Friday, April 1, 2011

Is This The Biggest 48 Hrs Ever for LGBT Health?

Scout, Ph.D., Network Director
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity, The Fenway Institute, Boston, MA
Report issued by Institute of Medicine on March 31, 2011.
Today at 11 am sharp the feds released the long awaited Institute of Medicine Report (IOM) on LGBT Health, or as we’re calling it in Twitterland #LGBTIOM. This report finally brings the often forgotten subject of LGBT health firmly into the light of day. Changes may or may not come from it, but we will never have to work as hard again to prove LGBT health disparities exist. Now we can just say, read all about it. I waited over my computer till 11 am thinking I was itching to read every inch of the tome. But apparently what I was really more interested in was, how much press was this getting? Luckily my home organization, The Fenway Institute, brought in some expert help to make sure press was gotten, the great folk at Renna Communications. Two of our scientists, including one of my mentors, Judy Bradford, helped write the book, so it’s good to get that news out. See our special page on it here. But it’s not all about press, first step was scan the executive summary to see what it said. Nice… it’s got lots of strong language saying collect LGBT data, enhance LGBT research, pay special attention to the subsets of LGBT, like LGBT of color, transgender people, bisexuals, etc. Love all that. See the IOM info and the short report summary here. Now onto the press, here’s just some of the coverage we know about so far: Reuters Advocate Bay Windows DC Metro Weekly CNN Washington Blade LA Times What else? Send us a link at if you see it other places. Story about Tammy Baldwin planning to re-introducing her LGBT health bill tomorrow: And the Associated Press put out something that’s been picked up by lots of places, USAToday, etc.: or But the news doesn’t stop there, it was also announced at the press conference that NIH appointed an LGBT research liaison!! Love that, because we’ve been complaining to them for a while that their reception to LGBT research has been lukewarm at best. (See our testimony to them here.) But wait, there’s more… tomorrow, did you catch that it looks like Rep. Tammy Baldwin might re-introduce her well-thought out bill on LGBT health? Let’s hope that comes through, maybe it can ride some of this momentum and pass. And last, and certainly not least, tomorrow at 1:30 HHS officials are inviting insiders and out to a call ostensibly for LGBT health week, but rumor is it’ll be more than good tidings. *rubs hands* I can’t wait. Oh, and as the cherry on our 48 hour LGBT health sundae, here’s Secty. Sebelius’ memo on the IOM release Yes, let the press roll on. Let the bloggers get on the train, retweet it yourself, post it on Facebook, let LGBT health have it’s day in the sun. It is about time.

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