Lesbian Health Initiative of Houston, Inc.                                             

                                                  Eliminating barriers to healthcare and inspiring health & wellness for LGBT women and transgender men  
                                    CONTACT INFO | SERVICES & ACCOMPLISHMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Submit your volunteer application HERE
or  call 713.426.3356 or email volunteer@lhihouston.org

LHI Houston| 401 Branard St | Houston, TX 77006 |(713) 426-3356 | info@lhihouston.org


Funded and sponsored a Cancer Survivors Group, with professional counselors for lesbian, bi-sexual women and their partners.

Provide direct Access to health and wellness services and information.  Fund and produce multi-provider and health and wellness partner events, LHI Health Fairs, providing no-cost health and wellness screenings, services and information, insurance enrollment and health home choices for uninsured and under-insured LGBT- identified women and transgender men.  Screenings and services provided include, mammograms, pap/well exams, extensive blood testing (cholesterol, blood sugar, HIV/STD , blood glucose), heart and vascular risk assessments, body and skin scan, seasonal flu shots and much, much more.  Provide interim support via referrals to LGBT welcoming and competent providers.

Health Fairs also served as a forum for a broad range of health and wellness information and services.  Attendees learn about the services of area LGBT welcoming providers, benefits information and enrollment as well as information on a diverse range of important, timely and LGBT relevant health and wellness topics.

Provide health and wellness Education by producing, printing and distributing LGBT health and wellness related news,  current and breaking information via social media, health and wellness education workshops, and community outreach efforts and events.

Education for health students & professionals through, “LGBT Culturally Competency 101 - Tools to Improve Patient Communication, Care and Outcomes”, a highly rated & reviewed workshop that offers nursing, social worker, respiratory therapist and pharmacology CEU's. Contact Liz.James@LHIHouston.org  for more information.

Advocacy for and on behalf of LGBT-identified women and transgender men.  Through collaborative memberships and affiliations, LHI works to raise community and health provider awareness, promote and conduct LGBT inclusive health research and promote LGBT equitable and inclusive health and wellness public policies.  LHI is a proud member of the Harris County Healthcare Alliance, Cancer Alliance of Texas, Out2Enroll Advisory Committee, LGBT HealthLINK Steering Committee, National Coalition for LGBT Health Advisory Committee, LGBT State Exchange Project, One Voice Texas, Breast Health Collaborative of Texas, Raising Women's Voices, Latinos in a Network for Cancer Control (LINCC), and CenterLINK as well as other health and wellness advocacy groups.

Fall 1992:  LHI began in a room on the second floor of Inklings, a lesbian bookstore in Montrose, when a small group of women came together determined to take action to address the increased risk and rate of breast cancer research showed lesbians faced. Suzanne Anderson, President of Lesbians in Business (LIB), inspired and led that first meeting which included Dr. Allene King, an oncologist specializing in breast cancer, Pokey Anderson, co-owner of Inklings and LGBT rights activist and leader in the community, Sue Lovell, a political activist and leader who would be elected to a Houston City Council At-Large Position 2 in 2007 and 2009, and Dr. Jackie Duvall, a local chiropractor, who would serve as LHI’s Board President for five years beginning in 1995.

December 1993:  LHI becomes a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  LHI's initial 501(c)(3) Board of Directors:  Dr. Allene King, President, Rebecca L. Proler, M.Ed, Sue Lovell, Melanie Mayeaux, Norrie Collier D.C.,Linda Anderson, and Joyce Gayles PhD.

June - October 1994: An LHI Board authorized and funded the first Houston area conducted needs assessment and study to identify the gaps in health services, as well as barriers to access for lesbian, gay and bisexual women in the Houston area.  The results would be utilized to determine the types of health services which were needed and could be provided and improved by LHI. The Montrose Counseling Center was engaged to provide technical assistance, including producing the final report.

April 1995:  LHI’s authorized study Healthcare Needs Assessment for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Women” report is released.  The report showed LGB women in Houston faced health disparities and barriers to healthcare access that included low economic status, lack of health insurance, high stress factors, low health literacy, and experienced health provider discrimination and lack of L GB cultural and health competency and knowledge. 

1996:  LHI secures a Susan G. Komen grant to provide mammogram to lesbian, gay and bisexual women.  LHI produces several Health Fairs over a two year period to provide mammograms.

January 1996:  Addressing both the need for health education and access, LHI produces and conducts the first LHI Health Fair providing workshops and mammograms to address the need for health education and access.

1998:  To provide additional health education and services information, LHI begins publishing a newsletter

1998:  LHI established partnership with The Rose to provide screening mammogram certificates.

2001:  LHI establishes a partnership with MD Anderson’s mobile mammography program to provide screening mammograms at LHI Health Fairs.

2005:  LHI begins producing and holding biannual LHI Spring and Fall Health Fairs for LGBT women on the first Saturday in June and November at the Montrose Clinic (Legacy Community Health Services).

March 2011:  LHI's Board of Directors hire LHI's first CEO and paid staff member, Liz James. 

April 2011:  LHI becomes a One Voice Texas Member organization 

April 2011:  LHI becomes a National Coalition for LGBT Health Member organization.

November 2011:  LHI partners with the Center for Women's Heart and Vascular Health at the Texas Heart Institute (THI) and a contract lipids testing agency to provide heart and vascular risk assessments for registered attendees at LHI 2011 Fall Health Fair.

