Monthly Updates

June 2014 Updates from the Health Equity and Cancer Networks



June 2014 Update

June was full of huge wins for the Network! The month was kicked off with the release of the results from CenterLink’s 2014 LGBT Community Center Survey Report. The survey, which we worked with CenterLink and MAP to add specific questions around health-programming, was a huge success at providing us with needed data and ideas around the existing policies, and desired programs, of LGBT Community Centers.

Next, Scout was invited to NIH to kick off their year of trans awareness activities. Scout and a new Network guest blogger then headed to Philly to attend The National Trans Health Conference, which is the largest of its kind. We’re hoping to inject even more wellness programming into that conference next year. Scout then took a short detour to Pittsburgh to help with a book on LGBT research and turned in a chapter on LGBT cancer policy for a forthcoming book, then headed to Colorado where he conducted nine consecutive cultural competency trainings for the National Jewish Quitline. This training partnership, spurred by Michigan Department of Health, was only the beginning of more work we’re going to do with that quitline. Read more about the trainings HERE.

Our Needs Assessment continued to pick up steam during June, resulting in 687 completed surveys from the Michigan Centers by the end of the month. Network staff and the Fenway Evaluators held weekly check-in calls with the Centers and closely monitored incoming data to ensure accurate demographic representation. Additionally, the Pride Center of Vermont (formerly RU12) is currently working on their outreach plan, and will be launching the Needs Assessment in late July.

At the end of June, CDC and the Office of the Surgeon General released a video in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General Report and Pride Month, featuring Scout discussing tobacco in LGBT communities. Read our press release about the video HERE!



June 2014 Update

1) Held a Take Care of That Body Webinar on June 4th

2) Followed up with Webinar attendees and calling Centers (identified with help from Denise) to promote uptake of TCTB programming

3) Working with TCTB materials for centers (paper materials, prescripted text for email, website, social media, etc)

4) Preparing for webinar on LGBT Cancer Survivor Forums

5) Conference Call meetings with Francisco Buchting (consultant) for continuing the Best Practices document processes

6) Conference calls to discuss and final due date for submissions of section for the Summit Action Plan

7) Consulting (TA) with Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa, on developing an anal cancer and health program

8) consulting with Susan G. Komen on a plan to provide cultural competence training to their own staff and local cancer screening facility staff.

Monthly Updates · Staff/Program Updates · Updates · webinar

Network training update- National Jewish Quitline!

HealthEquity Logo
     Network Training Update
     National Jewish Quitline




Last week, Dr. Scout flew to Colorado to do trainings at the National Jewish Hospital, home of one of the country’s largest quitlines.

Dr. Scout’s training, titled  “The LGBT Population and Tobacco Use: Creating an LGBT Friendly & Inclusive Environment”, discussed smoking disparities in LGBT populations, how to improve cultural competence and inclusion, data collection, and strategies for targeting LGBT communities.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 9.54.52 AM

LGBT Quitline Strategies:

  • Before they call
  • Understanding access barriers
  • Enhancing welcome at your organization
  • Once they call – creating welcoming environment
  • After they call – extra materials

Evidence of LGBT Avoidance of Quitlines:

“In a rare study in Colorado that looked at intentions of smokers to use quitlines, LGBT people who smoked and wanted to quit were 5x less likely than others to call a quit line.”

The Lessons:

  • While LGBT callers are very likely to experience stressors and triggers related to LGBT status…
  • they are very unlikely to presume the quitline is a welcoming environment to discuss these issues.
  • And hiding their LGBT status can adversely affect treatment.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 9.55.40 AM

Monthly Updates

Network April Update



The Network had a lot happening in April!

The launching of our wellness model program is just around the corner! The program (we’re still deciding on a name- we’ll call it HealthLink for now) is designed to support LGBT community centers in health and wellness ventures. We will offer resources, template programming, and technical assistance. Our first resource offering will be the LGBT Wellness Needs Assessment. In April we worked with our amazing evaluators at The Fenway Institute to compile the full Needs Assessment toolkit- including an introduction to the importance and uses of data collection, guidance on how to administer the assessment, background on the creation of the Assessment, and an example of the report card that they will receive showing their collected data. We will be launching the Needs Assessment with a webinar on May 14th for LGBT community centers!

