Director, CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity
We are more than pleased to be announcing the following news right now!
NATIONAL LGBT ORGANIZATION PUTS NEW FOCUS ON ENHANCING LGBT HEALTH
CenterLink Awarded New Five-Year CDC Grant
Becomes New Home for The Network for LGBT Health Equity
Ft. Lauderdale, FL – October 28, 2013 – CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers today announced that The Network for LGBT Health Equity has joined CenterLink and will become an official program of the organization.
“We are thrilled to have The Network for LGBT Health Equity joining CenterLink,” said Terry Stone, Executive Director of CenterLink. “The work that Scout and his staff have done over the past eight years in creating healthier LGBT communities is so impressive, and we have high expectations that by using our organizations’ shared strengths we can provide even more focus on LGBT health through community centers across the country.”
Funding for The Network comes from a new five year $3M cooperative agreement from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for operation of the LGBT tobacco & cancer disparity network. “We look forward to continuing to work with the CDC to ensure that all of the state departments of health they fund have access to the latest best practices in LGBT wellness,” said Dr. Scout, Director of the Network for LGBT Health Equity at CenterLink.
All operations will be headquartered in CenterLink’s offices in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, with remote staff on the east and west coasts. This union broadens CenterLink’s service lines for LGBT community center leaders, including health and wellness information resources, access to LGBT cultural competency training for state health departments and policymakers, and access to health advocacy resources.
The Network will continue to partner with The Fenway Institute, its former organizational home. “We look forward to continuing our work with The Network for LGBT Health Equity and helping to identify and end health disparities for the communities we serve,” said Dr. Judy Bradford, co-chair of The Fenway Institute. As part of a new focus on cancer, the Network will also be starting a major new partnership with the National LGBT Cancer Network.
“The Network’s business has always been linking people with information. That includes providing information to organizations around the country about taking care of our health, especially the role of tobacco and healthy living in eliminating our cancer & other health disparities” said Dr. Scout. “We’ve had such a productive relationship with CenterLink over the years, and as we focus more on changing community norms about wellness it became clear — becoming an official part of CenterLink will let us have more impact than ever before.”
The Network’s move to CenterLink comes at a time when the federal Department of Health and Human Services has pledged to continue its work to ensure equal treatment for members of the LGBT community. The Department continues to implement changes reflective of the June Supreme Court ruling that invalidated Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Additionally, HHS is continuing outreach to the LGBT community to ensure they are aware of new consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act – including a ban on health insurance companies’ ability to deny or limit coverage because of sexual orientation or gender identity – starting in 2014.
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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. (www.lgbtcenters.org)
The Network for LGBT Health Equity is a community-driven network of advocates and professionals looking to enhance LGBT health by eliminating tobacco use, and reducing cancer risk through enhancing diet and exercise. The Network, one of six CDC-funded tobacco and cancer disparity networks, 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 monitors national and state health policymakers and urges community action when there is an opportunity to enhance LGBT wellness. (www.lgbthealthequity.org)