Rainbow Health Becomes First LGBTQ+ Health Organization in Minnesota to Join SAGE

The largest and oldest organization in the nation devoted to advocacy and services for LGBTQ+ Elders, SAGE, has welcomed Rainbow Health as the state’s first organization to be a collaborative partner in providing critical support for LGBTQ+ aging adults.

“We know that LGBTQ+ and HIV+ older adults often feel they are aging alone, without the same support networks other older adults can take for granted. We’ve been eager to have a more formal SAGE presence in our state, and we are excited to see this partnership reduce isolation, build awareness, and improve people’s lives as they age,” says Jeremy Hanson Willis, Rainbow Health’s Chief Executive Officer.

SAGECollab, SAGE’s innovative partnership model, brings together a diverse national network of groups, organizations, and individuals to support LGBTQ+ older people and to advocate for LGBTQ+ aging policies across the country.

As is true in general across the country, older adults are one of the fastest growing demographics within LGBTQ+ and HIV communities. In Minnesota, there will be more adults 65 and older than kids 0 to 14 by 2030, according to long-term projections by the MN State Demographic Center; furthermore, the Williams Institute projects that within the next ten years, there will be a demographic doubling of LGBTQ+ adults age 50 and older.

The issues that face older LGBTQ+ adults are complex, and in many ways, new to the health care arena that aims to serve them. This is in part because entities, such as academic institutions, senior services, and government frequently exclude inquiries about sexual orientation and gender identity when gathering data, leaving LGBTQ+ older adults unnoticed and underrepresented. Among the unique challenges that LGBTQ+ older adults often encounter and fear, are discrimination, gaps in service, and profound isolation.

Since 2018, Rainbow Health has been providing a range of services, support, and advocacy that allow LGBTQ+ older adults to age with dignity, independence, and access the quality care they seek and deserve. The provision of essential services and support to LGBTQ+ elders across Minnesota will be strengthened thanks to a more formalized partnership with SAGE. SAGECollab aims to inspire and support organizations involved with aging programs and advocacy for older LGBTQ+ communities, particularly BIPOC, transgender, non-binary, and/or rural elders.

To celebrate this exciting partnership, Rainbow Health will host a launch event with the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra on March 11th, 7:30pm at St. Catherine’s University. For more information, contact the O’Shaughnessy Ticket Office: (651) 690-6700.

For more information, contact Maren Levad, Aging Advocate, [email protected] [612-707-0518]


About Rainbow Health

For 40 years, Rainbow Health has been advocating for and serving the LGBTQ+ community, people living with HIV, and all folks facing barriers to equitable healthcare in Minnesota.

About SAGE

SAGE is the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBTQ+ older people and their caregivers. Organizations and groups interested in joining SAGECollab can visit sageusa.org/sagecollab for more information.