In April we also worked closely with the Michigan Department of Health to facilitate their offering small grants to LGBT Community Centers to utilize the Needs Assessment. And, four centers will be launching the Needs Assessment this summer!

And in April, The LGBT Cancer Network decided that they will be rolling out Take Care of That Body, their national LGBT cancer screening campaign, in June as part of HealthLink’s launch.

– MAP LGBT center survey: The bi-annual MAP LGBT Community Center Survey was completed by the centers at the beginning of April. Together with our TFI evaluators, we began looking at the collected data in order to create a comprehensive overview of existing health and wellness programming, as well as needs and gaps.

– We spent this month planning our annual in-person Steering committee meeting which will be held in Las Vegas in September. We will be holding it in the two days preceding the annual CenterLink Summit. Additionally, four of our steering committee members will be rotating off this summer, so April was spent disseminating information about our steering committee and seeking new applicants. We had twenty-six applications, and voting will be held in mid-May.

– Network staff will be heading to the CenterLink offices in mid-May for a team meeting

– Scout wrote and submitted the first draft of an LGBT cancer chapter for an upcoming LGBT health textbook

– Every year we submit a re-application to CDC to discuss plans for next year, and an update on the current year. We wrote and submitted our reapplication last month for 2014-2015. We have lots of exciting things in store for next year!

The Weekly LGBT Health Roundup on the Huffington Post LGBT Wellness page got some serious traction in April! Check out our April roundups HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE!

– We have been working closely with Tips From Former Smokers media team to create a comprehensive list of LGBT media outlets for the next phase of the campaign.


Conferences · FDA · LGBT Policy · Monthly Updates · Staff/Program Updates · Tobacco Policy

Tobacco Control year in review and 2014 sneak peek!

Daniella b&w headshot

National Partner’s and Disparity Network’s meeting
Keeping you in the loop!

Hello Network!

Scout and I just returned from the Disparity Networks and National Partner’s meeting in lovely Atlanta. And, as always, we brought you back lots of updates and juicy tidbits!

The Disparity Network meeting started with us meeting the two new networks: The YMCA representing low SES, and (org name?) representing mental health, which is a new disparity population this round.

Check out all of the 2013 -2017 CDC disparity Networks: (click the logo to check out their website)

Welcome aboard everyone!















Tim McFee, the Director of the Office of Smoking and Health, started the National Partner’s meeting off with a look back over the past year of tobacco-control…


Here are some notable findings:

1. Disturbing trends in the use of electronic cigarettes, hookahs and cigars among middle and High school students

So…What does this mean? We need more monitoring/prevention around non-conventional tobacco products.

2. More than half of all states have comprehensive smoke-free laws!

3. Good progress in increasing clean indoor air coverage…Second hand smoke work at the state level has slowed, BUT it has increased at the local level!

4. Ongoing fight for tobacco control funding:

         -12 states increased their tobacco funding this year!

        – BUT, there was also defunding in a few states (WA went to $0)

5. Lots of activity and concerns about e-cigs (more on this soon!)



– The 50th anniversary of the surgeon general’s report!!!

– Release date is early January 2014, so stay tuned!

– Updated Tobacco Control Best Practices

– Three exciting new media campaigns:

  1. Next Phase of CDC’s TIPS
  2. FDA Youth Campaign
  3. Next phase of Legacy’s TRUTH campaign
Monthly Updates · Staff/Program Updates


New Network Logo Symbol 3-2011

The Network for LGBT Health Equity
 The time has come: Apply to be a part of our dynamic Steering Committee!
Applications due by June 3rd, 2013

The Network for LGBT Health Equity is now accepting applications to fill four positions on its 13 member Steering Committee!

The purpose of the committee is to provide multidisciplinary input and guidance on activities for the Network. Members will participate by sharing information regarding tobacco and other LGBT health disparity opportunities, providing input on National Network efforts, and considering strategic policy enhancements that further LGBT health disparity work at their organizations.


  •  Attend regularly scheduled phone meetings (generally once or twice a month maximum)
  • Attend one in-person meetings per year (paid for by the Network)
  • Review and give feedback on policy, direction, and strategic planning of Network Activities
  • Strategize effective ways to increase Network visibility, organizational outreach, and membership
  • Identify and increase the engagement of subgroups within the LGBT community (i.e., youth, rural, elder, etc)
  • Support and enhance the goals and objectives of the Network in a changing environment
  • Engage agency/coalition groups on pertinent issues/opportunities and report back to the Committee

If you are interested in applying for the committee, the following is required (please send CV/Resume and Statement of Interest to

The Youth/Young Adult Nomination process is slightly varied. 

