Our Initiatives

At Rainbow Health Initiative, our work is focused on Research, Education and Advocacy. 

Research

sq_survey.jpgEach year, RHI conducts a community health assessment at Minnesota pride festivals, community events and online. The RHI survey is currently the only report on the statewide health of LGBTQ Minnesotans.

To learn more about our process, get results from past surveys, or to read our most recent report, please visit our Health Assessment page.

Past Projects

2009-2012  “Invisible Needs: A Report on LGBTQ Youth Pregnancy and Parenting Experiences”
Funded by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, RHI conducted a research project focused on collecting the experiences of LGBTQ young people who had experienced pregnancy between the ages of 18 and 24. Youth and young adults who identify as LGBTQ are 2-3 times more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to become pregnant. For more information about this study please visit our Research and Publications page.

2010-2011
Funded by ClearWay of Minnesota, RHI partnered with the University of Minnesota to conduct a study on people living with HIV (PLWHA) and their experiences with tobacco cessation as it relates to their medical care. This study included interviews with PLWHA and surveys of medical providers in Minnesota. This report is available in the American Journal for Preventive Medicine

Education


RHI offers LGBTQ health and cultural competency training to health professionals, social service workers, community members and is available to present at health fairs and events. For more information please visit our Trainings and Presentations page.

Advocacy


On behalf of LGBTQ people, RHI advocates for the inclusion of LGBTQ communities within mainstream/non-LGBTQ funding streams. Requests for proposals or grants do not always name LGBTQ community organizations as possible fund recipients when it is appropriate to do so. RHI makes a case for LGBTQ inclusion by raising our voices when these situations occur, and encouraging others to do so as well.

Without data to support health disparities, the LGBTQ community’s needs are invisible. No other statewide survey collects LGBTQ health information. They do not ask questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. RHI’s 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Know' activities work to ensure the inclusion of these questions in surveys, reports and programs.

As Minnesota and the United States prepare for Health Care Reform under the Affordable Care Act, legislatures and agencies are drafting legislation, processes, procedures and definitions for implementation in 2014. RHI has convened a small group of advocacy-based LGBTQ organizations to ensure the inclusion of LGBTQ people throughout these reforms.