LGBTQ Health Equity Summit Coming to Kansas City

Kansas City, Mo., will be the host city for the eighth annual National LGBTQ Health Equity Summit, which aims to address the inequities in LGBT health compared to the health of the general public. The Marriott Kansas City Downtown will be the main venue for the Aug. 14 event.

The summit’s theme this year is “Bridging the Gap: Promising Practices in LGBT Health and Tobacco Control.” The annual meeting’s origins are tied to anti-tobacco efforts. The annual meeting was formerly known as the National LGBT Tobacco Summit, and this year, it will be an ancillary meeting to the National Conference on Tobacco or Health, which will be Aug. 15-17 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

The summit will address promising practices in LGBT health and tobacco control. Rates of smoking for both LGBT youth and adults outpace those of the general population.

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a list of ongoing and future actions for improving the lives of LGBT people. Among those actions were the recommendations in a report from the Institute of Medicine that addressed research gaps and opportunities with regard to LGBT health. The summit will address some of these gaps.

Gustavo Torrez, Network for LGBT Health Equity program manager, will open the plenary session, followed by presentations on the state of the network and its strategic plan, as well as the MPOWERED document release that will summarize contributions to an eight-week brainstorming session on tobacco prevention.

Morning breakout sessions include topics such as using the tobacco industry’s tricks against the industry itself (marketing through bars and nightclubs), promoting LGBTTA (Lesbiana, Gay, Bisexual, Transgénero, Transexual y sus Aliados) health in Latino populations, using phone lines to help people quit smoking, young adult LGBTQ tobacco prevention, health equity and why people should care about it, strategy for black gay youth in America, queering health professions education, and more.

Afternoon workshops and panel discussions deal with research to practice, cutting-edge policy-change campaigns, strategies for getting started with program evaluation, and telling the LGBTQ public health story to the FDA.

A late-afternoon panel titled “State & Voluntary Perspectives in LGBT Tobacco Control” will include panel member Bill Snook from the Kansas City, Mo., Health Department, who was instrumental in the production of The Pulse, a groundbreaking 2003 survey of LGBT health in the greater Kansas City area.

Finally, network director Dr. Scout will address the federal LGBT landscape and opportunities for the future.

The summit will also offer a youth track for youth and young adult attendees.

The cost to attend the summit is $99; on-site registration is $150. Youth-track attendees and those who are unable to pay the registration fee may apply for scholarships. Mail-in and online registration details can be found at the event registration page (
Event at Hamburger Mary’s
From 7-10 p.m. Aug. 14, following the summit, Rescue Social Change Group ( will sponsor “Beyond Fabulous: The LGBT Anti-Tobacco Event Experience” at Hamburger Mary’s, 101 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.

Information on the Network’s website describes the event this way: “See firsthand how to fight the tobacco industry’s marketing strategies by using their own tactics against them. Experience what a bar promotion tailored for the LGBT population looks and feels like. Enjoy drag performances, beverages and innovative tobacco counter-marketing.”

The Network for LGBT Health Equity is one of six tobacco disparity networks funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is a program of the Fenway Institute at Fenway Health, headquartered in Boston.
Summit events page:
Summit Facebook page: Network for LGBT Health Equity:
The Network Facebook page:

Bradley Osborn

Brad has been writing for Camp since 2004. His beat is mostly local features and general LGBT news. Common topics have included youth, faith and community. Although he holds an M.A. in journalism, he primarily considers himself to be a chemist, having studied and worked in biochemistry, quantitative analysis, quality assurance and the production of educational science texts. He's laconic, unintentionally enigmatic and often facetious. He enjoys irony, as well as things – but not animals, apparently – that are simultaneously beautiful and utilitarian. He and his cat, Charlie Parker, reside in downtown Kansas City, Mo. If you have a story idea for Brad, send him a note at

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