If you are  between 18-24 years old and would like to apply to be on the committee, click here to fill out the Youth/Young Adult Steering Committee Application form online. Youth/young adults can also apply through the general nominations process (candidacy will not be affected by either application) and follow the same guidelines by submitting the following:

All Nominations must be submitted on or before Monday, June 3rd, 2013 by 3PM EST

To: Subject: Steering Committee Nomination

You will receive a confirmation email within 2 working days of your email nomination. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 2 working days, please resend and call 617.927.6452 to ensure delivery. If you are submitting a nomination on the due date and have not received a confirmation by 4PM EST please call 617.927.6452 before 5PM EST to resend or confirm delivery. Nominations received after 6/3/2013 at 3PM EST will not be accepted.
We look forward to reviewing your applications. Please feel free to contact us with any questions!
Thank you,
Network Steering Committee and Staff
Conferences · Feature · Monthly Updates · Staff/Program Updates · Technical Assistance

March Updates from the Network

Gustavo Torrez
Program Manager
The Network for LGBT Health Equity



Some major events have been taking place here at the Network, but first it’s all about CDC’s Tips campaign series. On March 4th, CDC launched its second phase of the Tips campaign series with popular ads from last years “Tips from Former Smokers” Campaign.  The campaign highlights the stories of real people who are suffering the results of smoking related health effects, such as throat cancer, stroke and asthma. The campaign is focused around “tips” from the people in the campaign, such as “When you have a hole in your neck, don’t face the shower head”. The “tips” are poignant, and emphasize the simple and powerful message that smoking has consequences. While a successful campaign, there were no tailored LGBT ads initially created. After advocating and working with CDC, an LGBT focused ad was created for social media and web use. The Network provided assistance to CDC to help them better understand the LGBT market and venues to promote the campaign and played a leadership role urging inclusion of all disparity communities in the Tips 2 campaign. Next month we will see the new Tips 2 ads released, and look forward to more comprehensive inclusion of disparity communities, including messaging and ad buys geared toward the LGBT community.

pic for blogIn an effort to continually provide resources to Quitlines, the Network partnered with the North American Quitline Consortium to offer a webinar titled Strategies for Building LBGT Faith and Confidence in Quitlines. We were pleased to hear how many years allies have been advocating for LGBT inclusion in their local quitlines using our resources and leadership. Never giving up, some were more successful than other, but they are still advocating. The sheer passion for inclusion was remarkable and to our surprise immediately after the call we were approached by three states that would like training and technical assistance resources on adding SO/GI measures to their Quitlines.

MO Group PhotoAs you are aware from our last report, we submitted a TA proposal to the Missouri Foundation for Health which we are pleased to report was funded. The new project is centered around policy change initiatives allowing the Network the flexibility to develop a replicable policy change initiative model that can be duplicated across the country. Ensuring no time was wasted, Scout and Gustavo hit the road to St. Louis to conduct the first in-person TA meeting with the local partners. Our two day meeting focused on Asset Mapping and looking at both internal and external opportunities to influence the project goals and objectives. Click here to learn more about this exciting new project.

The Network is also pleased to have tobacco control folks from across the country in Boston for the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco 19th Annual International Meeting. This year there are 7 posters presentations that address LGBT communities. We are highlighting the posters through a series of blogs, click here to view.

In closing, Dr. Scout had a new blog on the Huffington Post titled ʺWho can really stop smokingʺ which is a must read. In addition, as a follow-up to the Sellers Dorsey LGBT health retreat at the Rockefeller Foundation Center in Italy last year, this month Dr. Scout was invited to submit a proposal for a writing residency at the Rockefeller Center. His proposed project focused on transgender health policy change. If funded he would be one of only a few writers ever invited to focus on LGBT issues.

