The Rainbow Health Initiative (RHI) is a Minnesota-based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to "improving the health of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Minnesotans through education, clinical practice, research and advocacy." Founded in 2000 by physicians and health advocates, RHI has re-framed the discussion of GLBT health in Minnesota from HIV/AIDS to a broader definition of the health disparities affecting GLBT persons.
Educational Activities[edit | edit source]
RHI hosted a regional GLBT health-forum in 2005 to present the findings of their tobacco research and gather the community to determine the next steps. They presented a community-nominated GLBT Health Advocate Award to Dr. Eli Coleman for his many contributions to improving the health of GLBT Minnesotans. Additionally, RHI has hosted a regular Seminars & Speaker's Series on a variety of GLBT-Health related topic. Volunteers from the organization also frequently participate in community panels and events.
Research Activities[edit | edit source]
RHI conducted surveys of the Minnesota GLBT community in 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2006 collecting data on top health concerns, insurance status, whether an individual has disclosed their sexual orientation to their health care provider, and views on tobacco control. They also conducted focus groups in several communities (lesbian, bisexual, gay men, transgender, deaf, and greater Minnesota) to better understand why GLBT people smoke, what public health strategies are most effective at reaching the community, and to understand attitudes toward [smoke-free policies]. They published a report entitled, Creating an Effective Tobacco Plan for Minnesota's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Communities.
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