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COMMON LGBT ISSUES: Click on each topic to see subtopics

RAI NEWSLETTER

FEBRUARY 2012
In This Issue:
  1. Save the Date: RAI LGBT Health Expo and Access Awards Celebration
  2. Have you told your LGBTQ health care story yet?
  3. GLMA Joins Amicus Brief in Affordable Care Act Supreme Court Case
  4. HRSA Announces $70M Grant Competition for HIV/AIDS Services for Women, Infants, Children and Youth
  5. HIV-Positive Atlanta Police Department Candidate Sues for Discrimination
  6. LGBT-Friendly Providers are Important for Better Health
  7. Better Health and Well-Being: Making Improvements for LGBT Americans
  8. Jumping Beyond The Broom: Why Black Gay and Transgender Americans Need More Than Marriage Equality
  9. Fenway Encourages All Healthcare Providers to Ask Patients about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
  10. Everyone Deserves a Place to Pee in Peace
  11. UCSF’s 4th Annual LGBTQI Health Forum
  12. 3rd Annual LGBT Health Student Symposium
  13. Call for Abstracts and Volunteers: LGBT Caucus of Public Health Professionals
  14. Call for Nominations: AMA At-Large Members for GLBT Advisory Committee
  15. New Cancer Study
  16. The Empire Conference in Albany NY
  17. 17th Annual Northeast LGBT Conference 2012: Friday, March 30 - Sunday, April 1
  18. LGBT Health and Human Service Needs: A Model for Advocacy and Action
  19. Medical Evidence at Issue in HIV Discrimination Case

1. Save the Date: RAI LGBT Health Expo and Access Awards Celebration

Saturday, March 3, 2012, is the date of the second annual RAI LGBT Health Expo. This year the general topic is The Art of Health and we’ll hold the event at the Schenectady Light Opera Company. There will be a luncheon and wildly creative breakout sessions. All this will be followed by the Access Awards Bistro and Presentations. Don’t miss it. Mark your calendars.

Go to http://rai-health.org/art-of-health-event-information/ for more information.

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2. Have you told your LGBTQ health care story yet? 

Rainbow Access Initiative, Inc. is committed to creating opportunities for LGBTQ health care consumers to tell their story.  For too long LGBTQ consumers have been left out of the conversation.  Contact us at mystory@rainbowaccess.org to tell yours. Find us on Facebook at Rainbow Access Initiative.    - Why, because you matter!

Help us build the largest video collection of personal health care stories specific to LGBTQ consumers!

Step 1: Contact us.  Let us know you want to share your story.  email: mystory@rainbowaccess.org  

Step 2:  Schedule an appointment (date/time) with an RAI representative that’s convenient for you.

Step 3.  Prepare.  Think about your health care story.  What is it that you would like to share?   

Step 4:  Document your story.  Put it on video and help change the face of LGBTQ health care.

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3.  GLMA Joins Amicus Brief in Affordable Care Act Supreme Court Case

Last month, GLMA joined Lambda Legal and 15 other HIV advocacy organizations in submitting a friend-of-the-court brief to the US Supreme Court supporting the expanded healthcare access and coverage available for people living with HIV/AIDS under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The US Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case March 26-28, 2012.

As detailed in the brief, when the ACA was passed in 2010, only 17% of Americans with HIV/AIDS had private insurance coverage, and nearly 30% had neither private nor public insurance. The brief describes the major public health implications of this significant gap in coverage and how full access to health insurance will help stem the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The brief supports Congressional authority to respond to this national health crisis by enacting the ACA.

The constitutionality of the ACA, in particular the minimum coverage requirement (also known as the individual mandate), is being challenged by several states. However, the brief GLMA joined calls the mandate: “the critical component by which Congress ensured the availability of health insurance—and life- and cost-saving healthcare—to those with HIV who otherwise would be denied access.” The brief further presents data showing how health outcomes for people with HIV have improved in Massachusetts since it enacted healthcare reform with an individual mandate, while people living with HIV fare far worse in states that have not adopted health insurance reform or have adopted reform that does not include an individual mandate.

