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!

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

LGBT Health Equity Campaign Materials to share!

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Are you interested in being a champion for LGBT Health Equity in YOUR state?! Are you already a champion, and looking for some new campaign ideas?!

The Network has created a template postcard for state governors that can be easily co-branded and printed by your organization! The goal of the postcard campaign is to engage governors in ensuring that states are implementing LGBT health best practices guidelines to eliminate health disparities. By having community members sign a postcard for their governor, you will also be educating the community about health disparity issues, while also engaging local support!

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If you are interested in, or would like further information on this postcard campaign, please contact us at:  healthequity@lgbtcenters.org!

postcard flyer CC

Click here to download a PDF of the above flyer to share: Postcard flyer CC

Sassy new ad and infograph highlight LGBT smoking disparity in California

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Brian Davis, Project Director
Freedom From Tobacco
 

 

 

 

 

New video and infographic resources were unveiled by California’s anti-tobacco partners for the LGBT community to address the disproportionate impact of tobacco within the community.  In California, the LGB community has one of the highest smoking rates of any group; lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals are twice as likely to smoke as the straight population, based on data collected as part of the California Adult Tobacco Survey (CATS) from 2005 to 2010 through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

CATS does not currently identify Transgender status.  Future versions of the survey will hopefully rectify this problem, so that we will have more complete data on all of our communities in subsequent reports.  Although this limitation is by no means confined to California data, we do know from multiple sources that the LGBTQ population nationally smokes anywhere from 50% to 200% more than the general population.

Issues of highest concern:

  • The smoking prevalence of the California LGB population is twice as high as heterosexual adults (27.4 percent vs. 12.9 percent)
  • Lesbians smoke almost 3 times as much as straight women and gay men smoke almost two times as much as straight men.
  • LGB Californians are nearly twice as likely as straight Californians to let someone smoke in their homes even if they don’t smoke.

The goal of these materials is to inform and drive conversations to help the LGBT community come together to fight tobacco. The groundbreaking new video, which premiered to appreciative audiences at the San Francisco LGBT Film Festival last June, sends the all-important message that our community members can help each other break free from tobacco. Hopefully the video will help change the perception of tobacco addiction from primarily being viewed as an individual problem to instead being regarded as a serious concern for the entire community to address.

 CTCP infographic LGB4

 Check out TobaccoFreeCA for more info and ads!

Out2Enroll: Getting LGBT communities connected to care!

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Network for LGBT Health Equity
Out2Enroll LGBT Communities 
 #GetCovered 
 
 
 

The Network for LGBT Health Equity, along with CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers would like to announce the roll-out of our #GetCovered ad campaign, highlighting the experiences of uninsured and underinsured LGBT folks and the barriers they faced accessing healthcare prior to the Affordable Care Act. We hope that it both educates and motivates people to visit Out2Enroll to sign up before the open enrollment window closes on March 31st, 2014!

Out2Enroll is a collaboration by the Sellers Dorsey Foundation, the Center for American Progress, and the Federal Agencies Project to educate LGBTQI communities about their options under the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”).

A study by the Center for American Progress discovered that a whopping 71% of uninsured LGBT people don’t know their options under the new healthcare act. LGBTQ people are less likely to be insured, and less likely to seek or be able to access preventative care. While the Affordable Care Act is in the beginning stages, this is the perfect opportunity to spread the word in our communities about the significantly expanded options available now, including:

- LGBT people and their families have equal access to coverage through the new Health Insurance Marketplaces in every state.

- Plans will cover a range of essential benefits such as doctor visits, hospitalizations, reproductive health, emergency-room care, and prescriptions.

- No one can be denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

- Financial help is available to pay for a health insurance plan, based on household size and income.

- There is family coverage that is inclusive of same-sex partners

Want more information? Check out this report or head right to Out2Enroll.org!

*And remember! In order to get health insurance coverage by January 1st 2014, you must enroll by December 15th 2013!

Check out the powerful images below, and feel free to download and share (Click to enlarge). This campaign will have a series of phases, with more photographs being posted to our blog and social media channels- so stay tuned!

O2E.1.ScoutO2E.2.RiaKikiO2E.1.Louis

O2E.1.DeNierO2E.1.DianeO2E.1.TexO2E.1.Ziggy

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O2E.1.Michael

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We want to send out a huge thank you to the folks who shared their stories with us! Also a big thanks to the organizations that we have co-branded with- Center for Black Equity, Trevor Project, and GetEqual.

Would your organization like to co-brand with us on any of the above ads? Send us an email at lgbthealthequity@gmail.com!

