The George Washington University is Now Accepting Applications

lgbthealth gwu

The LGBT Health Policy and Practice Graduate Certificate Program at The George Washington University is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 class. This is the second year of the program at the university.

This is an opportunity for grads or soon-to-be grads, with LGBT issues-focused career goals anywhere in the country, to add to their resumes while in graduate school or working full-time. The program is open to anyone in the U.S. or abroad with a Bachelor’s Degree who works or is training to work in the health care or health policy fields, and who wants core competency in LGBT physical and mental health domains.

Classes for the 10-month, 12-credit, hybrid online/on-campus program begin online June 23rd. If you are interested you should apply now. Applicants usually receive feedback within two weeks of submitting their applications. Tuition for the 2014-2015 program year is $10,800. To apply now, click here.

More information: You can view a video about the program here. For additional detailed certificate program information, please visit GWU’s website here.   If you are interested you can also contact Dr. Stephen Forssell by email or phone at or 202-994-6316.  


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CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health seeks ex-smokers
to be in Tips From Former Smokers campaign!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health are recruiting additional candidates to be considered for an upcoming national education campaign, Tips From Former Smokers (Tips). This campaign is similar to previous campaigns seen here, real people who have had life-changing, smoking-related health problems will be featured. They are conducting a national search to find people with compelling stories who are willing to participate in their campaign.

The CDC and OSH are seeking people from all backgrounds, and are particularly looking for candidates who are of Asian descent. All applicants must be tobacco-free for at least 6 months.

They are looking for ex-smokers who:

·         Have or have had colorectal cancer that was linked to cigarette smoking (ages 30–65).
·         Have or have had macular degeneration that was linked to cigarette smoking (ages 40–65).
·         Used cigars with cigarettes or used cigarillos or little cigars with or without cigarettes, thinking cigars, cigarillos and little cigars were healthier than cigarettes and developed a serious health condition while smoking (ages 20-60).
·         Used e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco for at least a year while continuing to smoke some cigarettes; and
·         Thought using e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco to cut back on some cigarettes would be good for your health; and
·         Despite cutting back, you were later diagnosed with a serious health condition.
All individuals should be comfortable sharing their story publicly and be able to articulate how their smoking-related condition has changed their life. The association between smoking and their condition must be clear, and candidates’ physicians will be contacted to verify that smoking contributed to the condition.

The CDC and OSH would like for you to help distribute this flyer (below). Please feel free to email it to anyone who might be willing to help CDC recruit for this campaign. The flyer can be posted in public areas or shared with anyone who may know people who fit the criteria above.

Feel free to print and share! click to enlarge

Feel free to print and share! click to enlarge

If you have questions, please send them to the CDC representative, Crystal Bruce,
Please put “Recruitment Question” in the subject line.

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”


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.


  •  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

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: 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

Vice President shout-out to LGBT community for ACA enrollment awesomeness

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The Network for LGBT Health Equity
Keepin’ you in the loop! 
Passing on the good news! 




With the end of open enrollment only a few days away, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius hosted a call yesterday thanking LGBT community centers, health centers, and organizations for their work in getting LGBT communities enrolled in the health insurance marketplace. Both spoke about the parallels between equal rights for LGBT people and equal access to healthcare, and about the significance and importance of the Affordable Care Act.


Sebelius started off the call by reviewing the health disparities in LGBT Communities, including the higher rates of cancer and tobacco use. Biden described the initial website issues as a “tough start”, but went on to credit Sebelius with the fact that “things are now moving!” He gave a few shout-outs to Out2Enroll and the Lesbian Health Initiative, among others, and emphasized two really important points: 1. Legally married same-sex couples can now get healthcare coverage, even if same-sex marriage is not recognized in their home state. 2. NOTHING about enrolling can affect immigration status AT ALL.

Biden described access to health insurance as being about responsibility, peace of mind and security, and choice, opportunity and freedom- Taking responsibility for yourself and your health, having peace of mind (and he said that for the young folks who aren’t worried about their health, do it for peace of mind of your mothers and fathers!), and the choice, opportunity and freedom to not be stuck in dead-end jobs because of insurance, and to not have to worry that if you move to another state you will lose your insurance.

Biden closed the call by saying that the ACA is one of the “seminal changes in American policy” and encouraging a huge push of the last few days of open enrollment- either online, over the phone or in-person!

- enroll on-line at

-enroll over the phone at 1-800-318-2596 (open 24 hours!)

