Huffington Post LGBT Wellness

LGBT Wellness Roundup: October 5

As published on Huffington Post’s new LGBT Wellness blog, see original at:

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.

Netroots Nation · social media

All Hands on Deck: 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report Out Tomorrow!


Scout, Ph.D.
Director, CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity

It’s a crazy week here at the Network for LGBT Health Equity… not only are we dashing off to the start of the Cancer Network’s historic first National LGBT Cancer Summit, but we’ve been hustling like mad to get ready for one of the biggest tobacco events in our era — the release of the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco & Health. They were even supposed to release it today, but at the last minute they moved the event to tomorrow — AT THE WHITE HOUSE. Hmm, I. wonder. why. that. could. be??Screenshot 2014-01-16 08.17.01

Remember, everyone can watch the official launch tomorrow at We’ll have our dear Bill Blatt in the audience directly reporting all the behind the scenes action on the blog. And watch for #SGR50 on Twitter. And don’t worry — we don’t know what exactly is in the report but LGBT is definitely there! Other than that, all they’ve told us is the report will expand the circle of what’s affected by tobacco.

But the fun doesn’t stop there… all our work this week has been to create LGBT specific materials, so look for our infographic on 50 years of LGBT tobacco history to debut by tomorrow, and a press release too. We’ve got some pretty big drama numbers in there, so far all the advance reviewers have had one response… “Wow!” So… stay tuned and be sure to be part of the team sharing it widely!!!

Netroots Nation · social media

Press Release — New Study of NIH Research Shows Only 0.5% of Portfolio Mentions LGBT


Scout, Ph.D.
Director, Centerlink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity


DECEMBER 17, 2013

Contact: Scout, Ph.D.
Telephone: 401-267-8337


82% of LGBT Studies Focus on HIV or Sexual Health

Ft. Lauderdale, FL December 17, 2013–  American Journal of Public Health just released a preview of a study highlighting the national gaps in LGBT health research. The study, “Research Funded by the National Institutes of Health on the Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations” by Coulter, Kenst, Bowen, and Scout, analyzes the prevalence of projects that make any mention of LGBT-related terms in National Institutes of Health (NIH) extramural research abstracts from 1989 through 2011. Findings show only 0.5% of the abstracts have any mention of LGBT terms, of that small number, only 18% are on topics beyond sexual health or HIV.Screenshot 2013-12-17 17.58.27

“In 2011 we saw the Institute of Medicine report calling for more LGBT research, then we saw a Science magazine article showing how investigators of color were less likely to get their research proposals funded. We know LGBT investigators have experienced similar stigma. This study was our best possible attempt at showing where LGBT research and investigators stand at NIH right now,” said Robert Coulter, the lead author, “To no one’s surprise, the big picture shows big problems.”

“What is perhaps most disturbing,” comments Dr. Scout, the senior author “is the relative lack of growth in research about non-sexual health issues over the decades. For example, tobacco kills more LGBT people than any other health issue, yet we found very few studies on tobacco. The top line takeaway is that we need more research on all topics, and especially more about our leading health problems. If all studies routinely collected LGBT demographic data, as was recommended by the Institute of Medicine report, our knowledge on LGBT health disparities would mushroom.” According to the paper, of the 127k studies analyzed, “Health care services, homophobia, violence, homelessness, tobacco use, and obesity were each addressed in fewer than 25 studies.”

There were other obvious gaps in the research portfolio as well, only 43 of 127k studies examined transgender health issues. Of the 628 total LGBT studies, only 14% examined lesbian health issues, only 10% mentioned youth health issues, and less than 1% mentioned LGBT elder health issues. The types of studies funded were also unevenly distributed. “We only found 21 LGBT intervention studies that weren’t about sexual health,” said Coulter. “Intervention studies examine solutions to health problems; clearly we need more intervention studies to focus on or at very least consider LGBT health issues.”

NIH has been showing signs of moving to rectify these gaps in recent years. In early 2013 they released an action plan identifying high priority areas for further Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex (LGBTI) research. In June of this year they held the first LGBTI expert input forum, where community experts were able to present many of these problems directly to the Director and the Deputy Director. Since that time, their LGBTI liaison, Dr. Rashada Alexander, has been working with the LGBTI Research Coordinating Committee to conduct additional expert listening sessions. “There is definitely movement and that’s very exciting,” notes Dr. Scout, “but we have decades of being left out. It’ll take systems change of the highest order to ensure that some year soon, when NIH invests their tens of billions of dollars on health research, LGBTI projects are an equitable part of that portfolio and all investigators know to collect LGBTI data routinely in their demographic batteries.”

