HealthLink Steering Committee Set to Meet in Fort Lauderdale

Corey Prachniak - head shot (smaller size)

 

 

by Corey Prachniak is the Chair of LGBT HealthLink’s Steering Committee.

Corey is an attorney working at the intersection of gender and health, and is currently a Zuckerman Fellow at Harvard University. Visit Corey’s website at cprachniak.com

FLL logo

 

This weekend, LGBT HealthLink’s Steering Committee will convene in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where HealthLink and our parent organization CenterLink are based. For some of our twelve-member body – which reaches geographically from Boston to St. Louis to Anchorage – it will be their first time meeting the entire group in person. Typically, the Steering Committee convenes by phone each month to work with HealthLink’s fabulous staff. The Committee includes activists, academics, and government and nonprofit leaders each with their own unique path towards joining the HealthLink family.

This weekend, we’re hoping to take stock as to the state of LGBT health and where HealthLink – and our committee in particular – should focus our firepower moving forward. As HealthLink’s mandate has expanded over the years from being completely tobacco-focused to looking at LGBT cancer disparities broadly to increasingly taking on holistic LGBT wellness, we’ve grown our network and our potential to advance health equity across the country.

Throughout the weekend, we’ll be posting updates on the meeting here, on Twitter, and on Facebook with the hashtag #HealthLink2016. We’d love to hear from you as to what you’d like to see HealthLink and the Steering Committee get involved in, what kind of resources or support you need, or how you’d like to help us in achieving our goal of ending LGBT health disparities. You may not be able to join us in person here in sunny Fort Lauderdale, but you can join in the conversation online and be a part of our work.

HealthLink E-Summit: One Day Down, One to Go!

logoCorey Prachniak serves as Chair of LGBT HealthLink’s Steering Committee and is an attorney focused on health policy, as well as a current Zuckerman Fellow at Harvard University. Corey tweets @CPrachniak.

Wow.

When the LGBT HealthLink Steering Committee decided to host an online “E-Summit” to bring together people interested in LGBT health, we didn’t know if it would work… Mostly because we made the idea up! But we wanted our committee and staff to be able to interact with the community we serve, and since we couldn’t fly everyone to HealthLink’s sunny home in Florida, we thought we’d give it a try.

Yesterday, we had over a hundred registrants for a full afternoon of sessions, featuring many members of our Steering Committee, HealthLink’s staff, and even special guest Jessica Hyde from the Texas Comprehensive Cancer Control Program. Over the course of the afternoon, we engaged in discussions on LGBT rights in healthcare, the disproportionate burden of cancer in LGBT communities, and the way that LGBT-based disparities interplay with disparities based on other aspects of people’s identities.

And it’s not over yet! Join us today (Friday) at 4:00pm Eastern for a fabulous presentation on LGBT tobacco disparities by no fewer than four members of our stellar Steering Committee and HealthLink’s Policy Manager, Juan Carlos Vega. This session, “We’re a Movement, Not a Market!,” is open to the public and is going to be an amazing way to cap off Day 2 of our events. HealthLink started as a tobacco control group, and even as we’ve grown and diversified to take on an array of LGBT health disparities, fighting tobacco remains at the heart of our mission. I’m sure the passion for positive change in our community will come across loud and clear this afternoon.

So, a big thank you to all who joined us yesterday and who will join us today. And a particularly big thank you to Jenna Wintemberg, a member of our Steering Committee and the co-chair of this event, for her many hours of hard work in putting this together. (You can even hear from Jenna at today’s tobacco session and thank her yourself!)

Oh – and if the work we’re doing is your kinda thing, you may be interested to know that we’re preparing to launch a brand-new membership program in the near future. You can sign up to learn more here.

Join Us for our LGBT Health E-Summit, October 15th and 16th

 

Corey Prachniak serves as Chair of LGBT HealthLink’s Steering Committee and is an attorney focused on health policy, as well as a current Zuckerman Fellow at Harvard University. Corey tweets @CPrachniak.


For the past few months, I have been working with our fabulous steering committee and staff to put together a two day virtual conference, or “E-Summit,” on LGBT health issues. I’m excited to invite you to join us this Thursday and Friday, the 15th and 16th of October. Once you have registered for the event, you’ll be able to jump onto the webinar during any of the sessions that interest you.

On Thursday 10/15, we will kick things off at 3:00pm Eastern Time with a session on LGBT rights in healthcare, followed by a session on LGBT cancer issues at 4:00pm Eastern and finally a session on intersectionality of identities and health disparities at 5:15pm Eastern. On Friday 10/16, we will finish up with a terrific session on tobacco use in LGBT communities at 4:00pm Eastern.

