News Releases

September 08, 2015

Health Department to Actively Engage LGBTQ Vermonters at Pride Vermont

Staff to Participate in Parade and Festival

The Vermont Department of Health will celebrate Pride Vermont this weekend to demonstrate that supporting the health and well-being of our state's residents includes our LGBTQ neighbors.

"Our mission is to protect and promote the health of all Vermonters," said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD. "We have been working to ensure that individuals within our LGBTQ community know that this includes them as well."

The Health Department works collaboratively with Pride Center of Vermont, a community center for LGBTQ people statewide and sponsor of the Pride Vermont celebration, on a number of health concerns. These include HIV prevention and testing programs for Gay and Bisexual men as well as smoking cessation programs for the entire Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer identified community.

"These programs are in place because our data indicates that in the case of HIV, Gay, Bisexual and other men who have sex with men are disproportionally impacted," said State Epidemiologist Patsy Kelso. "Data on tobacco use shows that members of this diverse community generally are more likely to smoke."

While some health issues are of particular concern to LGBTQ Vermonters, others are not unique to their diverse sexual orientations or gender identities. Like other Vermonters, they may need access to Health Department-led efforts to provide parenting resources, vaccines, water testing or access to nutrition programs.

"Some of Health Department staff will be marching in the Pride parade behind a banner that carries the message WE WORK FOR EVERY BODY," said Dr. Chen. "At the festival that follows they'll be conducting a health needs survey and providing information on a range of health topics."

The Pride parade will begin at the south end of Church Street on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 12:30 p.m., and end in Battery Park.

For health news, alerts and information, visit healthvermont.gov.

Media Contact: Communication Office, 802-863-7281

Source: Department of Health
Last Updated at: September 08, 2015 16:49:15