Prizm News / August 14, 2018 / By Bob Vitale

Since 1996, BRAVO has educated Ohioans about anti-LGBTQ violence and helped survivors get needed services. (Photo by BRAVO via Facebook.)

The statewide LGBTQI anti-violence group would become part of the LGBTQI health provider if boards from both organizations agree.


By Bob Vitale

Leaders from Equitas Health and BRAVO have begun discussions about linking the LGBTQ health provider and Ohio’s statewide anti-violence organization.


If boards of both groups agree—talks have just begun, and no timetable has been set—BRAVO would become an Equitas Health subsidiary.

“We look forward to moving these exploratory conversations forward with BRAVO to better understand how we can jointly provide the most comprehensive care possible for LGBTQ Ohioans,” said Bill Hardy, president and CEO of Equitas Health.

BRAVO, the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization, was founded in 1996 and works to eliminate violence perpetrated on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identification. It offers prevention and education not just about crimes against LGBTQ people but about domestic violence and sexual assault within the community. It collects data on anti-LGBTQ violence in Ohio and links survivors to the services they need.

Board Chair Debé Turbull said joining Equitas Health would move BRAVO forward “exponentially.” Like LGBTQ organizations around the country, BRAVO has long operated on tight budgets.

“When organizations work together to serve the community, we can do amazing things,” Turnbull said. “We are excited about the possibilities to offer a full spectrum of even better, more streamlined services to the LGBTQI community.”

BRAVO and Equitas Health already are cooperating with Franklin County officials on a program to tailor education, treatment and court-ordered services for domestic-violence perpetrators in LGBTQ relationships. The effort also includes cultural competency training for judges, probation officers, courtroom employees and all other staff of Franklin County Municipal Court.

Diaz said additional anti-violence expertise and BRAVO’s programming would add another layer of services for Equitas Health’s patients and clients.

“It’s a health issue,” said Joel Diaz, chief marketing and community affairs officer for Equitas Health. “The continuum of care can be a lot more seamless.”

Equitas Health, formerly AIDS Resource Center Ohio, came together through mergers of HIV/AIDS services organizations in Dayton, Columbus and Toledo. The agency expanded into healthcare for all LGBTQ people and was renamed in 2016.

Equitas Health now has 17 offices in 11 Ohio cities and served 67,000 people last year. It’s also the publisher of Prizm.