- enroll in person by going to local and finding a navigator at your local community center, health center or library!


“Healthcare is a RIGHT. The debate is over.” – Joe Biden

* * *

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, it really is a new day”. – Kathleen Sebelius

LGBT Wellness Roundup: Keepin’ you in the loop!

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Have you ever wished there was one place you could go to stay up-to-date with current, important LGBT health news? Well….(drum roll please)…now there is! The Network for LGBT Health Equity and the National LGBT Cancer Network have started a weekly collaboration on the “Weekly Roundup”- a compilation of the five to ten biggest, most important, current LGBT health and wellness news. Remember a few months ago, when Huffington Post began an LGBT Wellness page at our urging? Well, the Weekly Roundup will be posted on there every Saturday!

Check out the first three Weekly Roundups:

LGBT Health Roundup: February 28, 2014

LGBT Wellness Roundup: March 7, 2014

LGBT Wellness Roundup: March 14, 2014

Is there something you think we need to include? send us an email at with subject heading “Weekly Roundup”!


HHS LGBT Listening Session Report Out From Cancer Network

Liz Margolies

By: Liz Margolies, L.C.S.W.

Most of the time I have to force people to listen to my opinions on what would fix the cancer health disparities in the LGBT community. So, imagine my delight in being invited to speak my mind to high up officials at The Department of Health and Human Services in Washington DC.  It was worth rising early and dressing nicely, two things I usually grouse about.  I prepared remarks that would best represent the values of CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity and the National LGBT Cancer Network.

In addition to HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, the head of the table also held Cathy Greenlee, Ken Choe and Howard Koh, the co-chairs of the LGBT Coordinating Commitee at HHS.  Around the other three sides were representatives of about 20 LGBT health organizations, including GLAMA’s Hector Vargas, HRC’s Shane Snowdon, Fenway’s Sean Cahill and, of course, Scout.  We listened attentively to the Secretary’s report of LGBT accomplishments and wishes, and then we went around the room and said what mattered to us and the people our organizations serve.

I said, “My organization addresses LGBT health disparities across the Cancer continuum, but today I want to focus on survivorship.  We conducted a national survey of LGBT cancer survivors and the level of discrimination they reported in their cancer treatment was shocking and disturbing. Some changed doctors, but many could not, either because their health insurance didn’t allow it or because there were no other treatment options where they lived.  Some people went back into the closet during treatment, fearing that discrimination could compromise their treatment from a life threatening illness.  Some transgender people were denied their hormones while they were in the hospital.  This is terrible because we know for sure  that one’s experience of healthcare has a profound impact on recovery and health.

We need research on LGBT cancer and it needs to be funded by PCORI and NCI.  My quick search found only 13 funded studies!  And another mere 25 studies on tobacco, even as we know that tobacco is the largest preventable cause of cancer!

And one more request: while research shows that LGBT people use tobacco at rates that are 68% higher than the national average, without including gender identity and sexual orientation in the SEER data, we can’t say with certainty that we have even one more case of lung cancer in LGBT people.”

I sat back in my chair. And gave the floor to Scout.



Dr. Trans Goes to Washington

Scout, Ph.D.

Director of CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity

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

Thursday I’m pulling my suit jacket out of the closet, shining my shoes and heading down to DC. I’ll be joining a small band of health leaders attending Secretary Sebelius’ annual LGBT listening session. This is where we get to sound off on what we think would be good for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to accomplish in LGBTQI health in the coming year. We can’t all go down to talk to HHS, but let me represent you, tell me in the comments below what matters to you in LGBTQI health. This year, like the last three, Secretary Sebelius’ LGBT Issues Coordinating Committee will take our input and create an action plan for improvement.

There are two reasons the federal government’s actions to eliminate LGBTQI health disparities are especially important. First, the government is the single largest purchaser of health care and health research in the United States. Second, being the federal government, they have more influence than any other body on what policies the rest of the healthcare system adopts. In other words, the federal government is the most popular kid in the school of health; if they do it, others will too.

It’s pretty fascinating how these high-level policy decisions affect people’s everyday lives. When HHS’s Administration on Children and Families undertakes a systematic review of practices to improve the well-being of LGBTQ youth, they then get the chance to include those best practices in $23 billion dollars of grants which are disseminated to local programs. These are the programs LGBTQI youth encounter every day. That’s the scale and potential impact we’re talking about here.

