Ethan Lewis from the Cortland LGBTQ Center met with Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton to discuss access to culturally competent health services and employment opportunities for LGBT New Yorkers as well as initiatives needed to close the gap for LGBT people of color.
Investing in the LGBT health and human services infrastructure will increase the state’s ability to address LGBT related health disparities, empower LGBT New Yorkers to access affordable and culturally competent health services, and achieve many of the state’s healthcare goals, including the Ending the Epidemic Initiative and the goals behind DSRIP reforms. In his discussions with the Assemblywoman, Lewis outlined key local activities that could be implemented with additional funding including:
- increasing youth-focused employment and education services to promote economic empowerment
- providing training to employers on how to support LGBT employees
- supporting more LGBT-specific resources for those entering the workforce
- educating LGBT New Yorkers on health care and insurance options
- providing cultural competency training to mainstream health care providers
- supporting LGBT people of color led organizations, especially through our local colleges and universities
The LGBT Health & Human Service Network is requesting support in the State budget to increase funding for the LGBT Health and Human Services Initiative from its current level of $4.9 million, to $8 million. This additional funding increase of $3.1 million will allow LGBT organizations to support and expand their provision of these services, which are crucial to addressing LGBT health disparities statewide.
We are most grateful to Assemblywoman Lifton for her willingness to address LGBT related health and employment disparities and her overall support of the LGBT community.
The Cortland LGBTQ Center is located at Cortland Prevention Resources, a division of Family Counseling Services.