# # #

CenterLink 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 and the District of Columbia, as well as centers in Canada, Israel, Mexico, China, Italy 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. (

The Network for LGBT Health Equity is community-driven network of advocates and professionals looking to enhance LGBT health by eliminating tobacco use, and enhancing diet and exercise. The Network directly trains state health departments and other policymakers in LGBT cultural competency and forges bridges between those agencies and local LGBT health specialists. The Network also actively educates policymakers about opportunities to enhance LGBT wellness. (

Netroots Nation · social media

Calling all LGBT HS, college, & grad students in health! Webinar Wed on great scholarship progs at NIH!

by Scout, Ph.D.
Director, CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity
Dr. Sharon Milgram, Director of NIH's Office of Intramural Training & Education
Dr. Sharon Milgram, Director of NIH’s Office of Intramural Training & Education

UPDATE — Sharon has been struck mute by some nefarious bug. Clearly it’s a viral conspiracy to make sure we don’t get more LGBT people in the scholarship pool! Fight back by researching the opportunities yourself at the NIH website… or spreading the word even more so more folk can join Sharon when she tries to give this same webinar for us Jan 8th, 3 pm. Registration details coming in Jan.

UPDATE UPDATE — register here for January 8 3 pm webinar:

When we heard how amazing the scholarship & mentorship programs are at National Institutes of Health… we begged their (openly gay!) director, the esteemed Dr. Sharon Milgram, to please come spread the word to LGBT students directly. So, CenterLink & the Network for LGBT Health Equity are more than pleased to be collaborating with NIH to bring you a one on one conversation with the Director of these programs. Sharon promises to make what might seem complicated simple, and give you the inside dope on how to get yourself, or some young hotshot you love hooked up with the largest and most esteemed health research agency in the world. I know researchers who would give their eyeteeth to work at NIH — and I know we NEED more LGBT researchers at NIH desperately. So please do share this webinar info with your favorite students or postgrads!



DECEMBER 18, 2013; 3:00 – 4:00 EST.

Interested in a career in biomedical research, healthcare or public health? If you are, please join us for a webinar focused on training programs at the National Institutes of Health. The main NIH campus in Bethesda, MD houses the 240-bed Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center and more than 1000 research groups focused on many different areas of the social, behavioral and biomedical sciences. Over 4500 trainees at the high school, college, graduate school, professional school, and postdoctoral level work and train on NIH campuses.

This webinar will explain the structure of the NIH, highlight our on-line career development resources and describe short- and long-term training opportunities on NIH campuses. We will answer your questions about how the NIH works, provide tips on applying to NIH training programs, and describe many other NIH resources.

Please register for the webinar HERE (If for any reason that doesn’t work, call 1800 263 6317 for more registration assistance).

Resources · social media

CDC Museum Debuts “Health is a Human Right” Exhibit


Scout, Ph.D.
Director, The Fenway Institute’s Network for LGBT Health Equity
If you’re in ATL come see it debut for free this Saturday as part of the Smithsonion’s free museum day event. Kudo’s to CDC and their Office of Minority Health for bringing this presentation to all of us.  -Scouthealthhumanrightvert_200px

David J. Sencer CDC Museum:
In Association with the Smithsonian Institution

New Exhibit — Health is A Human Right, Race & Place in America – September 28, 2013 – January 17, 2014

The David J. Sencer CDC Museum will open the new exhibit “Health is a Human Right: Race and Place in America” on Saturday, September 28, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The opening coincides with Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live!  The museum is located at 1600 Clifton Road Northeast  Atlanta, GA 30329.

The exhibit is sponsored by CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) as part of our 25th Anniversary Celebration, and the Office of the Associate Director of Communications; it has additional support from the California Endowment.

This exhibition examines some historic challenges of the past 120 years in achieving health equity for all in the U.S. We know that “race and place” are as important as personal choices in achieving our full potential. People with low-incomes, minorities, and other socially disadvantaged populations face significant inequities in opportunity for optimal health. This can lead to inequities in health, along the lines of race, ethnicity, and place.

In addition to viewing historic photographs, documents, and objects, visitors can check up on the health of their communities through interactive atlases. Videos, including one of Michelle Obama talking about access to fresh fruit and vegetables, will be integrated throughout.

Health Is a Human Right: Race and Place in America is organized and sponsored by the David J. Sencer CDC Museum, Office of the Director for Communication, and the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, CDC; with additional support from The California Endowment through the CDC Foundation.

Image: Emerson Elementary School class picture, ca. 1947 Courtesy of Shades of San Francisco, San Francisco Public Library



Netroots Nation · social media

Today! NYS Cessation Collaborative Webinar on LGBT Feat. Scout


Scout, Ph.D.
Director, The Fenway Institute’s Network for LGBT Health Equity

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 5.38.24 AM

Despite a whole lot of vacation in recent weeks, I’m trying not to totally lose my edge with a little work here and there — today, thanks to the National LGBT Cancer Network I’m doing a New York State Cessation Collaborative lunchtime webinar on LGBT cessation issues. Better yet, the New York State Cessation Collaborative is fine with anyone from other states joining in! So, if you’re up for a little LGBT lunchtime dose from rusty me, sign up and show up.

Read more details & register here:

Noon – 1 pm EST.

