Policy & Education

Born out of the Stonewall Era, Callen-Lorde is rooted in the ideals of health equity. Our communities face disparities often in access, quality and outcomes in health care. However, we find ourselves a moment when the convergence of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, (some) advances in civil rights for LGBTQ citizens, structural changes to New York’s health systems and efforts and movements like Ending the Epidemic in New York State and Black Lives Matter nationally, afford us leverage to realize our vision for LGBTQ health equity.

In 2015-2016 we made important, incremental strides with our allies in New York City and State.

  • Ending the Epidemic: Secured millions in funding to implement the Blueprint to End AIDS, an effort to bring new HIV infections in New York State below 750 per year; worked to remove the upper age limit for offering an HIV test (previously it was 13-64); expanded access to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), allowing pharmacists to dispense emergency medication to prevent transmission of HIV much like the “morning after” pill for pregnancy; and lobbied to allow minors to consent for HIV prevention and treatment much the way they can consent to STI screening and treatment.
  • Transgender Health Policy: Bringing our internationally-recognized expertise in healthcare for our transgender community, Callen-Lorde weighed in on the state Department of Health’s proposed amendments to the regulations that inform what transition-related services Medicaid will cover. As a result of our efforts and many others, Transgender New Yorkers covered by Medicaid can access critical healthcare they have been denied for two decades.
  • Finally, we continue to work to impact the evolving [healthcare] regulatory environment, raising our voice to state conversations about value in health care and clinical models that yield improved outcomes with more efficiencies.

Callen-Lorde offers a unique platform that recognizes – and acts upon – the connections between racism, sexism, economic insecurity, violence, homo and trans-phobia with health care and public health. This is our power, and we look forward to joining with all you to transform this power to action and progressive change.