TCP, Mid-Missouri’s first LGBTQ Community Space, will be hiring a part-time Outreach Educator to provide educational presentations and materials to LGBTQ folks and their allies throughout the area. These information sessions will be specifically targeted to transwomen, transmen, lesbian, bisexual, and queer identified individuals as those most likely to experience breast health related disparities. The Outreach Educator will also be developing a resource handbook that provides tailored information to LGBTQ individuals about breast health – super cool.

And, in great related news, The Center Project is currently accepting resumes for the Outreach Educator!

 Susan G. Komen has taken a great step in funding these projects aimed at supporting the SGM community in Central Missouri and certainly receives my accolades for funding work to decrease health disparities in marginalized communities!

Funding · social media · webinar

Health Advocacy Webinar Summary and Information

Emilia Dunham, Network Program Associate

by Emilia Dunham

Program Associate

On January 31st, 2011, The Network held a BrownBag Webinar with Trevor Project’s Dave Reynolds, Hunter College’s Barbara Warren and CenterLink’s Terry Stone. This webinar discusses what Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is doing to enhance their states suicide prevention programs to be LGB and T inclusive, but your help is needed to support that work.  SAMHSA distributes the largest block of suicide prevention funds in the country and requires State Departments of Healths to apply for these funds. The change is that now SAMHSA adopted the new strategies and significantly enhanced the LGBT language in the scored section for several suicide prevention RFAs,  so states will need you to know what to say to get these awards!

The webinar went over the following items (links at end have more info):

  • Overview of this Advocacy Opportunity – Dr. Scout, Network for LGBT Health Equity
  • Linking with the Right State/Tribal Rep – Dr. Scout
  • LGBT Youth Suicide Prevention Strategies – Dr. Barbara Warren, Hunter College Ctr or LGBT Soc. Sci. & Public Policy & Dave Reynolds, Trevor Project
  • Real World Examples–Dave Reynolds
  • Comments from CenterLink & Equality Federation staff

Request for Funding (RFA) Overview:

  • Title: SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) RFA Cooperative Agreements for State-Sponsored Youth Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention (Short Title: State and Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention)
  • Purpose: suicide prevention
  • Nickname: Garret Lee Smith awards
  • Due Feb. 16th, 2011
  • 32 states/tribes can apply to get awards for up to $480k/yr (no cost sharing between orgs required)
  • Length: up to 3 years
  • States/tribes can designate contractors to do the work for them.
  • LGBT inclusion plans are requested in two categories that total 55% of all the points you can earn on the proposal.
  • See full RFA at, look up RFA # SM-11-001


  • Find the SAMHSA rep for your state/tribe: see all reps in this listing.
  • Call them, see if they’re preparing a Garrett Lee Smith proposal.
  • If no, tough luck.
  • If yes, find out who’s in charge of preparing it. Contact them.


  • Be armed with some LGBT suicide facts to help make your case compelling
  • Present yourself as offering help to the preparer, you are their LGBT inclusion solution, right? So be bold and confident!
  • Don’t necessarily do this work for free. You are providing a service and should be compensated.

Resources from the call (Click links):

Slideshow of the webinar with pertinent information.

Health Advocacy Webinar Recording.

Contact information from those on calls (excludes phone numbers)