Lambda Legal and the law firm Ropes & Gray serve as counsel on the brief, which was joined by GLMA as well as: AIDS United, Asian and Pacific-Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS (APICHA), Black AIDS Institute, Center for HIV Law and Policy, Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA), Latino Commission on AIDS, National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA), National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC), US Positive Women’s Network/WORLD and Treatment Access Expansion Project (TAEP).

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4. HRSA Announces $70M Grant Competition for HIV/AIDS Services for Women, Infants, Children and Youth

Last week, the HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part D Grants for Coordinated HIV Services and Access to Research for Women, Infants, Children, and Youth (WICY). According to HRSA the entire $70 million Part D program is being re-competed through this FOA in order to respond to changing HIV epidemiology and better address the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) by providing comprehensive health care services for the WICY populations in areas of greatest need for services.

Read more here.

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5. HIV-Positive Atlanta Police Department Candidate Sues for Discrimination

Today, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, a federal appeals court in Georgia is scheduled to hear arguments in case in which an HIV-positive candidate for the Atlanta Police Department sued claiming the department refused to hire him as a police officer because of his HIV status, a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the federal Rehabilitation Act.

Last summer, GLMA submitted a friend-of-the-court brief presenting information about advancements in medical treatment of HIV in support of the lawsuit. To read the brief, please click here.

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6. LGBT-Friendly Providers are Important for Better Health  

In this January 22, 2012, Denver Post opinion piece, Mark Thurn, MD, shares his fears about how he—as a gay dad—and his family might be treated in a medical emergency. As he describes, Thurn is not alone in this fear. He cites a recent survey by One Colorado Education Fund, a statewide LGBT education and advocacy organization, in which 55% of LGBT Colorado residents were afraid they would be treated differently if their healthcare providers found out their sexual orientation or gender identity. Thurn notes, “It's a fear that keeps people in the closet, even with someone they should trust the most — their doctor.”

The survey also highlights that individuals who perceive their healthcare provider to be LGBT-friendly are more likely to access healthcare. Thurn calls on his fellow healthcare providers to “open a welcoming door to their LGBT patients by simply asking about identity and relationship status. Most of us would embrace those questions; we would love to share who we are with you.”

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7. Better Health and Well-Being: Making Improvements for LGBT Americans

As a follow-up to the LGBT listening sessions the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently held across the country, HHS issued a summary update. Better Health and Well-Being: Making Improvements for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Americans summarizes specific actions that HHS has taken through 2011, at the direction of President Obama and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, to promote equal treatment of LGBT Americans, provide enhanced resources for LGBT health issues and develop better information regarding LGBT health needs. The update also summarizes how the Affordable Care Act is improving access to health coverage for LGBT Americans.

Click here to read the update. 

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8. Jumping Beyond The Broom: Why Black Gay and Transgender Americans Need More Than Marriage Equality   

The Center for American Progress’s Fighting Injustice to Reach Equality, or FIRE initiative, released a comprehensive report about the policy priorities of black LGBT Americans outside of marriage equality. Jumping Beyond the Broom: Why Black Gay and Transgender Americans Need More Than Marriage Equality specifically examines the issues of economic insecurity, educational attainment and outcomes and health and wellness disparities this population faces, and offers a host of policy solutions to bridge the gaps. The key finding of the report is that black LGBT Americans continue to experience stark social, economic and health disparities despite significant gains in securing basic rights for LGBT people over the past decade.

Click here to read the report.

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9. Fenway Encourages All Healthcare Providers to Ask Patients about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity     

The Fenway Institute has issued two Policy Focus briefs highlighting the importance of gathering sexual orientation and gender identity data in clinical settings and to provide guidance to clinicians to gather such data. Why gather data on sexual orientation and gender identity in clinical settings explains how gathering such data will help us understand LGBT health disparities, and how it is consistent with key recommendations in Healthy People 2020, the 2011 Institute of Medicine report on LGBT health issues and research gaps and the Affordable Care Act. Gathering such data in electronic health records (EHRs) is especially important.

How to gather data on sexual orientation and gender identity in clinical settings provides guidance on how to ask questions on patient registration form and how clinicians can ask questions during medical visits. This second brief addresses concerns about confidentiality with EHRs and other potential barriers to collecting data on LGBT identity.

