For Immediate Release- LGBT HealthLink Grades States on LGBT Tobacco Integration

PRESS RELEASE
December 10,  2014

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Dr. Scout
(954) 765-6024
scout@lgbtcenters.org

LGBT HealthLink Grades States on LGBT Tobacco Integration

Ft. Lauderdale, FL – December 10, 2014 – LGBT HealthLink today announced the first ever grades for state tobacco programs’ LGBT inclusion practices. The grades, based on a survey of best practices originally conducted in 2013 and updated this fall, represent an assessment of the overall progress each state has made in addressing inclusion, including policies, training, data collection, and community engagement. Grades span from “A” to “F”, with the average across states a “C+”.

LGBT people smoke at rates that are over 50% higher than the general population and experience profound health disparities in both cancer and smoking-related disease. The survey was developed to bring transparency to how successful states are at integrating this disproportionately affected population into their overall tobacco control work.

According to Daniella Matthews-Trigg, Administrator of LGBT HealthLink, “The results of this survey not only illustrate the work that needs to be done, but highlights the impressive efforts by many states. Our hope is that creating a system for comparison will motivate states to adopt as many best practices as possible, thereby improving acceptance and wellness in LGBTQ communities around the country”. LGBT HealthLink is offering resources to each state to improve their grades.

For several years, LGBT HealthLink (formerly the Network for LGBT Health Equity) has been circulating “Identifying and Eliminating LGBT Tobacco Disparities”, a document outlining the best practices for state programs in LGBT tobacco control, and working closely with states to implement them. These report cards are intended to gauge adoption of those best practices at a state level and create a baseline for future work.

The release of the report cards comes just after the CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health recently accepted applications from states for their next five years of tobacco funding. Dr. Scout, Director of LGBT HealthLink, noted that “In order to eliminate the LGBT smoking disparity, we need to make sure the tobacco control community targets us just like the tobacco industry already does.”

Matthews-Trigg emphasized how closely HealthLink is working with states improve their grades, “We are the people providing technical assistance to these states to do this well, so this is really a report card of our work as much as theirs. We look forward to continuing our work with the many amazing state representatives to get these grades even higher.”

View the report cards: www.lgbthealthlink.org/Report-Cards/2014

For more about the methodology and scoring:

www.lgbthealthlink.org/Report-Cards

 # # #

 LGBT HealthLink, a program of CenterLink, spreads LGBT wellness best practices across state and federal health departments and community organizations. LGBT HealthLink is one of eight CDC-funded tobacco and cancer disparity networks. www.lgbthealthlink.org

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers 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. www.lgbtcenters.org

CDC’s #20Million Memorial

#20Million Memorial

#20Millionbanner

Just a mere fifty years ago, the U.S. Surgeon General released its first report on smoking and health. It’s sad to report that since then, there have been an estimated 20 million deaths in the United States, all from smoking and/or exposure to secondhand smoke. To put 20 million into perspective, there are only 2 states that have more than 20 million residents, and that would be California and Texas.

smoking infograph

This addiction not only claimed 20 million lives, but it left husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and friends heartbroken and sometimes alone. To visually get their point across, the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) launched an online memorial, this will commemorate the loss of the 20 million people, who have lost their lives to smoking related diseases.

The campaign began October 7th. People all across the country are taking to social media to share their testimony of people whom they lost and how it has affected their families. You can also be a part of this heartfelt memorial.

How do you get involved you asked? Start by sharing a memorial—a message and/or a photo—of someone you know who has lost their life to a smoking-related disease. By posting your memorial on social media with the hashtag #20million, your submission will become a part of CDC’s #20Million Memorial.

Below are examples you can use when drafting your own memorial(s).\

Twitter:

#20milltwitter

Instagram:

#20millinsta

Spread the Word

If you don’t know anyone who has died from smoking, you can still get involved by promoting the #20Million Memorial campaign as well. Listed below are sample social media messages for you to post on your organization’s social media platforms or on your social media sites:

  • Today marks the kickoff of CDC’s #20Million Memorial. Since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, 20 million people have died from a smoking-related illness. Share a memorial of someone you lost with the hashtag #20million.
  • Together with @CDCTobaccoFree, we honor the #20million we have lost due to smoking. Share a memorial post of someone you lost using the hashtag #20million.
  • Join @CDCTobaccoFree to raise awareness about the #20million people who have died because of smoking. www.cdc.gov/tips
  • Who in your life has been affected by a smoking-related illness? Share your story using the #20million hashtag. www.cdc.gov/tips

We hope that you will join us all in memorializing our loved ones, and potentially changing the lives of people who battle with tobacco use. If you have any questions, please contact Maggie Silver at uvt8@cdc.gov or Jackie Woodring at ime9@cdc.gov.