CDC Museum Debuts “Health is a Human Right” Exhibit

Scout

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

 

 

A Year In Review: Spotlight on North Dakota Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Control Program

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Gustavo Torrez
Program Manager
The Network for LGBT Health Equity
 
 
 

When I started working with the Network almost 4 years ago the first state I had the pleasure to visit was North Dakota. During my visit I conducted two LGBT Cultural Competency training one for their grantees, and another at their Annual Statewide Alcohol and Substance Abuse Summit. At that time they were thinking about strategies to include LGBT communities in their tobacco control work and have not looked back since. I had the privilege of going back and spoke at the 3rd annual statewide GLBTQA conference held at the University of North Dakota this past

Left to Right: Neil Charvat, Gustavo Torrez, Rep. Kayie Overson, Rep Josh Boschee, and Krista Headland

Left to Right: Neil Charvat, Gustavo Torrez, Rep. Kayie Overson, Rep Josh Boschee, and Krista Headland

April, and was overjoyed at the progress they have made over the past couple years in terms of community support for LGBT tobacco control efforts. At times we can see progress through emails and updates here and there, but to actually see the level of community support for LGBT Tobacco Control efforts was absolutely amazing. From local LGBT groups to State Representatives its was truly refreshing especially for a state like North Dakota.  Over the past couple of years work in North Dakota has not stopped, in fact the work has grown to include more and more folks in the community committed to LGBT Tobacco Control efforts in the state. Neil Charvat, Community Health Specialist with the Chronic Disease Program at the North Dakota Department of Health has truly made some huge strides in the state. Neil has been charged with the talk of LGBT inclusion efforts and has forged many partnerships which have truly shaped the direction of their efforts. Most recently, a great article was published North Dakota puts $2,500 in anti-smoking funds toward Fargo pride festival, highlighting some of these efforts.

I wanted to take a moment and showcase in depth some of the great work that has taken place over the past year, and thank Neil for his commitment to inclusion efforts in North Dakota. I am so proud of the work that he has not only accomplished, but how the Department has truly institutionalized LGBT tobacco Control efforts in North Dakota. Please read his article below as he article below –  Engaging Disparate Populations: North Dakota LGBT Communities.

Neil
 
Neil Charvat
North Dakota Department of Health
Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
Fiscal Year July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013

Engaging Disparate Populations: North Dakota LGBT Communities

The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) in the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) work to engage populations disparately effected by tobacco use on a statewide level. One of the populations identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as having high tobacco use rates and being targeted by the tobacco industry is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Efforts to engage North Dakota’s LGBT communities in tobacco control efforts have been made since 2008, varying degrees of success. The main obstacle has been identifying LGBT groups in North Dakota. The NDDoH TPCP was fortunate to become involved in Fargo-Moorhead Pridefest for the first time in 2011. FM Pridefest is the largest LGBT event held in North Dakota. This initial effort was to provide NDQuits information and materials to event attendees. In 2012 the ND DoH was again invited to be a part of FM Pridefest. In July, NDQuits marketing tools were utilized at the FM Pridefest 5K Run-Walk, and that event was tobacco-free. NDQuits material and information were promoted at the FM Pride in the Park in August. ND DoH staff attended the event. The staff was able to promote cessation efforts as well as provide information about tobacco issues that directly affected the LGBT community in North Dakota.

NDDoH TPCP staff had the opportunity to meet with Julia Geigle at the University of North Dakota. Julia is a graduate student at UND working on LGBT health issues. The meeting was to discuss the issue of tobacco use in the LGBT community, and the health impacts that resulted from that use. Information on engaging the LGBT community and promoting NDQuits cessation services were provided to Julia. As a result of this meeting, Julia invited the TPCP staff to participate in a UND LGBT conference in April, 2013. NDDoH was able to involve Gustavo Torrez from the Fenway Institute in the UND Conference. Gustavo travelled to the conference to present on LGBT tobacco and health issues. Gustavo was also able to engage North Dakota legislators in attendance by providing information on LGBT health issues. The conference was well attended by the UND LGBT campus community. As a result of the success of this event, there are plans to incorporate more events like this into the newly created ND Campus Tobacco Prevention Project. This project will involve most college campuses in North Dakota.

The NDDoH TPCP will continue to engage the LGBT in future tobacco prevention work for the next fiscal year.

Brainstorming on New LGBT Health Research Textbook

Scout

Scout, Ph.D.
Director, The Fenway Institute’s Network for LGBT Health Equity
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L to R: Jose Bauermeister, Deo Kavalieratos, Derrick Matthews, Deo Kavalieratos, Nina Markovic, Sherri Mosovsky, Jessica White, John Blosnich.

