Lora Branch was officially introduced last week as the new head of the Chicago Dept. of Public Health Office of Lesbian and Gay Health, replacing David Wick, who is leaving to join Northern Illinois University and resume his private psychotherapy practice.
Branch attended a special kick-off for the "Motivating Changes: Lesbian Health Access and Education Program" of the department.
Wick announced that through the support of state Sen. Carol Ronen, Sen. Lisa Madigan and Rep. Larry McKeon, the city will be able to conduct community health education targeted specifically toward the lesbian community. And through the support of Rep. Harry Osterman, they will work with the Lesbian Community Cancer Project and the Mary-Helen Mautner Project for Lesbians With Cancer ( in D.C. ) to hone the healthcare provider training, "Removing the Barriers to Accessing Healthcare for Lesbians."
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"It has been a priority for this office to work to include lesbians in health surveys," Wick said, "to provide lesbian-inclusive health initiatives and to work to reduce the significant institutional and personal barriers to healthcare that women who partner with women encounter."