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|Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative becomes 'The Health Initiative'|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|September 19, 2011 11:51|
At the annual Fall Garden Party thrown by the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative, major news was announced — the nonprofit organization that has focused on serving lesbian health will now be dedicated to serving the entire LGBT community.
Now named The Health Initiative, the organization is expanding its services and "expanding our circle and expanding our reach," Linda Ellis, executive director, announced at the Garden Party held Sunday at Einstein's.
"Medical professionals are seeking us out to be at the table with them. The issues we have to deal with today have to do with advocacy," Ellis said.
The news included an unveiling of the Health Initiative's new logo, with the tag line, "Georgia's Voice for LGBT Health."
"We know we need to change with the times … and the issues of policies are shared throughout the LGBT community," Ellis added. She added that the original mission of ALHI and its work will continue as well and there will be no major changes to services and resources currently provided.
One of ALHI's primary focus was funding a program — with donations made mostly by the Decatur Women's Sports League — to help lesbians receive basic medical care when they could not afford it.
"Now in these tougher economic times it is important we add providers," said Ellis. "We need you in these conversations with us as we figure out what this looks like. We're excited about what's ahead."
Ellis pointed out that the Health Initiative has been receiving support from the national Gay & Lesbian Medical Association and continues to work with providing culturally competent training to local and regional medical providers and healthcare systems on how to best serve the needs of the lesbian, and now the gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
"We are early on this journey," Ellis said.
Timeline for the agency
• The Atlanta Lesbian Cancer Initiative is founded by Dennie Doucher, Sherry Hale, and Linda McGehee.
• ALCI celebrates with the First Annual Fall Garden Party.
• ALCI's support group began. This is Georgia's only cancer support group for lesbians and their partners, and is endorsed by the American Cancer Society, Georgia Division.
February 12, 1998
• ALCI's Co-founder, Dennie Doucher, dies of complications from breast cancer
• Linda McGehee is hired as ALCI's part-time Executive Director
• Dr. Janice Galleshaw, with Georgia Cancer Specialists, is selected as ALCI's first Healing Angel at the 3rd Annual Fall Garden Party.
• ALCI's First Lesbian, Gay and Bi-sexual Friendly List is published.
• Dr. Rogsbert Phillips, an Atlanta area breast surgeon and founder of Sisters By Choice, is honored as ALCI's Healing Angel at the 4th Annual Fall Garden Party.
• Dr. Toni Rossi is named ALCI's Healing Angel at the 5th Annual Fall Garden Party.
• Linda McGehee is honored, upon her retirement, as ALCI's Healing Angel at the 6th Annual Fall Garden Party.
• Linda Ellis is hired as ALCI's first full-time Executive Director
• Charis Books and More is named ALCI's Healing Angel at the 7th Annual Fall Garden Party.
• Dr. Bill Barber, Piedmont Hospital breast cancer surgeon, is named ALCI's Healing Angel at the 8th Annual Fall Garden Party.
• Shirley Adams is honored as ALCI's Healing Angel at the 9th Annual Fall Garden Party.
• Dorothy Galleway, Nurse Practitioner and founder of Family Health Enterprise, is named ALCI's Healing Angel at the 10th Annual Fall Garden Party. At the Party, our expanded mission and new name, The Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative, is announced.
• The Health Initiative begins hosting LGBT friendly Weight Watchers meetings.
• During the 12th Annual Fall Garden Party, the staff of the Feminist Women's Health Center receives the Health Initiative's Healing Angel Award for their commitment to ensuring safe and accessible healthcare for all women.
• The Health Initiative forms an alliance with Fourth Tuesday in preparation for the rollout of its new online health assessment, Lifestyle Link.
• At the 13th Annual Fall Garden Party, Anne "Sarge" Barr receives the Health Initiative's Healing Angel Award for her vision and commitment to helping lesbians get and stay active through her establishment of the Decatur Women's Sports League.
• ALHI officially unveils its new name and mission at the Fall Garden Party on Sept. 18, 2011, as "The Health Initiative — Georgia's Voice for LGBT Health"
Top photo: Linda Ellis (center) announces at Sunday's Garden Party that the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative has been renamed the Health Initiative to serve the entire lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. The new logo for the agency was also unveiled. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)
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