You can get all the details on these presentations by downloading the program, and you can register to participate here. All of these events are open to all.

By the way – if you like the work that HealthLink is doing, and want to be involved in events like this in the future, I have good news! We are in the process of launching a free membership program that will allow individuals interested in LGBT health to partner with us in exciting ways. You can sign up to learn more here.

I hope to “see” you this Thursday and Friday!

Apply by June 5th to be on HealthLink’s Steering Committee

 

Corey Prachniak serves as Chair of LGBT HealthLink’s Steering Committee and is a healthcare and LGBT rights attorney.  Corey tweets @CPrachniak.

 

As Chair of LGBT HealthLink‘s Steering Committee, I am happy to announce that we are looking for two individuals to join our diverse and active group.  The Steering Committee supports HealthLink’s staff by advising on and promoting the organization’s initiatives, which include work in tobacco, cancer, and other fields of LGBT health.  The Committee is also consulted on major organizational decisions and meets regularly by phone and occasionally in person.  There are two spaces open on the Steering Committee:

  • We are seeking a youth representative between the ages of 18 and 24.  The youth representative will ideally be able to assist the rest of the Steering Committee and HealthLink’s staff on reaching other young adults, and on building connections with groups that serve this population.  The youth representative will be one of two such representatives on the Committee, and is a full member.
  • We are also seeking a Steering Committee member with experience in cancer issues.  Ideally, this person would be familiar with LGBT disparities in cancer as well as with the organizations doing work in this field.  As HealthLink expands more into cancer-based work, an ability and willingness to connect us into relevant networks and advise us on substantive issues is highly desirable.

Both individuals must be willing to make at least four out of six conference calls per year (usually occurring at 3:00 p.m. EST on a weekday); be willing to travel up to one time per year for an expenses-paid, in-person meeting; be willing to join at least one sub-committee with additional, infrequent conference calls; and be willing to publish at least one blog post per year on a topic of interest to you in the HealthLink blog.  Appointments to the Committee will run from July 2015 through June 2017, with the option of a two-year extension.

To apply, please fill out our application by Friday, June 5, 2015.  Applicants may be asked to participate in a phone or Skype interview, and final notifications will be sent by July 1, 2015.

INFLUENZA VACCINATION AMONG LGBTT COMMUNITIES

spanish tobacco

 

 

Juan Carlos Vega, Citizens Alliance Pro LGBTTA Health of Puerto Rico & LGBT HealthLink: the Network for Health Equity

 

 

Are LGBTT communities getting vaccinated against influenza? If you do a search on Google for “LGBT” and “vaccination”, most results refer to current important efforts towards Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. A few influenza vaccination campaigns targeting LGBTT communities appear scattered in the last two decades. A fabulous one occurred in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The health events section in the Wisconsin GLBT History Project website reports that, “Flu Vaccination shots began to be offered annually to members of the LGBT community in approximately 1990, by the Gay and Lesbian Nurses Association. The effort was begun to target the especially at-risk population of the gay and lesbian community after the AIDS outbreak… For its first 16 years the vaccinations were given in the upstairs at the M&M Club, thanks to Bob Schmidt’s generosity. When the M&M Club closed early in 2006, the Nurses Association began the search for a new location for its 17th year.”

Of all the health problems LGBTT communities, why do we need to worry about influenza? Don’t we have more pressing matters like HIV increase, high smoking prevalence, and rejection to proper services due to stigma and discrimination, etcetera, etcetera? My knowledge on influenza and vaccination is limited but I compare the facts presented during the 3rd LGBTT Health Summit of Puerto Rico on April 4, 2014. According to the most recent statistics from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), some of the most significant risk factors and health conditions prevalent among LGBTT communities in Puerto Rico are obesity and overweight (53.5%), tobacco use (23.8%), asthma (22.2%), and diabetes (13.1%). Later, in May 2014, the current Puerto Rico Secretary of Health, in alert, due to the increase on reported influenza cases, continued to encourage individuals with chronic diseases like obesity, asthma, and diabetes to get vaccinated. The high prevalence of HIV reported cases among LGBTT communities in Puerto Rico are certainly vulnerable as well to the flu.

