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Front and Center
New Gender-Neutral Shower Card to Increase Knowledge of Breast / Chest Cancer
The Lesbian Cancer Initiative (LCI) recently completed work on a breast/chest self-awareness card designed to increase knowledge among lesbians, bisexual women and transgender people, about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. The Center is distributing the waterproof card (designed to hang in showers) to hundreds of LBT people in an effort to curb later-stage cancer diagnoses in these populations within our community that are disproportionately impacted by cancer. This follows LCI’s development of a gender-neutral cancer screening wallet card that educates community members about how to safely care for their bodies regardless of their gender identity. LCI recently teamed up with the group Circle of Voices at their 9th Annual Fire Island Blackout event, distributing wallet cards to hundreds of attendees in their safer sex kits. Circle of Voices is a non-profit Women of African Descent and Women of Color organization that produces arts and multi-cultural events as nourishment for the human spirit. The Center’s Lesbian Cancer Initiative is proud to share our prevention and early detection resources with groups like this, reaching a demographic at far greater risk for breast and other cancers. We will continue to distribute the breast/chest self-awareness card and wallet card widely.
Thanks to Cristina Moldow, LMSW, Lesbian Cancer Initiative Coordinator and Kaz Mitchell, Lesbian Cancer Initiative Intern
Seek Parenting Advice from our Center Families Ask the Experts Forum
The Center is happy to announce that our new and improved “Ask the Experts” page is up and running. “Ask the Experts” is a collection of web forums, designed to allow LGBTQ parents and prospective parents to get their questions answered by New York City area experts. If you are seeking information about our unique Center Families programming or eager to know which schools are welcoming to LGBTQ families, you’ll find the answers you are looking for through this resource. You can also get helpful advice on forming a family, along with information on the legal and financial planning involved in the process. Click here to learn more about this exciting new tool on our Center Families web page
Thanks to George Fesser, LMSW, Director of Center Families
Substance Abuse Prevention Model Helps People Find a Path to Sobriety
The Center's Project LINK Program provides on-site substance abuse treatment and referral services to individuals at Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) testing sites in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In August the Project LINK team together with the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the NYC Department of Health (DOH) presented a poster at the annual HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta, GA. The poster highlighted the substance abuse screenings that Project LINK interventionists, Brian Belovitch, Roberto Gonzalez, and Luke Sleiter are delivering at three NYC STD clinics, as well as the tracking, follow-up and data collection done by Project LINK staff, Joanna Adely, Anthony Freeman and Shanequa Highsmith. The unique collaboration between the Center, OASAS, and the NYC DOH makes possible the only substance abuse screening and treatment referral system in STD clinic settings in the country; and most importantly it helps countless individuals seeking STD services to also find a path to sobriety.
Thanks to Cynthia Nuara, MPA, Community Services Administrative Manager
Staff Spotlight: Vic Johal, Community Services Intern
My internship with the Center came about in a very unconventional manner. I had completed my MSW program and had two options. I could stay in Toronto and look for a job or take advantage of the time I had off and do an internship. I knew if I decided on the latter it would have to be in an area that I was genuinely invested in. That led me to research internships at Center Wellness, where I knew I would be able to work with LGBT people; and doing such rewarding work in New York was an added bonus. After a series of discussions with Director of Community Services, Carrie Davis, I was offered this exciting opportunity, and I jumped at the chance. The past four months have provided me with a wide range of experiences and challenges that have not only developed me professionally but also on a personal level. My work with clients and colleagues, the screening, the intakes, the counseling, the group work, and last but not least, the administrative experience, have all made me more knowledgeable and appreciative of the invaluable services the Center provides to members of our community who would otherwise not have access to this support. I would like to congratulate all the staff, volunteers and interns on the great work that you do every day. I cannot say enough about your dedication. Finally, I would like to thank Carrie Davis, Andres Hoyos, and everyone at the Center. I will take this extremely valuable experience with me as I move on to my next adventure.