Rainbow Health doesn’t only work to provide services to improve individual quality of life; we also work for systems and cultural change in order to reduce disparities and expand meaningful access to equitable care. Rainbow Health’s Advocacy, Research and Education team leads our work toward transforming the landscape our communities face, and making sustainable, positive change.
Whether on our own or with partners, at the legislature, in administrative agencies, or in courts, we work to eliminate harmful practices and promote sound public policy from issues to HIV stigma-reduction to bringing down barriers to transition-related care. Our Standards of Inclusion continue to be a go-to educational resource for providers throughout Minnesota seeking to understand and adopt best practices for working with the communities we serve, and inform the work we undertake with provider networks spanning the state.
Through our innovative, statewide Voices of Health project to document disparities faced by LGBTQ Minnesotans; collaboration with others’ research projects, such as the Transgender Aging Report, which parallel our own efforts; or targeted investigations into the experiences of older adults with HIV, Rainbow Health knows that to be strong advocates, we need data that inform our proposals. We seek to involve our communities in the critical questions affecting their health.
Our annual Opportunity Conference brings together Minnesota health practitioners, policymakers, advocates, and more to choose from among dozens of workshops designed to highlight recent advances, research, and best practices in order to deliver the best care available to LGBTQ people, those affected by HIV, and older adults among both groups. We build on the latest research in providing dozens of additional educational programs at conferences, community settings, and healthcare facilities every year. We also engage the community directly through such programs as ShiftMN to discourage tobacco use, and outreach efforts for those at risk of HIV infection designed to help promote awareness and testing.