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10. Everyone Deserves a Place to Pee in Peace

Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes’ LGBT Health and Wellness Project, Out for Health, is pleased to announce the release of our iPhone APP. Pee in Peace is the premiere interactive map of single stall and gender neutral restrooms in Ithaca, New York.

Click here for more information.

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11. UCSF’s 4th Annual LGBTQI Health Forum     

March 2-3, 2012

San Francisco, CA

This acclaimed annual conference in San Francisco for health professional/graduate health students provides an overview of the needs of LGBTQI patients. Presented by the UCSF Center for LGBT Health & Equity, the Forum is designed to be highly affordable for students, but all interested are warmly invited. Click here for registration and details.

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12. 3rd Annual LGBT Health Student Symposium    

April 20-22, 2012

Chicago, IL

The third annual LGBT Health Student Symposium is teaming up with Howard Brown and Center on Halsted in the heart of Chicago’s Boystown gayborhood. Join other like-minded students and health professionals for a weekend of innovative and informative workshops and community building focused on LGBT Health!

Click here for more information.

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13. Call for Abstracts and Volunteers: LGBT Caucus of Public Health Professionals       

The LGBT Caucus of Public Health Professionals is soliciting abstracts on women and trans/gender-variant people, communities and populations for presentation in its scientific sessions at the 140th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association in San Francisco, California, October 27-31, 2012.

Topics should focus on lesbian, bisexual women, WSW/WPW (women who have sex with women/women who partner with women), and/or trans/gender-variant health research incorporating the conference theme, “Prevention and Wellness Across the Lifespan".

In addition, the Caucus is looking for volunteers to serve as abstract reviewers. If you are interested in serving as a reviewer or if you have any other questions regarding the upcoming program, please contact the Scientific Program Chair or Scientific Program Chair-Elect. Contact information is available here.

Abstracts are due Wednesday, February 8, 2012. For more information, please click here.

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14. Call for Nominations: AMA At-Large Members for GLBT Advisory Committee

The AMA is soliciting nominations for two At-Large Member open positions on the Advisory Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) issues. The Advisory Committee is charged with providing advice, council and advocacy on GLBT physician and patient issues. In addition, it provides an advocacy forum for addressing the unique issues of GLBT patients, medical students and physicians, including the need for education and training on GLBT issues. For more information or to apply, please click here.

Applications must be received by March 1, 2012.

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15. New Cancer Study

The National LGBT Cancer Network is collaborating with a researcher from Cal State Univ San Bernadino to conduct a groundbreaking study about LGBT cancer survivors, focusing on the moment of diagnosis.  The more people who participate, the more we will learn.  

We know that the LGBT community is carrying a disproportionate weight of cancer risks, coupled with dramatically decreased screening rates.  We are beginning to be able to prove with certainty that this leads to increased cancer rates, although much more data is needed.  

This study is important because it will show that once diagnosed with cancer, LGBT people face some added challenges.  The survey is short and anonymous, although participants can choose to enter a raffle for one of ten $50 gift cards.    

If you were ever diagnosed with cancer, please take this survey by clicking here.  Please then send this email on to anyone else who may be able to participate.  We need to hear from all of you.

liz margolies,

LCSW executive director

National LGBT Cancer Network

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16. The Empire Conference in Albany NY

The good news is that there are forty seven workshops, Lady Ellen’s Finishing School, seven meals, a BBQ, a mystery theater, a micro-brewery dinner and a Gala Debutant Ball are all planned for the Empire Conference on April 10, to 14, 1012 right in downtown Albany, NY.  The complete program is $250.00 if you register before March 15, 2012.  

GOOD NEWS - BAD NEWS (well, maybe not so bad)  

The maybe not so bad news is that the Crowne Plaza is now known as the Hotel Albany as it “transitions” (Dontcha love it? Even hotels transition), to become a Hilton.  This affects us as they have started remodeling the hotel and are taking one floor at a time out of service.  Our room block is still good if you reserve your rooms before March 1 or until the block is filled, whichever comes first.  However the block may not be expanded to accommodate late comers.  Our suggestion is that you contact the hotel at 518-462-6611 very soon.  Also it is suggested that you submit you conference registration at the same time.