I’ve had the pleasure for the last few days to be brainstorming with a bunch of other LGBT scientists at the very top of a crazy beautiful building at University of Pittsburgh, their Cathedral of Learning. Our host is Dr. Ron Stall and all the other members of the Center for LGBT Health Research at Pitt. I always love hanging out with a herd of pointy-headed folk, and this group is as pointy as it gets. The ideas are challenging, interesting, and always thought provoking. As the headline gave away, we’re brainstorming on what we’re fondly calling: “A love letter to future generations of LGBT health researchers” aka a textbook on how to do LGBT health research. Thanks to Ron & everyone at Pitt for convening us and shepherding this idea, because I feel like the longer we talk about what we really want the next generation to know, the more we realize how much there is to tell them. How to get LGBT measures added to surveillance instruments. How to make sure studies funding for one topic (say, oh HIV) create findings on other health priorities (like oh say, smoking!). How to disseminate research findings not just to elite academic journals, but also to communities. I’m happy to say some of our experiences with tobacco policy change will be highlighted as examples in the book. Actually, we’ve been talking tobacco a lot, no doubt because some of the amazing leaders on tobacco research happen to be sitting right here. So, here’s the pop quiz, look at the pictures to the right, I can identify at least five who are important to tobacco and/or have directly collaborated with the Network. Any idea who some of these stars are? Answers below.

(L to R) Ron stall, Tony Silvestre, Robert Coulter, Amy Herrick

(R to L) Ron Stall, Tony Silvestre, Robert Coulter, Amy Herrick, Jade Coley.

Tobacco hotshots:

Ron Stall has done some of the earlier full probability sampling on gay men and tobacco rates, he likely broke the news about our tobacco disparity, I think his first studies were from the 80s.

Robert Coulter recently volunteered to do something we’d been wanting sorely, an analysis of NIH’s LGBT research (to help us identify gaps). Look for it soon in AJPH!

Jose Bauermeister just presented at NCI on his great lesbian smoking study going on out of UMich, I want to recruit him into doing lots more tobacco research.

Derrick Matthews was one of a few who brought the Network down to U North Carolina Health Disparity Conference a year ago, where we presented our LGBT cultural competency & tobacco training to our largest ever audience of avid listeners.

And this was a trick one, John Blosnich, only shown from the back, is one of our brand new hotshots in tobacco, he’s only a year or so beyond his PhD – but he’s got a cluster of key articles in the peer literature on LGBT tobacco already.

California Elected Officals Take A Stand For Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               

Contact: bob@lgbtpartnership.org

(415) 436-9182

 

LGBT Partnership Announces List of California Elected Officials Who Have Taken a Stand for Health

73 state and local officials signed statements

that they would not accept tobacco industry contributions

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The California LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership (LGBT Partnership) today released its “Clean Money” list of state and local elected officials who have agreed to refuse tobacco industry contributions. Each official signed a statement that he or she would not accept donations from tobacco companies or distributors.

Tobacco use, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for nearly six million deaths in the world each year. “Many elected officials told us that they don’t want to have anything to do with the tobacco companies”, said Bob Gordon, member of the San Francisco Tobacco Free Coalition and Project Director of the LGBT Partnership. “They understand the terrible costs we all pay in terms of damaged health, lost productivity and shortened lives.” According to the national organization Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, in California alone, the tobacco industry spends a half billion dollars every year to market itself, while Californians are left to shoulder $9.1 Billion annually in health care costs directly attributable to tobacco use.

Elected officials joined the signature campaign for several reasons. In a survey conducted by an outside evaluator, several officeholders indicated that the opportunity to sign the statement aligned with their interests. One indicated “This is a good opportunity for legislators to stand out in a positive way”. One staff member, before meeting with advocates, learned for the first time details about how the tobacco industry targets vulnerable populations “how it advertises to African Americans, Latinos, LGBTs, Asian Americans, and to a degree, to young kids—particularly disturbing”.

A full list of elected officials who have signed a no-tobacco statement is available at http://www.center4tobaccopolicy.org/cleanmoney

About the California LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership

The California Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Tobacco Education is funded by California’s Tobacco Control Program.  The LGBT Partnership advocates for policies limiting tobacco industry donations and reducing the availability of tobacco.

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Press Release: LGBT Cancer Survivors’ Voices Spotlight CRACKS in Health CarE SYSTEM

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by Liz Margolies, LCSW 

Director, National LGBT Cancer Network

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JUNE 11, 2013

CONTACT: Cathy Renna, 917-757-6123, cathy@rennacommunications.com

 

LGBT Cancer Survivors’ Voices Spotlight

CRACKS in Health CarE SYSTEM

 

MAKES PRACTICAL, LIFE-SAVING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROVIDERS

New York, NY….June 11, 2013….The National LGBT Cancer Network released a new report today that uses the direct experiences of cancer survivors to paint a stark picture of the effect of discrimination on LGBT health. The free, downloadable booklet, “LGBT Patient Centered Outcomes,” uses the findings to suggest practical recommendations for improving health care for LGBT people.