Netroots Nation · social media

HHS Announces LGBT Health Priorities for the Coming Year


Scout, Ph.D.
Director, The Fenway Institute’s Network for LGBT Health Equity

There was a last minute call to listen to HHS’s new priorities for the coming year today. Jumped on and here’s some of the highlights for the coming year (I don’t have the report, so hopefully I got these all down correctly):

  • Big push to get the DOMA effects out of all current health regulations
  • Big push to get everyone informed about LGBT impacts as the health insurance exchanges roll out, looks like they’ll be doing an info session/conference to help educate LGBT folk in August.
  • NIH will be hosting their fist annual research symposium on LGBT health research
  • Committing to developing and testing gender identity measures, and offering technical assistance to states who are trying to put them on Behavorial Risk Factor Surveillance Surveys (BRFSS).
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will be developing a resource guide for practitioners serving LGBT youth.
  • Administration of Children & Families (ACF) will be funding 2 grantees to do systemic reviews on LGBT issues: one on homeless youth & on another on intimate partner violence.

UPDATE: Thanks to one of our sharp eyed readers for providing us the links to the HHS announcements, so this’ll allow you to see their progress report on last year too.

Netroots Nation · social media

Network Changes: Saying Goodbye to Gustavo & Taking a Staff Break


Scout, Ph.D.
Director, The Fenway Institute’s Network for LGBT Health Equity

As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve now hit the funding gap between the current and the next health disparity network awards. As of tomorrow, the Network will no longer be staffed until we hear (hopefully!) that we’ve been chosen as one of the next round of disparity networks. We expect this news to come in one to two months. Until then, Scout, the stalwart Steering Committee, and Daniella will be checking in every so often to keep the dust from gathering. This Network started with the efforts of amazing volunteers, so this is just a bit of going back to our roots. Good news is we think we’ve submitted a very strong proposal for the next round of funding so are optimistic we’ll be restaffed in a month or two.

Sadder news for us is our project manager, the amazing Gustavo Torrez, has decided he’s heading off for firmer ground. I don’t think there’s a person who’s interacted with the Network who could fail to realize just what a gem Gustavo is. He’s been in tobacco control since he was 12 years old! He’s long been a fearless youth advocate, is a force of nature when he presents, and can make hugely complicated events like our summit come off so smoothly we almost forget how hard we worked before he came on board.  As he activly looks for his next career venture he will be working on a special project with Fenway and his email ( will still be active for the next three months so feel free to drop him a note. In addition, we have some active sub-contracts that Gustavo will still be involved with as well so he is not fully leaving us.  We shall miss Gustavo dearly, but we have faith he will stay one of the leaders to watch in tobacco control.

Changes aren’t always easy, but hold tight, the Network is much more than a few staff, plus we’re planning some great new things come Fall.

Netroots Nation · social media

Show Our Strength: Fill out 2013 Network Feedback Survey – Last Chance!


Scout, Ph.D.
Director, The Fenway Institute’s Network for LGBT Health Equity

Yes as I posted yesterday, our money is running out right now and we’re writing the proposal to get refunded. We may, or we may not. One way you can show the strength and community-driven base of this Network is to fill out our annual feedback survey. We know there’s a lot of stuff to do, but if we only hear from a few of you, all our planning for the next gen network will only be based on those few responses! So please, take a few min and fill it out here: here:

p.s. don’t sugarcoat it, if we need to do something better, please speak your truth!

Action Alerts · Funding

Network Funding Ending? Yes, But You Can Help It Continue.


Scout, Ph.D.
Director, The Fenway Institute’s Network for LGBT Health Equity

Yes it’s true, the 5 year CDC Office of Smoking and Health coooperative agreement we’ve been funded from will be ending in a few more weeks. But before anyone gets upset — remember we were a Network of people working together before there was paid staff, and in the event we no longer had that luxury, we’d simply move back to our old model. (staff schmaff!) But we hope we don’t even need to go there, because there’s another five year award for networks we’re applying for now!

The Network’s first priority now is getting refunded and you can help! Do you think the Network is valuable? Then please write a letter of support for this next proposal.  The staff will be happy to send you a sample, just email and ask.

This new award has some substantive changes — primary among them that the new networks will be for tobacco AND CANCER health disparities. Plus, built into that model are cancer prevention strategies, particularly eating well and exercising more. (*scratches head* Now who do we know who understands those cancer disparities?) The networks also seem to have a new emphasis on changing community based practices, that’ll be an interesting area of work. Plus there will be more disparity networks than before, up to ten, at least one new one for mental health (smart!) and possible a geographical one, and our old favorite -a wildcard network.

Old friends know we’ve actually had to compete under the wildcard category for the last two rounds of funding, which made our chances of winning it much slimmer. So odd, while there was a set-aside LGBT tobacco network for the first funding round (during the Clinton administration), it was removed for the next two (during the Bush administration), it beats me how that happened. Anyhow, nicely now science has led the day again and CDC is hoping one of the networks will specifically serve LGBT people. But there’s no guarantees!

There will also be a small funding gap between the two awards. Our current one will likely end somewhere in July, the new one, IF we get it, is expected to start in September. We might play a bit in August… but we’ve also got some backup plans so staff doesn’t wander off.

So, there’s some real changes afoot for the Network for LGBT Health Equity and it’ll be a bumpy Summer. But the staff and the Steering Committee are  optimistic there’ll be a stronger and broader Network come Fall!