LGBT Wellness Roundup: October 5

As published on Huffington Post’s new LGBT Wellness blog, see original at: http://ow.ly/DhVNO

Each week HuffPost Gay Voices, in a partnership with bloggers Liz Margolies and Scout, brings you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit our page dedicated to the topic here. The weekly LGBT Wellness Roundup can also now be experienced as a video — check it out above.

Yet another life lost to smoking

We are deeply saddened to report that Bill Busse, a Tips From Former Smokers ad participant, has passed away. The cause of death was heart disease, which is very common for smokers. Bill shared his story on the Tips From Former Smokers Campaign about the affects that smoking had on his health (made more severe by diabetes, which he had since childhood).

The CDC released a statement from Tim McAfee, Director, CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health on the passing of Bill Busse. The CDC asks that you please direct any questions and/or condolences to TobaccoMediaCampaign@cdc.gov. The CDC will make sure that your correspondence is forwarded to Bill’s family.

Bill’s health problems didn’t stop him from heroically coming forward towarn other smokers of some of the dangers they faced if they don’t quit smoking.  Nor did his health problems stop Bill from enjoying time with his kids.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bill’s wife, two children and two step-children, as well as his parents and his sister.

A tip for smokers, from the man himself; “Make a list and put the people you love at the top, put down your eyes your legs your kidneys and your heart, now cross off all the things you’re okay with losing, because you’d rather smoke.”

You can view Bill Busse’s videos here.

Announcing Our New Name – LGBT HealthLink: The Network for Health Equity

Headshot Scout
Director of CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity
If you’ve ever stumbled over our name, you are not alone. We originally designed the name of the Network for LGBT Health Equity to be crystal clear about who were were as we built awareness among state departments of health but as we all heard, it was long and people stumbled over it often.

A year ago, we moved our organization to CenterLink, the community of LGBT Centers. We are really enjoying being so integrated with community centers across the land and want to tell everyone where we live.

It’s time, we now need a new name that reflects our home and how we’re not the new kids on the block any more.

So please welcome me in introducing our new name…

LGBT HealthLink

The Network for Health Equity

If you liked us before, you will love us now. It will also be easier to remember our new name and our new home.

Stay tuned as we really start to do more brand building on this name over the next year. We want to be as well known among LGBT leadership as we are to state departments of health. If you’ve got any good ideas for that, we’re all ears!

Top Goals of the Tobacco & Cancer Disparity Networks for Coming Year

Headshot Scout
Director of CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity
Yes, I’m still at the same meeting (I know it’s only 60 seconds later)… and our next question was what were our top goals for the coming year? So, let’s jump right in.

Top Goals for Next Year

National Council for Behavioral Health / mental health

  • Continue to hold state strategy sessions to see what’s been done and where there are opportunities to move the needle.
  • Examine their current (extensive) workforce development programs to see how tobacco & cancer information can be bolstered
  • Looking to leverage more opportunities to collaborate and coordinate with the sister networks as a body

Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan / American Indian

  • Looking to promote lung cancer screening, awareness and availability. (there’s low awareness on this now)
  • Creating information repositories on their website, of toolkits, links to outside information, etc.
  • Promoting tobacco screening for youth in tribal clinics through onsite trainings
  • Promoting community and clinical linkages among the tribal health clinics

RAISE / Asian American/Pacific Islander

  • Disseminating cancer and tobacco equity information to the different partners
  • Providing technical assistance to the different partners
  • Coming big 20th anniversary conference in SF

Patient Advocacy Foundation / low socioeconomic status

  • Build the network!
  • Launch a website
  • Leaning into media and social media to get information out to the people who really need to understand resources