Feature · Monthly Updates · Resources · Staff/Program Updates · Technical Assistance · Tobacco Policy · Updates

February Updates From The Network

As we closed out January leading into February the Network had full representation at this year’s Creating Change 2013 Conference (CC13). Joined by our Blogging Scholarship Recipient Alex Aldana along with two guest bloggers Josh Gale and Trevoi Crump from National Youth Pride Services, we were able to showcase many of the great workshops and events that took place at CC13.

photo copyEvery year at Creating Change the Network facilitates an education campaign; this year we launched our Governors Initiative. This is a community based best practices initiative focused on bridging the gap between LGBT individuals and health by engaging them to send a postcard to their governor asking if LGBT health best practices are being implemented in their state. We have printed four questions on the postcards, each based on our MPOWERED best practices: Does the state collect LGBT data as a routine part of all health surveys (such as BRFSS & YRBS), are health department and grantee staff trained in LGBT cultural competency and health disparities, are LGBT people included in community advisory bodies, are LGBT images routinely reflected in public health promotional materials? We are very pleased to report we already have postcards collected for thirty different states.

Arkansas Group ShotThis month Gustavo visited Arkansas for the third time, this time expanding his technical assistance to a broader group of stakeholders from across the Arkansas Department of Health. On this trip, we’re pleased to report they launched a strategy we’d been suggesting to them on prior trips, the creation of an Arkansas LGBT Tobacco & Health Coalition. They are also implementing a larger scale LGBT integration strategy across the state department of health. To help this strategy Gustavo was able to meet with state health representatives from grants management, cessation, media, chronic disease, and HIV, among others. Gustavo also facilitated the largest LGBT health meeting in the state, a convening of 30 different community and state stakeholders beginning the work on their LGBT tobacco & health action plan. In order to strengthen the work in Arkansas, the Network is collaborating with The National LGBT Health Education Center here at the Fenway Institute, who has done some training with the University of Arkansas’ Medical Campus. As is our policy, we connected local state representatives with the local community based organizations that are part of CenterLink and the Equality Federation. In this case, Gustavo arranged for state staff to visit the Center for Artistic Revolution. We couldn’t be more pleased with Arkansas’ willingness to put best practice guidelines into the field and look forward to subtantive local changes as a result.

In a similar story, one of the states with whom we have been doing years of work had a success this month. West Virginia was the state that first asked us to outline the science justifying LGBT data collection, spurring our LGBT Tobacco Surveillance Briefing Paper. We’re happy to report this month their tobacco data release was led by the news of the LGBT smoking disparity, news that ultimately gained them coverage in the biggest state newspaper. See the story, including our quotes here.

In other assorted notes this month, the Network submitted an invited proposal to the Missouri Foundation for Health to provide Technical Assistance to a local health policy project. Dr. Scout submitted a section on tobacco for a forthcoming book, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves. He has also been confirmed as the plenary speaker for Nebraska’s state tobacco conference in April. As follow-up to the last month’s request to Sebelius for more funded LGBT tobacco research, we also had a meeting with the head of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, Dr. Lawrence Deyton. FDA’s CTP is investing heavily in new tobacco regulatory research. Dr. Deyton was very open to suggestions on how to ensure LGBT people (and all disparity populations) were included in the range of tobacco research; look for more information on that initiative in coming months.

Monthly Updates · MPOWERED

September Updates From The Network

Since the release of the MPOWERED: Best and Promising Practices for LGBT Tobacco Prevention and Control document last month, the Network has disseminated over 500 hard copies to folks from across the country. As mentioned before MPOWERED is a unique document that adds scientific rigor to a year plus long compilation of community practices to create a broad base of LGBT best practices in tobacco control. We are so pleased with the reception it has received thus far and continue to promote it widely. If you would like to automatically download a copy click here. In addition to the report, the Network released a new document this month titled Sexual/Gender Minorities and Tobacco Use Disorder: Implications for Medical Homes. This was a collaborative project with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, written by Joseph Lee MPH, CPH with the Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Click here to download a copy.

Keeping up with some of the great media that took place last month, Scout was interviewed for an article that was placed in Desert Outlook this month. Click here to read the full article, Smoke and Mirrors: A look at smoking and its impact shows highest rate among LGBT people. Additionally, Gustavo was featured in Bay Windows after receiving the Trailblazers Award given by LEGACY which was also featured in Legacy’s e-NEWS. In addition, Nicole Sutton, a member of the Network Steering Committee was also featured in Legacy’s e-NEWS as the recipient of their Champion Award.

