Declaring that, “Chicago’s strength is in the diversity of its communities,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel outlined 22 community strategies this weekend to better address Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, or LGBT, health issues, many which go beyond traditional LGBT health care concerns.
For example, the plan notes, “the heightened prevalence of obesity among lesbian women of color” and the need for greater access to healthy food. The plan also seeks to curb tobacco use in the LGBT community.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because the Mayor’s city wellness plan, unveiled last August, also focuses on obesity and tobacco use. Both Healthy Chicago and the LGBT specific plan also focus on HIV/AIDS prevention.
It is unclear what specific resources will be put toward the effort: the plan mentions “the resources of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), other city resources” and also LGBT community providers and allies.
Several Chicago LGBT groups and community health providers are listed as part of the plan, including Center on Halsted, Howard Brown Health Center, and the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago.
“We commend Mayor Emanuel for shining the spotlight on LGBT health care,” said Modesto Chico Valle, CEO of the Center on Halsted. “Together we can build a healthier, stronger Chicago and serve as a model for other cities across the nation.”
A couple of other key components: