LGTB Center at University of Louisville

Mike Miller and Jamie Sparks

Mike Miller and Jamie Sparks

Jamie and I were invited by Mike Miller, a former colleague of Jamie's at the Kentucky Department of Education to a beautiful reception at a private residence in Louisville last night to celebrate 10 years of growth for the University of Louisville's LGBT Center. It was an honor to be invited among 150 other guests celebrating the support of sexual minorities on campus.

Over the years, the Center has been ranked as the most friendly campus for sexual minorities in the South. The event hosted at Steve and Karen Hall's home was a celebration of the work the Center provides, an opportunity to connect with others advocating for all young adults and an opportunity to bring awareness of the Center and funds to sustain and grow the work its doing.  The Center works to create a safe, supportive environment for all students including hosting an Ally Campaign in which allies wear a pin demonstrating their commitment to creating a safe environment for all, safe zone training events, and opportunities for healthcare providers to add their names as LGBT-friendly. The Center works to educate, advocate, create healthy and safe learning environments where students can thrive, improving patient care at UofL affiliated healthcare settings and partake in research of LGBT health.

The LGBT Center works to strengthen and sustain an inclusive campus community at the University of Louisville, one that welcomes people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions through support, educational resources, and advocacy. The Center works in partnership with other diversity efforts on campus supporting the Vice Provost for Diversity and International Affairs.

One of the most impressive components of this work is a national model to educate the medical students at UofL on LGBT health cultural competency and responsiveness. The program is called eQuality and you can learn more about it here. This means that when a patient is working with medical staff, of any kind, that staff has had training on how to best support their patients needs. 

This brings me back to our work in K-12 schools. As an Oregon educator, I received multiple training opportunities that built my knowledge and skills around creating a culturally competent classroom and school environment for all students, including the LGBTQ population. I know this isn't happening in most school communities around the US, but there are multiple non-profits working in this area. Teen Health Mississippi, SHIFT NC in Durham, Answer and TransActive are a few of the many organizations providing sexual health support, information, access and education to our sexual minority youth, parents and educators for the K-12 setting. 

It was great to see Stacie Steinbock, our good friend and Director of the LGBT Center Satellite Office on the Health Sciences Center Campus

It was great to see Stacie Steinbock, our good friend and Director of the LGBT Center Satellite Office on the Health Sciences Center Campus

Last night, a few people had the opportunity to talk about why they support the Center. Medical staff shared their experience and growth due to training opportunities. Kim Griffith Diamond, a parent boldly and courageously shared her story of losing her son to depression as a result of the pressures and lack of societal support of being gay. People had the opportunity to speak about why they are allies and how in truth, this all comes down to caring for all human beings, no matter who they are. It was an amazing evening of food, drink, celebration and coming together. 

There are numerous ways to show your support of the programs and policies of the LGBT Center. One way is, of course a donation. There is more information here

As a national leader in LGBT healthcare, the LGBT Center is proud to offer cutting-edge training for health care students and professionals. Our LGBT Health Certificate provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to interact successfully with LGBT patients, and demonstrates to employers and patients your commitment to serving diverse patient populations. It is free to members of the UofL community as well as all community members in Louisville and beyond.

What Last Week's Election Means to Our Work

Liz Thorne is new to Cairn Guidance as the VP of Policy and Programs. She will be regularly posting on this blog.

I started writing my introductory post many times over the last several weeks. Then, after last Tuesday, I had to start over. Don’t worry—this isn’t another politically charged exposition that has been flooding your inbox and social media feed. But it would be disingenuous of me to ignore the fact that a lot of folks across this country are worried about what the future might hold for them and their families, as evidenced by the increase in calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and other crisis lines around the country after the election. But this week has also crystalized the importance of our work at Cairn Guidance, and why I am so honored to join Jess and Samantha in the mission of creating healthy school environments where students, staff and communities can reach their full potential. I keep coming back to the following actions:

We need to focus on systems change strategies so all youth can reach their full potential. In public health, we talk a lot about the social determinants of health.  The ways in which social forces, like trauma and systemic racism,  “get under our skin” to create disparities in health and other outcomes (like graduation rates, suspension and expulsion, incarceration, etc.).  The American Public Health Association has been leading a national conversation on ways to dismantle systemic racism. We have to put it on the agenda; identify how the system (policies, procedures, etc) impact populations; and facilitate the conversation to address the problems and move forward. Cairn Guidance has been a leader in facilitating the Systems Thinking, Systems Changing™ and supporting communities to work through the systems change process.

Relationships matter. We know from youth development science that having a connection to a supportive adult can help buffer youth against risk and is associated with better health and better education outcomes. This can be a parent, mentor, coach, teacher or community member. We need to equip teachers and school staff with the resources, skills and supports to create school environments that show every student matters.

Building soft skills. Critical thinking. Empathy. Communication. Working in a team. Seeing both sides of an issue. Typically referred to as soft skills, these are the critical skills young people need for employment, but also engagement as citizens. You see it in schools as students advocating for school policy change based on an experiential learning opportunity like action research; involvement in mentorship programs or community service; or learning to negotiate condom use in health education. These are the skills necessary to build an engaged and aware citizenry.

I know there will be challenges, but I also know that there is amazing work being done across the country. I am thrilled to support and elevate that in my role at Cairn Guidance.

Howard L. Bost Health Policy Forum

The 2015 Bost Health Policy Forum hosted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky kicked off with a welcome from Kentucky's Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen. She reinforced the importance of economic vitality, livability and strong communities related to the health of Kentuckians. We heard from a variety of health advocates on topics including education, the built environment, worksite wellness and food systems from Andrew Dannenberg from the University of Washington, Vera Oziransky from the Vitality InstituteMary Gwen Wheeler from 55000 Degrees, and Margo Wootan from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

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Cairn Guidance Update!

As 2015 gets its groove on, Cairn Guidance is becoming increasingly busy again after a nice respite during the holidays. Our focus is to continue to develop, revise and implement programs, practices and policies to increase our reach of healthy youth and staff, build sustainable partnerships, diversify our client-base and work, increase our advocacy efforts, model health ourselves and continue to thoroughly enjoy work!

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"Smoking is Killing Kentucky, Literally and Fiscally."

I moved to Kentucky over a year ago from Portland, Oregon.  Regularly, people ask me what I notice are the biggest differences. I have observed two major things... how overweight people are and how many people smoke. I have been exposed to more secondhand smoke than I have in my life. When I lived in Louisville this past year (I now reside in Morehead, KY), I used to run downtown 2-3 times a week to the waterfront.

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Resources to Support School Health

Yesterday I posted a list of resources specific to the field of K-12 school health education. Today, I'm going to share a list of resources within the larger field of school health that I refer to regularly. I know there are many more out there. I'll attempt to categorize for ease of finding information! If you have others to share, email me and I'll add them to this post!



Partnering for Success: How Health Departments Work and How to Work with Health Departments- This is a great resource especially useful for schools to understand how to partner with their local health departments to work together to create a culture of health within the school environment.

How Schools Work & How to Work with Schools- Great tool for individuals or organizations that want to work with schools, but scratch their head because they function so differently! This tool is worth the $5!


Research to Support School Health

Healthier Students are Better Learners- A fabulous 'essay' written by Charles E. Basch used widely that addresses how health-related problems among youth are affecting our students' ability to achieve. Make the case to your administrator or leadership using this document!


Research Review:
School-based Health Interventions and Academic Achievement 
- Fabulous report by Julia Dilley. From document, "Research Review: School-based Health Interventions and Academic Achievement provides important new evidence that links students’ health and academic performance. It identifies proven health interventions and practical resources that can positively affect both student health and academic achievement."


Implementing a Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP)

Tools That Work! - This is a toolkit developed by the MIssissippi Department of Education and provides a CSH guide to building a healthy school.


Aligning Health and Education Accountability Measures

I have an article from CCSSO called Incorporating Health into Education Accountability Systems, however I can't find it online. Contact me if you want more information!


Safe Routes to School

School Nurses as Safe Routes to School Champions Improving the Built Environment and Increasing Physical Activity 

Safe Routes to School State Network Project: Final Report, 2007–2009; Making Change Through Partners and Policies 


Sexual Health

Oregon Youth Sexual Health Plan- this document is a part of a larger state-wide approach to increasing the sexual health of adolescents in Oregon. However, objective #5 is on Providing Education and skill building for youth and families and includes comprehensive sex education language and goals.  


Return on Investment

Investment in School Health Capacity; Payoffs in Health, Achievement and Stronger Communities - Fantastic document (yes, I helped review!) put together by Oregon Health Authority, the Public Health Division and good colleagues/friends of mine that not only defines core capacity as "(1) having a school health coordinator; (2) conducting a health focused self-assessment1; (3) having a health-related School Improvement Plan goal and objective; and (4) having a school health advisory group that includes an administrator and a community member. Together these components represent the staffing, data, leadership, accountability, and broad support that is needed to effectively support health and achievement in school settings" but discusses the dollar return on investment when schools or districts implement school health programs. A must-read document. I hope it drives further studies and is used as a tool to advocate for the fiscal reason we should be working on school health. 



State School Health Policy Matrix- From the website: "The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), along with the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) and American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) have worked together to develop this guide to state-level school health policies for the following topics: competitive foods and beverages, physical education and physical activity, and administration of medication in the school environment. The State School Health Policy Matrix outlines relevant state-level policies for each of these areas, including a direct link to the policy. It also it indicates which political entity or agency adopted the policy or issued guidance, helping to an­swer the question – Who has historically had the authority to make policy changes in the areas of competitive foods and beverages, physical education and physical activity, and administration of medication in each state?"


Administrative Support

What School Administrators Can Do to Enhance Student Learning by Supporting a Coordinated Approach to Health 


School Health Advisory Councils (SHACs)

Promoting Healthy Youth, Schools, and Communities- A Guide to Community-School Health CouncilsI still refer to this guide that helps support a school or district in developing what we know, is one of the most important aspects of creating a sustainable school health program. 

Clinton Health Matters Conference

The Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Conference is the anchor event for the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) during which innovations and best practices elicited from CHMI strategic partnerships are featured. The Health Matters Conference showcases corporations, non-governmental organizations, and individuals that have made a significant investment in contributing to the health and well-being of others. We have over 100 million in new strategic health investments expected to positively impact 50 million lives and are pleased to report that this is in addition to last year's commitments to action of which ninety percent are already completed or well underway.

Another successful conference!

As the content lead of the Clinton Foundation Health Matters Conference, I work with a small but mighty dream team to make this event successful. The amount of work that goes into this event is unbelievable and everyone involved works above and beyond the call of duty. We work hard, but I wouldn't do it if it weren't for the team I have the honor of working with, Ginny Ehrlich's leadership (CEO of Health Matters), the speakers I get to lead through content, On the Mark Promotions and Metro Connections (our production teams this year) and the palm trees. Palm trees do help! Photos coming soon.

We had an amazing group of speakers this year and if you missed the live-streamed event, you can watch each panel here


Monday, January 13, 2014

5:30 – 7:00 p.m. | Welcome Reception 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. | ESPN Town Hall at the Clinton Foundation

Health Matters Conference Presented with the Aspen Institute Featured Guests: President Bill Clinton Founder, Clinton Foundation

Chelsea Clinton Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation Moderators: Julie Foudy Soccer Commentator, Features Reporter, and Host, ESPN; Mike Greenberg Mike & Mike Co-Host, ESPN

Scott Blackmun CEO, U.S. Olympic Committee
Kobe Bryant NBA All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist
Guido Dominguez Youth Advisory Board Member, Alliance for a Healthier Generation Tom Farrey Reporter, ESPN; Director, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Allyson Felix Olympic Gold Medal Sprinter
Matt Kemp MLB All-Star
Herschel Walker Founder, President, CEO, Renaissance Man Food Service; Heisman Trophy Recipient; Collegiate Football Hall of Fame;
NFL Pro-Bowler; Olympian


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Morning Workouts
7:00 7:30 a.m. | Jenna Wolfe Today Show Anchor and Correspondent, NBC News

7:30 8:00 a.m. | Billy Blanks Creator, Tae Bo® Fitness

9:00 – 10:45 a.m.

Trevor Fetter President and CEO, Tenet Healthcare Corporation

Opening Remarks

President Bill Clinton Founder, Clinton Foundation


Health Transformation Panel

Moderator: President Bill Clinton Founder, Clinton Foundation Bruce Broussard President and CEO, Humana Inc. Trevor Fetter President and CEO, Tenet Healthcare Corporation Tim Finchem Commissioner, PGA TOUR
Sue Siegel CEO, GE Ventures & healthymagination, GE Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD Chairman and CEO, NantHealth & Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation


Mental Health & Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Panel

Featured Announcement: Noopur Agarwal Vice President, Public Affairs, MTV; Ginny Ehrlich CEO, Clinton Health Matters Initiative; Rita Fabi Manager, Policy Programs, Facebook; John MacPhee Executive Director and CEO,The Jed Foundation

Moderator: Dr. Travis Stork Emergency Room Physician and Co-Host of The Doctors Noopur Agarwal Vice President, Public Affairs, MTV

The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy Co-Founder, One Mind for Research; Founder, The Kennedy Forum and Author of MHPAEA

John MacPhee Executive Director and CEO, The Jed Foundation David Sheff Author and New York Times Columnist
Nora D. Volkow, MD Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse


Lunch Introduction & Featured Announcement

Featured Announcement: Kristin Burkhalter Director, Palisades Media Ventures; Mary Sue Milliken Chef and Owner, Border Grill Restaurants and Trucks


Leveraging Digital Platforms to Promote Health Panel

Featured Announcement: Michael Maness Vice President, Journalism & Media Innovation, The John S. and James Knight Foundation

Moderator: Chelsea Clinton Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation
Dane Atkinson CEO, SumAll; Board Director, SumAll Foundation Travis Bogard Vice President, Product Management & Strategy, Jawbone Kathy Chang Founder, Moro; Codeathon Winner
Michael Maness Vice President, Journalism & Media Innovation, The John S. and James Knight Foundation
Peter Tippett, MD, PhD Chief Medical Officer, Vice President of Innovation Incubator, Verizon


Closing the Great Health Divide in the United States Panel

Featured Announcement: Kevin R. McCartney Senior Vice President, Office of Government Relations, Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Rica Rodman Executive Director, Wasserman Foundation; Howell Wechsler EdD, MPH, CEO, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Moderator: Jenna Wolfe Today Show Anchor and Correspondent, NBC News Holly Andersen, MD Attending Cardiologist and Director of Education &

Outreach, Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Weill Cornell Medical College

Notah Begay III Founder, Notah Begay III Foundation
Janet Murguía President and CEO, National Council of La Raza Wendell Pierce Actor and President, Sterling Farms
Yossymar Rojas California Youth of the Year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley Robert K. Ross, MD President and CEO, The California Endowment


Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Panel

Featured Announcement: Dr. Rick Warren Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church; Founder, The Daniel Plan

Moderator: Dr. Travis Stork Emergency Room Physician and Co-Host of The Doctors Martin J. Abrahamson, MD, FACP Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs,

Joslin Diabetes Center
Carolyn Caldwell President and CEO, Desert Regional Medical Center

Michael Minor Director, Division of Juvenile Justice, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Michael C. Sokol, MD, MS Vice President and Chief Wellness Officer, Sanofi U.S. Dr. Rick Warren Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church; Founder, The Daniel Plan Montel Williams Health and Wellness Advocate









2013 Coordinated School Health Summit, All In for Health & Academic Success

Last Thursday, the Department for Public Health (DPH), Cabinet for Health and Family Services sponsored their annual conference and you'll NEVER guess what their topic for this year was?? Coordinated School Health (CSH). It got me thinking… I've moved to the right state.

DPH Coordinated School Health lead, Victoria Greenwell partnered with Department of Education Coordinated School Health, Jamie Sparks, Todd Davis and Stephanie Bunge (which forms the CSH Team between health and education), Board of Education Health Sub-committee and RMC Health (an organization I'm on the Board of Directors for!) to put on this fabulous event. The team worked tirelessly the past couple of months on this event (trust me, I know there have been late evening calls and weekend hours put into this event). What did they pull off? 

Let the day begin! #KYCSH

Let the day begin! #KYCSH

  • Over 350 people in attendance
  • Over 30 school teams attended through leadership of and in partnership with a County Public Health Official
  • All teams completed the WellSAT, a needs assessment tool to assess a school district's Wellness Policy
  • Well-respected education researcher and author, Charles Basch, Healther Students are Better Learners, provided the keynote address
  • Eight, 10 minute CSH Unbridled Talks, "TED-style" presentations by mostly local experts each sharing success stories and advocating for one of the eight components of coordinated school health (soon to be available on YouTube)
  • Walking the talk by offering nutrient-rich, healthy breakfast, snack and lunch options
  • Incorporating youth throughout the day to lead physical activities and introduce representatives from partnering organizations
  • Time for school teams to network and action plan next steps

Some other highlights from the day include:

  • Jefferson County Public Schools' commitment to participate in Let's Move Active Schools, therefore being the largest school district in the country to sign on to this national initiative
  • Welcome from DPH Commissioner Stephanie Mayfield and Chief of Staff at Department of Education, Tommy Floyd, modeling the partnership between health and education
  • Vicki Greenwell interviewing Charles Basch in the afternoon for partners in attendance not associated with a school team
  • Sarah Peterson in attendance from Congressman John Yarmuth's office
  • Also in attendance: Policy Advisor from KY Department of Education- Mary Ann Miller, Division Director of Maternal and Child Health - Dr. Ruth Ann Shepherd and Assistant Director - Marvin Miller, Deputy Secretary for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services- Eric Friedlander, President and Vice-President of KHDA (KY Health Department Association), Anthony Lockard and Paula Alexander
  • Two state representatives joined school teams with their communities including Mary Lou Marzian from Jefferson County and W. Keith Hall from Pike County
  • I sat at the same table with Commissioner Mayfield, Dr. Humbaugh (State Epidemiologist and Sr Deputy Commissioner) and enjoyed lunch conversations with Charles Basch and Tommy Floyd. Kentucky appears to be a place where people genuinely partner and are quite accessible.
  • Key organizations in attendance: Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Humana Vitality, Action for Healthy Kids and many others!
  • Social Media reach on Twitter: 30,000 (see graphs below)

Again, I'm proud and fortunate to live in a state with health and education working together to create healthier school communities! Go US! 

Vicki Greenwell interviewing Charles Basch

Vicki Greenwell interviewing Charles Basch

Tommy Floyd, Department of Education Chief of Staff welcoming participants

Tommy Floyd, Department of Education Chief of Staff welcoming participants

Jamie Sparks, portraying 'Hipster Santa" encouraging participants that there's nothing 'hipper' then posting on social media. Prizes were given throughout the day encouraging those "tweeting"!

Jamie Sparks, portraying 'Hipster Santa" encouraging participants that there's nothing 'hipper' then posting on social media. Prizes were given throughout the day encouraging those "tweeting"!

Twitter statistics for the day!

Twitter statistics for the day!