The Health Initiative is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Georgia’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community through education, support, access to care and advocacy.
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1996: Atlanta Lesbian Cancer Initiative (ALCI) Founded
Dennie Doucher and a group of friends founded ALCI after Dennie was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, Dennie encountered a predominantly heterosexual and often homophobic system of care with little or no support for her, her partner, or her caregivers. ALCI provided lesbian-friendly support groups and took on the Atlanta medical establishment, offering education to open the hearts and minds of the medical community and identifying gay-friendly healthcare providers.
1998: Dennie Doucher lost her battle with cancer
The art pieces that Dennie designed as part of her art therapy serve as the centerpiece for the Healing Angel Award.
1998: First Healing Angel Award Bestowed
Each year, the Health Initiative honors Doucher’s life by bestowing the Healing Angel Award to a community or healthcare leader who has made a positive difference in the lives and health of the LGBTQ community. For a list and photos of previous winners, please click here.
2004: ALCI became the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative (ALHI)
As the needs of the community shifted, the organization has evolved and expanded. As more data pointed to the role lifestyle choices played in risk factors for cancer and other diseases, the Atlanta Lesbian Cancer Initiative became the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative (ALHI). ALHI built upon ALCI’s foundation of support and advocacy to offer education and programs that support wellness and disease prevention through healthier lifestyle choices.
2008: Health Fund Established
The Health Fund was launched in 2008 to help address the needs of under and uninsured lesbians in our community. The Fund was expanded in 2011 to include any uninsured or under-insured LGBTQ person. It is more important today than ever before. The Health Fund is truly “us helping each other.” If you need the assistance of the Health Fund, apply here. If you can give, please donate here.
2011: ALHI became The Health Initiative
The scope of the mission expanded again to address the growing body of evidence that access to care is a significant risk factor—one that disproportionately affects the entire LGBTQ community. To better represent this broader scope of work, the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative became The Health Initiative. Today, as The Health Initiative, the organization builds upon Doucher’s strong foundation of support, advocacy and education by working to improve access to care and wellness for LGBTQ community members throughout the state.