Sebelius’ 2013 LGBT action plan objectives included measures aimed at increasing outreach and enrollment under the first ever open enrollment period for health insurance exchanges; improvements in research and data collection; and advancements for youth through two different major HHS agencies. How did they do in meeting these goals last year? Honestly, even as someone who follows the federal progress on LGBT health pretty closely, it is pretty hard to know. I’ll have to wait til the meeting next week to hear how they did on these objectives. Regardless of how satisfied Sebelius is, we need to keep pushing for the things that matter to us.

I really want to hear your ideas. Let me start you off by throwing some out.

First, commit to collecting data on transgender people. No one in the federal government has been able to tell me if HHS’ current plan of asking states to collect trans data has resulted in any new trans data collection. Meanwhile 2014 will provide us the largest new LGB data wave ever, as we see the results of our pressure to add data collection to their most influential survey, the National Health Interview Survey. Apparently our message of “Please collect LGBT data” was only partially heard.

Second, designate LGBTQI populations as a legally defined disparity population. One institute in the National Institutes of Health has the legal authority to expand this definition to include LGBTQI people. Once it does, the effects are felt all across HHS. Suddenly we’d be named in innumerable funding announcements as a population it’s important to address. Considering most funding announcements have a long history of being loudly silent about whether reviewers would even tolerate inclusion of LGBTQI tailored responses… getting named in those announcements as an important population would create a huge wave of change.

Third, it’s time to focus on building LGBTQI leadership in HHS. I suspect most of us have seen this play out in our lives; our own communities’ leadership is the largest driver of community advancements of any type. Obama and Sebelius’ are to be commended for their early decisions to appoint several openly LGB leaders of HHS agencies. Now it’s time to ensure every agency has high ranking LGB and as well as TQI leaders in place. There’s still decidedly chilly pockets at HHS for LGBT employees, and it’s time to build the leadership, acceptance, and talent pool so those employees can start creating change we can’t even dream of right now.

Those are a few things I personally think are important, but I’m just one trans guy and health affects every single one of us. CenterLink‘s Network for LGBT Health Equity is all about accessing the power of the broader LGBTQI communities. So what do you want them to do in the coming year? What’s the biggest thing blocking your own journey to being a healthier LGBTQI person? Speak up, sound off, I’ll print out the comments, tuck them in my backpack, and deliver them in person.

Follow Scout, Ph.D. on Twitter:

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:!

postcard flyer CC

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

Network rolls out shocking LGBT smoking infographic & media blitz follows! 76k+ views!

Daniella b&w headshot

Daniella Matthews-Trigg
Program Administrator
Some seriously exciting Network news! 

In honor of the 50th anniversary Surgeon General report release on Friday, January 17th, The Network rolled out some HUGE new LGBT smoking numbers, and an infographic to illustrate them (and make em look cooler)!


click to enlarge!

The infograph was picked up by way more media than we could have hoped for, and we are so excited that this information is getting out there! The BuzzFeed article alone has gotten a whopping 76,000 views. So that’s probably more media exposure on LGBT tobacco than we’ve gotten in our whole history to now.

Check out all the articles below:

  1. Buzzfeed!
  2. Think Progress blog:
  3. Windy City Times:
  4. Southern for Life:
  5. San Diego Gay and Lesbian News:
  6. Instinct Magazine:
  7. EDGE on the net:
  8. Chicago Go Pride:
  9. Advocate:
  10. Autostraddle:

We literally came up with this idea last week about this time. So it’s utterly amazing that it went from a brainchild to splash this fast. Our deepest gratitude to the village of folk who made this possible including: CDC’s wonderful Brian King; the two ever-patient and thorough media Robins; our repository of all tobacco research knowledge Joseph Lee; uber researcher since forever Ron Stall;  early leader Judy Bradford; the grandfather of all LGBT tobacco Bob Gordon; our ever staunch ex-Pres of our Steering Committee Francisco Buchting; CenterLink’s great Terry & everediting Denise; tutor in media secrets Ian Abrahms; tutor in LGBT media Tracy Baim; our special agent on the spot Bill Blatt; Rich & everyone over at GLAAD; expert on the spot Phoenix Matthews; always there Matt & Sunnivie from The Advocate; and of course our hugely skilled superfast graphic designers, Joe & Erik of plus our sweet allies at Buzzfeed who started the splash, Chris Geidner & Tony Merevick. *fistpump*

Would you like a PRINTED copy of the infograph? email us at (and include your address and how many you would like), and we will send to you! FREE!