Who We Are
Rainbow Health Initiative is a community-based non-profit organization committed to advancing the health and wellness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities through research, education and advocacy.
RHI was founded in 2001 by a group of community activists, health care providers, and health advocates who noted the significant health disparities facing members of Minnesota’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities and determined to do something about it.
Historically, RHI has focused significant energy on advancing tobacco policies within the LGBTQ community in order to address this significant health issue. We have worked with businesses, institutions, organizations and individuals to establish tobacco policies:
- That reduce corporate tobacco access to the LGBTQ community through sponsorships and advertising
- Provide tobacco free public spaces
- Provide access to culturally competent cessation programs.
RHI has expanded its work to include programs for members of the community who are struggling with substance abuse. Our Proud Recovery program provides LGBTQ peer recovery coaches to support members of the community.
The RHI survey is the only statewide report on LGBTQ health. The results of this convenience based annual survey can be accessed through our report, 'Voices of Health: A Survey of LGBTQ Health in Minnesota,' which can be found under the "Resources for You - Reseach & Publications" tab.
Collaborators and Facilitators
Rainbow Health Initiative collaborates with numerous organizations. We see this relationship as critical to our advocacy work. Our roles in these networds are two-fold: to raise awareness of LGBTQ health issues within organizations that are working on other health disparities and educate LGBTQ organizations and individuals about the health disparities in our community.
Some of our colleagues include:
- Training to Serve
- Ramsey County Tobacco Coalition
- MN Transgender Health Coalition
- Hennepin County Human Service and Public Health Department
- City of Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support
- Health Equity Working Committee
- Community Health Improvement Program
- Statewide Health Improvement Program
- Network Collaborative