community partnership with Out Boulder County Boulder Community healthThe mission of Out Boulder County (OBC) is to educate, advocate and provide services, programs and support for Boulder County's LGBTQ community. Through activities, support groups and events, they reach over 15,000 people each year. OBC’s vision is that Boulder County can serve as a model of equality, respect and well-being for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer people.

Over the last few years, Boulder Community Health has partnered with OBC to increase our understanding of the emotional and physical health needs of the LGBTQ community and demonstrate our commitment to meeting those needs.

BCH started by becoming an active participant in Boulder’s annual Pridefest celebration, which is sponsored by OBC. Traditional Pridefest activities have included a march on Pearl Street Mall, a 5K race and a festival in Boulder’s Central Park featuring a diverse lineup of music, booths, food trucks and a beer garden.

The two organizations recently worked together to address an important public health issue – resistance to getting the COVID-19 vaccine within the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ people would gain an outsized benefit from vaccination against COVID-19, since existing data shows they are more likely to have chronic medical conditions that can lead to severe illness if they contract COVID. Unfortunately, the nation’s first survey to assess vaccine reluctance among LGBTQ people, conducted by OBC, revealed that 17% of respondents who identified as LGBTQ were hesitant to take vaccine if it was available.

BCH partnered with OBC to provide an online community meeting where BCH and community physicians addressed concerns specific to the LGBTQ community, such as vaccine safety for individuals going through gender transition and those who are HIV positive. Other sponsors of this event included Boulder County AIDS Project and Boulder County Public Health.

You can watch that community meeting below.

BCH and OBC will continue to look for opportunities to partner in ways that benefit Boulder’s LGBTQ community.