It is a no brainer that LGBTT communities are at high risk and should get vaccinated. But then again, are LGBTT communities getting vaccinated? Are there any influenza vaccination efforts in our communities like the one by the Gay and Lesbian Nurses Association in Milwaukee in the 90’s happening today or in summer pride events? The CDC-funded National Influenza Vaccination Disparities Partnership reports that large metropolitan areas like Chicago, Latino-based Casa Ruby in Washington, DC, and the San Francisco LGBT Community Center are offering vaccination clinics and prevention services to LGBTT communities. Anybody else? Anyone has strategies and recommendations to implement influenza vaccination programs and services among LGBTT communities?

 

Through collaborations with the CDC-funded National Influenza Vaccination Disparities Partnership, the Vaccination Coalition of Puerto Rico (VOCES), and the School of Nursing at the University of Puerto Rico , the Citizens Alliance Pro LGBTTA Health was able to provide flu vaccines and education to Summit participants.

Through collaborations with the CDC-funded National Influenza Vaccination Disparities Partnership, the Vaccination Coalition of Puerto Rico (VOCES), and the School of Nursing at the University of Puerto Rico , the Citizens Alliance Pro LGBTTA Health was able to provide flu vaccines and education to Summit participants.

Benson & Hedges Targets LGBTT Communities in Puerto Rico

Juan Carlos Photo

 

Juan Carlos Vega, MLS

Blogging for the Citizens’ Alliance Pro LGBTTA Health of Puerto Rico, National Latino Alliance Pro Health Equity and the Network for LGBT Health Equity

 

 

This is bad! As health professionals, community prevention programs, and the Puerto Rico Department of Health strive to reduce tobacco use prevalence among island inhabitants, we have busted Benson & Hedges, twice, targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and transexual (LGBTT) communities in San Juan area’s LGBTT clubs. Cute girls, in tight outfits, look to scan your driver’s license in order to continue to help folks initiate or facilitate access to low price cigarettes. If you fill out the survey that they present at these bars and allow them to scan your id, you can purchase a pack of Benson & Hedges from the bar at a huge discount. No wonder LGBTT smoking prevalence is two to three times higher than that of the general population.

Health Authorities Warn: Smoking Kills

Health Authorities Warn: Smoking Kills

Twice, I have been with gay guys who are trying to quit smoking for health and financial reasons and they have been accosted by such tobacco industry tactics. One time, we bought the cigarettes, the second time we resisted. Yes, I was included. After nine years of being smoke free, I have become an occasional social smoker for the past 3-4 years. It is so nasty, the smoke inhalation, the after taste, yet, after a few drinks, I see myself taking a “hit” or two from my friends’ cigarettes. I don’t blame the industry for my personal unhealthy choices, but they sure don’t help us quit for good!  Access to cheap smokes at bars should not be allowed! 

Last weekend, was the second consecutive month, we have seen this predatory practice in our local LGBTT bars. It was contrasting to see as we were distributing promotional flyers for the  3rd LGBTT Health Summit of Puerto Rico, April 4th and 5th at the School of Nursing of the Medical Science Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, free of cost for the general public and $45.00 fee for Continuing Education for Physicians and Nurses. Against the luring of the tobacco industry to get us to smoke again, the Citizens’ Alliance Pro LGBTT Healthefforts continue to fight the dangers of tobacco use with the support ofLegacy Foundation, the Network for LGBT Health Equity, theComprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Puerto Rico, and the local tobacco free coalition. For more information, on how tobacco affects the health of LGBTT communities, come to the 3rd LGBTT Health Summit of Puerto Rico: Tendencies Towards Health EquityApril 4th and 5th in San Juan. Come by, our Summit is cheaper than the pack of cigarettes sold those nights and you will get great information, make new friends and learn how to take better care of yourselves!

spanish tobacco

Juan Carlos Vega shows a tobacco cessation material in Spanish “Tobacco is a murderer that does not discriminate”

APPLY NOW FOR NETWORK STEERING COMMITTEE POSITIONS!

 
 
The Network for LGBT Health Equity
 The time has come: Apply to be a part of our dynamic Steering Committee!
Applications due by April 30th, 2014
 
 
 

 

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.

Responsibilities:

  •  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 healthequity@lgbtcenters.org):IDAHOT-605x305

The Youth/Young Adult Nomination process is slightly different. 

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 Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 by 4PM EST

To: healthequity@lgbtcenters.org 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 954.765.6024 to ensure delivery. If you are submitting a nomination on the due date and have not received a confirmation by 4:30PM EST please call 954.765.6024 before 5PM EST to confirm delivery. Nominations received after 04/30/2014 at 4PM 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