As part of our ongoing effort to get HHS to include LGBT in the official legal expansion of the definition of disparity populations, we worked with Center for American Progress and others to help coordinate a long-awaited meeting with the HHS decisionmaker on this subject, Dr. John Ruffin. The meeting occurred in late August. Dr. Lisa Bowleg attended on behalf of the Network. There was no clear commitment from the meeting but we carried the message strongly that inclusion in this expanded definition is one of the single highest impact decisions HHS can do to level the playing field for LGBT health disparities.

Scout was invited to present at the National Center for Health Statistics conference this month. He presented on the leading prospects for gender identity data measures. Currently HHS is still formulating their plan for how gender identity data collection will be accomplished.

Scout also attended the last convening of the TAPP-INTO project in Minnesota. This is the end of a five year supplemental technical assistance contract the Network has had with a team of state-level disparity networks in Minnesota. We are working on releasing more products summarizing the lessons learned from that effort.

In closing, although the Summit is behind us we are still reaping the benefits of some of our blogging scholars who continue to post about things they learned at the Summit. Click here to view the past and present blogs posts from this year’s Summit.

Monthly Updates · MPOWERED · Summit

July & August Monthly Updates From The Network

Our last fiscal year with our current 5 year cooperative agreement started July 1st and rest assured, the coming year will be full of new products, learning opportunities, and expanded focuses that will continue to transform the LGBT health and tobacco control movement.

With that being said, On August 14 the Network released MPOWERED: Best and Promising Practices for LGBT Tobacco Prevention and Control at our Summit in Kansas City. MPOWERED is a community-driven document unlike anything else in our community; one that we hope will raise the bar for the development of future best practice documents. Created by a committee of eight Network staff and Steering Committee members who worked to solicit best and promising practices, suggested additions, and revisions from the Networks constituent base for about a year we are please to say this is a community document through and through. Click here and a copy will automatically be downloaded into your download folder.

The 8th National LGBT Health Equity Summit, which was a resounding success, was held on August 14th in Kansas City and had 120 leaders from across the country in attendance. With generous support from our sponsors; American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, Legacy, and many more, we were able to support travel for over 20 youth/young adult, and community leaders from across the country who otherwise would not have been able to attend, including six blogging scholarships. To see all of the amazing blogs from the summit, click here, and be sure to comment, and share as appropriate. Click here to see photos from the Summit and the Evening Event: Beyond Fabulous planned and sponsored by Rescue Social Change Group.

A highlight of the summit was the Youth Track, which was designed by the Youth Planning Committee, and provided a space for the nearly thirty youth present to come together and create a sustainable and inspiring new direction for youth and young adults in the Network and the health equity movement. Click here to see their closing remarks at the summit which gained a standing ovation from the crowd.

The night before the summit the Network convened its Steering Committee to have a meeting as we plan for the future at this pivotal time. All Steering Committee members but one were able to be in attendance, as we discussed the strategic plan. Majority of the discussion was  centered around the MPOWERED document and the future dissemination plan, which was enthusiastically received.

Immediately following the summit the Network staff (along with two blogging scholars) attended the National Conference on Tobacco or Health. Staff and Steering Committee members had a hand in planning and presenting at three sessions, as well as one conference plenary focused on disparity populations. Additionally, the theme of disparities in tobacco control at the conference created a lot of interest in the Network and the new MPOWERED document.

Earlier in July, Dr. Scout attended a meeting at NIH about being out in the workplace. During this meeting, the Deputy Director of NIH, Dr. Tabak, expressed upcoming opportunities at NIH for advancing LGBT health Research. To view the full video and blog click here.

The Network had two very visible op-eds over the past month and a half written by Dr. Scout. The first Op-ed: The Real Verdict? We Want to Be Healthier, about the Affordable Care Act, was written up in the Advocate. The second, Want to Supercharge Our LGBT Inclusion? Call the NAACP, in the Huffington Post, was the result of a fortuitous conference connect we had with the head of NAACP at Netroots Nation earlier this year. With the help of the Center for American Progress, as well as the NAACP, a letter was delivered in late June across HHS with thirty-three signors, including some of the biggest civil rights groups of our era, supporting not only the formal expansion of the definition of health disparities to include LGBT People, but also a range of other related requests that come from the Institute of Medicine LGBT report, and resulting in a milestone for LGBT Health. Both op-eds are exceptional reads and showcase not only the true nature of collaboration, but the successes that come from these partnerships. Please take a moment and click the titles above to read each article.