Advocacy & Policy

Born out of the Stonewall Era, Callen-Lorde is rooted in the ideals of health equity. In addition to directly providing sensitive, high-quality healthcare, we’re committed to improving access and quality of care beyond our doors.

Here are our New York State Health Equity and Justice priorities for 2019/20:

  • Add $20M to the Uncompensated Care Safety Net Pool to ensure ongoing access to care for all New Yorkers in community based settings and address ongoing threats to coverage for immigrants.
  • Protect Health Homes from $5M Proposed Cut in Executive Budget. Significant cuts would reduce funding for Patient Navigation services for those people who live with chronic health issues like Hypertension and Diabetes.
  • Continue Investment in Statewide Healthcare Facility Transformation Program. This program funds critical capital projects, vital to expanding primary care and behavioral health.
  • Invest $10M in Hepatitis C Initiatives and Programs. Funding is needed to achieve that state’s plan to Eliminate Hepatitis C. Further, the Executive Budget does not include a $5M investment made last year.
  • Expand New York State Essential Plan coverage to all immigrant New Yorkers regardless of immigration status.
  • Maintain $235M funding for Patient Centered Medical Home Program to support comprehensive primary care services. Funding received from performance improvement initiatives supports robust education and outreach, expanded medical case management and innovative population health models and lead to improved health outcomes for our patients.
  • Pass the New York Health Act [A.8534/S.4840A]. The New York Health Act would implement a universal, single-payer health care plan that will cover all New Yorkers and eliminate co-pays, deductibles, and sky-rocketing premiums.

Eliminating bias, stigma and discrimination in health care and public health systems – and promoting affirming and integrated care – will improve the health of LGBTQ and all communities. Here are our New York State Health policy priorities for 2019/20:

  • Ensure public and private insurance coverage for gender-affirming care. Callen-Lorde recognizes that public and commercial insurance plans increasingly are denying claims less often and covering gender-affirming care more often, as they are required to do. TGNB New Yorkers still face significant barriers accessing life-saving care. We urge continued public information, strengthened appeals and grievance processes and aggressive enforcement.
  • Require LGBTQ Cultural Competency Training for Licensed NYS (Health and other) Providers – Callen-Lorde supports a requirement for NYS-licensed or registered health and other providers to receive a designated number of hours of instruction on cultural competency focusing on LGBTQI+ patients.
  • Require comprehensive sexual health education in New York public schools – All New York’s public schools should require comprehensive sexual health education in grades k-12. Comprehensive sexual health education covers core topics including consent, healthy relationships, accessing health services and the use of technology and social media in intimate relationships. Comprehensive sexual health education helps young people understand sexual orientation and gender identity, promotes respect for all youth, and provides students with lessons inclusive of, and relevant to, LGBTQ youth.
  • Pass the Safe Consumption Services Act [A8534 [Rosenthal] Safe Consumption Sites are a response to the opioid and drug overdose public health crisis, and are places where people can use pre-obtained drugs safely with support from staff to link them to health care services, including drug treatment, social services and housing.

We can end AIDS in New York State by 2020. We have the tools to end the HIV epidemic in New York State. New cases and deaths are concentrated among communities of color and LGBTQ communities.  Callen-Lorde believes we must continue to take steps to address the drivers of the HIV epidemic – such as lack of stable housing – as well as related syndemics – like viral Hepatitis – in order to realize the vision to end AIDS.  Callen-Lorde supports the End AIDS NY 2020 Budget and Legislative proposals enclosed.

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.