June 2012: LHI formalizes a THI/LHI partnership to begin a multi-year sexual orientation and gender identity inclusive heart health research project. THI provides the complete heart and vascular risk assessment, including lipids testing, assessment and cardiologist consultation for registered LHI Health Fair attendees.

August 2012: LHI partnered with Gateway to Care to produce an LGBTQ focus group as part of the Community Engagement and assessment process of the  CDC funded Houston/Harris County Community Transformation Initiative.

January 2013:  LHI begins conducting community-targeted Affordable Care Act/Insurance Marketplace training sessions.

February 2013: LHI becomes a Raising Women's Voices Regional Coordinator

April 2013: LHI receives Susan G. Komen® Houston 2013-2014 $60,000 Breast Health Access Project grant award.

July 2013:  LHI's CEO, Liz James, presents "How the Affordable Act (ACA) Helps Women and Those who Identify as LGBT in Texas" as a member organization for the Breast Health Collaborative of Texas monthly lunch and learn webinar.  

September 2013:   Liz James, LHI’s CEO, Participated as Panelist at a White House Briefing on Obamacare and the LGBT Community.

September 2013:  LHI establishes formal partnerships with Memorial Hermann Neighborhood Health Center Northwest and Houston Area Community Services to produce LHI Latina and Friends Health Fair.

November 2013LHI's Breast Health Access Project poster takes 1st place at the 9th Annual Breast Health Summit - hosted by the Breast Health Collaborative of Texas. Poster submission category: Culturally Competent Breast Cancer Screening/Treatment Programs.

November 2013:  LHI becomes a CenterLink  Member/Center.

December 2013:  LHI partners with Raising Women's Voices to author and provide public comments for Texas Department of Insurance proposed Marketplace Navigator rules

January 2014:  LHI’s CEO, Liz James, conducted two well attended LGBT-patient focused and directed interventions breakout sessions at the 2014 Annual HPV & Cervical Cancer Summit.

January 2014: LHI co-produces and co-presents two 90 minute Affordable Care Act (ACA) workshops and LHI’s CEO, Liz James participates as an invited panelist at a Fenway and CAP sponsored pre-conference ACA Institute. LHI’s workshop partners were the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and Enroll America and SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and The Montrose Center.

May 2014:   LHI accepts the invitation and becomes a Cancer Alliance of Texas (CAT) Member organization.  LHI's CEO, Liz James,  becomes a member of the Affordable Care Act Workgroup, one of three CAT priority activities areas.

July 2014: LHI contributed best practices for Out2Enroll national publication: Key Lessons for LGBT Outreach and Enrollment Under the Affordable Care Act

August 2014: LHI Harris County Healthcare Alliance Annual Member meeting Member presentation "LHI, Who we are, Why we’re needed, What we do & Where we’re going"

August 2014:  LHI’s CEO, Liz James, produced and moderated an Affordable Care Act (ACA) panel presentation on behalf of the ACA Workgroup for the Cancer Alliance of Texas quarterly meeting.  The four panelists were, Department of Health and Human Services Region VI Director, Marjorie Petty; Enroll America Texas State Director, Mimi Garcia; Hope Clinic CEO, Dr. Andrea Caracostis; Insure Central Texas Director, Elizabeth Colvin

November 2014: LHI increases reach, education and screening capacity with a new Federally Qualified Health Center/health home partner, Houston Area Community Services (HACS).  HACS  became the host site, provider and permanent health home partner for  LHI’s 2014 Health Fair and LHI 2015 special and  biannual Health Fairs, referrals and as a home to conduct new health education sessions.

November 2014: LHI contributed best practices to: The Personal Touch:  Reaching and Enrolling  Uninsured Women and LGBT People Best practices and lessons learned from Raising Women’s Voices and our regional coordinators.

February 2015: LHI CEO, Liz James and LHI Board Member, Robin J. Landwehr  DBH, LPC, NCC, represent LHI as a member of the Report Editorial Committee and as Content Contributors providing the first inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity data (pp 11-13) in the  2015 – 2016 City of Houston Harris County State of Health Report

March 2015:  LHI's Senior Outreach & Navigation Specialist, Aurora Harris, produces and facilitated a "Young Lesbians - Let's Talk about It"  breakout session at the 2015 Annual Young Survivors Coalition (YSC) Summit held in Houston.  The annual YSC conference is for young women affected by breast cancer and their co-survivors. 

March 2015: LHI produces first LGBT Medicare covered and eligible focused breast health education and screening event.  Colorectal health education and screening were offered for the first time.  Houston Area Community Health Services (HACS) provided the health home host site, primary care providers, colorectal education and FOBT kit and The Rose was contracted to provide screening mammograms.  An existing HACS/University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center's FOBT program was expanded to provide colorectal screening.  

March 2015: LHI’s collaborative health Education and Access programs are recognized as an innovation that improves health care quality and reduces disparities by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) Health Care Innovations Exchange.  See LHI's Innovation Profile, Collaborative Health Education and Access Events Offer No-Cost Screenings and Navigation Services To Connect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals With Medical Homes Offering Culturally Competent Careonline on the  AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange.  The Innovation Exchange is a comprehensive program designed to increase the development and adoptions of innovation in health care delivery and policy, and contains more than 875 searchable Innovation Profiles and 1550 Quality Tools.


© 2015 Lesbian Health Initiative of Houston, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.