CADCA / geographic health equity

  • Engage the network partners in meaningful ways, especially the sister disparity networks
  • Amplify the message by building a following for the network on social media
  • Building breadth & depth, especially starting conversations about how we define ourselves as a community. Maybe an Instagram campaign of selfies?
  • Building capacity & coalition, looking at readiness of different states to change policies.
  • Being a repository for information

LGBT Network (<– guess who)

  • Enduring the fallout after we give a bunch of states F’s on their LGBT inclusion report cards/rebuilding relationships with some states/providing more technical assistance to states to help them up their game
  • Launching, with the National LGBT Cancer Network, the first ever National LGBT Cancer Action Plan
  • Launching, with the National LGBT Cancer Network, the first LGBT Cancer Best Practices compilation
  • Creating model wellness policies for LGBT community centers, working with centers to see who can adopt these policies

NAATPN / African American/African

  • Intercultural Cancer Council created a guide about how to work with specific populations related to health disparities, looking to expand and finish it in year 2.
  • Looking for other cities that might adopt the Chicago model to ban flavored cigarette sales near schools
  • Work with the SouthEast Intercultural Cancer Council region to drill down into a system or policy change which can be implemented to affect cancer disparities.
  • The faith based summit in year one has really taken off, looking to expand it in year two.

National Alliance for Hispanic Health

  • Continuing to build the infrastructure of the network
  • Look at secondhand smoke and see how it affects different populations, especially in the southeast
  • Promote skin/cervical/colorectal cancer awareness and screening to coincide with and support CDC’s emphasis on same

Top Accomplishments of Tobacco & Cancer Disparity Networks This Year

Headshot Scout
Director of CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity
Hey y’all — Daniella and Liz (National LGBT Cancer Network) and I are all down in Atlanta this week for the gathering of all the 50 state cancer program staff. But first, we get a few days to meet with our sister disparity networks. We’re about to come up on our first year anniversary of having this new expanded funding for cancer too. So as part of our introductions, we’re going over our biggest accomplishments of the past year. Thought I’d take notes as best I could to help you see what the different disparity networks have been up to.
If the focus of their network isn’t clear by their name, I’ve put their official focus right after the name.
National Council for Behavioral Health / mental health equity
  • Launch their newsletter
  • Have a series of webinars, including one with tobacco leadership + one on LGBT outreach
  • Convening 9 states for a leadership summit on tobacco and cancer

Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan / American Indian

  • Building infrastructure
  • Continuing/expanding their webinar series
  • Identifying areas they want to grow in the future

RAISE / Asian American/Pacific Islander

  • Developed their own website http://www.appealforhealth.org/RAISE
  • Launched a blog to highlight their work
  • Moving into social media, watch for #RAISEwellness hashtag
  • Web portal with culturally specific cancer materials (through partnership)

Patient Advocacy Foundation / low socioeconomic health equity

  • They just got the award a few weeks ago, so their biggest accomplishment is getting the award

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) / geographic health equity

  • Just funded this year so many of their accomplishments are in building their network
  • Doing a lot of theory work, creating a model of change for the work
  • Listening sessions from community leadership
  • Build new website, new brand
  • Held in person symposium gathering needs input
  • Forthcoming supplement in 300 newspapers around the country on geographic disparities)

LGBT Network (<– us!)

  • launched/curated Wellness page on Huffington Post Gay Voices + weekly top LGBT Wellness news series
  • held first National LGBT Cancer Summit
  • launched tobacco infographic in conjunction with 50th anniversary Surgeon General’s report (#SGR50), got 14 news stories off that release
  • surveyed all community centers for baseline info on existing wellness policies & practices
  • launched template wellness needs assessment, currently being used by AR, MI, and forthcoming for WI, VT.
  • surveyed community centers to establish baseline of wellness activities/policies
  • Coming in days, new website!

National African American Tobacco Prevention Network

  • Worked with Chicago to help the City move to restricting selling flavored tobacco (menthol) near public schools.
  • Worked with Intercultural Cancer Council to create a weeklong workshop on health disparities
  • Hosting a faith based summit to educate leadership on tobacco & cancer disparity issues.

National Alliance for Hispanic Health

  • Establishment of national advisory committee
  • Development of network website (launch in 10 days)
  • Worked with their national partners to conduct an environmental scan in 10 different states