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Chicago Launches LGBT Community Health Action Plan

Rahm Emmanuel and Chicago’s Department of Public Health has announced the launch of a new community action plan to improve overall health of Chicago’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community.

The  Action Plan was developed in coordination with city leaders and community health providers across the across the city to serve as a supplement to the Healthy Chicago program.

“Chicagoans in communities across the city face similar health concerns, but there are clear disparities in health status among the city’s diverse LGBT community that require specific strategies to target and address these concerns,” said Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of the CDPH in a press release.

Highlights of the plan include promoting the collection of sexual orientation data in electronic medical records and encouraging researchers to focus on LGBT health to share findings and develop new LGBT health research.

• Improve the tracking of hate crimes against transgender persons, publicize resources for reporting violence, and conduct outreach on strategies to avoid violence.
• Develop cultural competency training to help educate health care providers, employers and educators on the health needs of the LGBT community.
• Increase tobacco cessation efforts in the LGBT community to address the high prevalence of smoking, which is at 30 percent, 12 percentage points higher than the 18 percent of the overall population.
• Promote inclusion of same sex couples in programs aimed at healthy pregnancies, childbirth and early childhood health

The plan also point to but doesn;t spell out the action plan for HIV prevention so its unclear at this time how it will effect the Chicago’s sex businesses.

Chicago is one of the few cities left that offer gay adult movie theatres and bathhouses which include Man’s Country and the world famous Bijou Theatre which has been around since the 1970’s and are a part of Chicago’s LGBT history which both and now sits on some very prime real estate.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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