“When we asked cancer survivors to tell us what they wanted health care providers to know, we were saddened, angered and moved by many of their stories; cancer is enough of a burden, no one should have to endure the discrimination, alienation, and, in some cases, less than adequate care because of who they are,” said Liz Margolies, Executive Director of the National LGBT Cancer Network. “For many of  the survey respondents, cancer treatment is both the same, and scarier.”

4482499Quotes from study participants highlight her point:

“I was never out during the whole process to anyone. I had no one in the hospital or doctor visit me for fear of my gayness being discovered and then the doctors ‘accidentally’ not removing all the cancer lesions.”

“… It is important to know where it is safe to bring a partner, because my family hates me and even my mother told me right before the surgery that she hoped I would die in surgery and that she wished I had never been born.”

“As an alone, aging senior, I am also dealing with fear of rejection by being “out” even though I was very “out” when younger and in a partnership.”

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“Although my doctor knew all about me, each encounter with new people—with blood draws, ultrasound, breast x-ray, etc.—had the basic anxiety of the procedure and layered on to that, the possibility of homophobia and having to watch out for myself.

“Being a Lesbian facing having your breasts cut off, it would be good if they did not assume you were concerned about how “men” would see you in the future!”

“I believe my perceived orientation allowed my caregivers to give superficial care, and my own latent shame allowed me to accept a quick and incorrect diagnosis of health.”

Dr. Scout, a co-author and the Director of the Network for LGBT Health Equity at The Fenway Institute noted the direct relevance to the new patient centered care movement. “Data continue to show satisfied patients, that is patients who feel safe and understood during health care, stay healthier. This is why patient-centered care is best. But for LGBT patients, their care often falls short of being patient-centered and sometimes it’s blatantly patient-intolerant,” continued Scout.

“This new report is not about theories, it is based on the lived experiences of people who can teach us about how to make things right for LGBT patients. These stories show us exactly what is needed to improve the climate for LGBT people in all areas of health care, not just cancer care,” said Margolies. The report highlights recommended suggestions for each section, including some that are newer to the field. “We clearly saw the need to actively monitor LGBT patient satisfaction. This is a new idea, and we’ll be including suggestions on how to do this in all of our cultural competency trainings now,” said Margolies. The report also highlights innovative recommendations about family support and the need to nurture LGBT employees. The biggest recommendations are the pillars of most current LGBT cultural competency trainings: to actively convey welcoming through outreach, policies, environment, and provider trainings. An estimated 50% of the hospitals in the country have now passed LGBT inclusive nondiscrimination, often quietly and without fanfare. “Passing a policy without promoting it doesn’t create change,” said Dr. Scout. “And LGBT people need change in health systems now.”

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“These people spoke up about sometimes heart wrenching experiences because they wanted healthcare workers to know how to make care better for others.  I hope everyone in healthcare will listen,” concluded Margolies.

The National LGBT Cancer Network works to improve the lives of LGBT cancer survivors and those at risk by: educating the LGBT community about our increased cancer risks and the importance of screening and early detection; training health care providers to offer more culturally-competent, safe and welcoming care; and advocating for LGBT survivors in mainstream cancer organizations, the media and research. For more information, visit http://www.cancer-network.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 other health disparities by linking people and information. The Network is a project of The Fenway Institute in Boston. The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. For more information visit http://lgbthealthequity.wordpress.com/ and fenwayhealth.org.

Download the full report HERE

Check out the National LGBT Cancer Network website

Upcoming webinar about CDC’s unveiling of “Talk with your doctor” sub-campaign- register today!

New Network Logo Symbol 3-2011
 
 
The Network for LGBT Health Equity 
Bringing you awesome Webinars and keeping you in the know! 
 
 
 
 
 

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A new feature of the CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers campaign was unveiled this week— “Talk With Your Doctor” (TWYD). The goal of this phase of the campaign is to engage health care providers and encourage them to use Tips as an opportunity to start a dialogue with their patients who smoke about quitting. It is also meant to serve as a reminder for smokers to talk with their healthcare providers about effective methods to help them quit.

As you may remember from our press release about the Tips campaign, “One of the ‘Tips from Former Smokers’ ads features a lesbian who suffers from asthma triggered by working in a smoke filled bar. Recently released data from the CDC shows that LGBT people smoke cigarettes at rates that are nearly 70% higher than the general population.” This new phase of the campaign is yet another amazing way to reach out to our communities about this huge disparity!

On Thursday, June 13th, The Network will be teaming up with the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) and CenterLink to bring you a webinar discussing the “Talk With Your Doctor” campaign, and the impact that it will have on the health of LGBT communities.

Join us at 2pm EST by registering HERE!

TTYD Campaign Webinar Flyer