PLEASE REGISTER TODAY to make sure you get the best value for your investment.  Make all reservations at www.transeventsusa.org/empire.

S Kristine James,

Executive Director

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17. 17th Annual Northeast LGBT Conference 2012: Friday, March 30 - Sunday, April 1      

The Sage Colleges, a small, liberal-arts institution with two campuses located in Albany and Troy, New York, is excited to host the 17th Annual Northeast LGBT Conference in 2012. The Conference will bring 400 students from across the Northeast to celebrate, educate, and empower LGBT and Ally student leaders to become agents of change.

The 2012 event will also feature a professional track in the form of an Advisor Conference for 100 faculty, staff, administrators, and other professionals who currently work with LGBT students.

Along with breakout sessions, workshops, caucuses and roundtables students and advisors will be able to enjoy all of the amenities The Sage Colleges has to offer as well as:

For a complete listings: Student Conference Schedule and Advisor Conference Schedule.

Theme

"SPECTRUM: reaching across the rainbow to inspire, empower, and unite". The theme, "Spectrum," allows us to focus on the various members of our LGBT community. We are a diverse group, which our committee believes should be celebrated, and so our diversity will be the focus during the conference. "Spectrum" encompasses the topics of; community identity, religion, ethnicity, race, politics, socio-economics, equality, and inclusion. For more information go to http://www.nelgbtc.com/index.php

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18. LGBT Health and Human Service Needs: A Model for Advocacy and Action

IThe SOGI Project: The Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Project at the UAlbany, School of Social Welfare

Wednesday, February 15th  

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

SUNY Albany Downtown Campus, Milne Hall, Room 200  

In recent years, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, people have made considerable progress in securing equal rights; from the repeal of the ban on being out as gay or lesbian in U.S. military service to marriage equality laws in six states including New York, and Washington, D.C. Despite this progress, LGBT persons still face discrimination, stigma and exclusion in a range of state and federal policy arenas, from family unification under immigration policy, to foster parenting and adoption, and especially in terms of persistent and poorly addressed health disparities. This presentation will review A Blueprint for Meeting LGBT Health and Human Services Needs in New York State, a recent groundbreaking recommendations report produced as a collaboration led by the Hunter College Center for LGBT Social Science and Public Policy, with the Empire State Pride Agenda Foundation, the NYS LGBT Health and Human Services Network, and LGBT health experts and statewide stakeholders. The statewide collaboration process, the report contents and the dissemination serve as a model for other state and local LGBT health advocates, providers and allies.

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19. Medical Evidence at Issue in HIV Discrimination Case

Last week, as reported by the Cherokee Tribune, a panel of judges for the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta heard oral arguments for a lawsuit in which an Atlanta police department candidate was denied employment because of his HIV status. GLMA submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the appeals court last July, presenting information about advancements in medical treatment of HIV in support of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed by Lambda Legal, claims the department refused to hire the candidate as a police officer because he is HIV positive, a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the federal Rehabilitation Act.

Attorneys for the city of Atlanta said the police department was following the recommendations of the physician who conducted the candidate’s medical exam and “advised the department to limit [the candidate’s] interaction with the public,” according to the Cherokee Tribune article.

However, as noted in the article, Lambda Legal argued in the appeals court that “there was no evidence that [the candidate] posed a threat to the health and safety of others.” As GLMA’s brief points out, given the current state of medical knowledge about HIV, the disease is currently characterized as a chronic, treatable disease. Medical advancements in antiretroviral drugs have dramatically extended life expectancy for people living with HIV and the quality of life of those living with HIV has dramatically improved. Furthermore, the risk of transmission of HIV in the line of police duty is negligible, especially given the reduced viral load of a person who is on antiretroviral drugs.

To read more about GLMA’s brief, please click here

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To read last month's newsletter, click here.

 

Information in this report is compiled from the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association's LGBT Health Digest, the National Coalition for LGBT Health's Updates and other LGBT health resources.

QUESTIONS OR CONTRIBUTIONS? Contact us at: 518.227.4880 or director@rainbowaccess.org