Out, Proud and Healthy is a statewide effort to raise awareness of LGBTQ health disparities in Missouri and connect people with resources and community. You deserve to be healthy and we’re here to help!

Our Mission is to promote better health and quality of life for LGBTQ individuals by striving to eliminate health disparities for LGBTQ people in Missouri through access to information, resources, and community.

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Out, Proud and Healthy began in 2008 as a research project to study tobacco-related beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes from LGBTQ community— but it has only grown from there!

In 2008, the Missouri Foundation for Health granted funding to Dr. Jane McElroy and Dr. Kevin Everett to lead further investigation of tobacco beliefs and behaviors in the LGBTQ community. Then called The Check Out Project, researchers began gathering information from LGBTQ community members through surveys distributed at Pride Festivals across the state.

The first surveys showed that LGBTQ Missourians smoke at higher rates than their heterosexual counterparts. Moreover, LGBTQ Missourians had lower understanding of effective quit techniques and resources.

On the advice of the project’s advisory board of LGBTQ leaders from around the state, the surveys were expanded to encompass issues beyond tobacco: access to healthcare, health behaviors and beliefs, and understanding/availability of resources. Each summer, pride surveys were collected from a diverse group of LGBTQ and heterosexual Missourians, creating an invaluable pool of data from which to draw.

In 2010, again on the recommendation of the Advisory Board, The Check Out Project changed its name to Out, Proud and Healthy in order to better reflect our mission to promote better health and quality of life overall. Although Out, Proud and Healthy’s roots are in tobacco research, we know that health is not limited to a single issue – it’s about choices, beliefs, behaviors, access, information, safety, resources, and community.

This is what inspired the launch of the Out, Proud and Healthy website as a way to provide a one-stop connection to health- and LGBTQ- related information and resources throughout the state.

We are working hard to get resources into the hands of those who need them most. We’ll still be sweating it out at Prides across the state, connecting what we know with the people who need to know it. Look for us being all sorts of Out, Proud and Healthy behind the big rainbow swirl!


Research Team

The research team at Out, Proud and Healthy is led by Dr. Jane McElroy, Principal Investigator, and Dr. Kevin Everett, Co-Investigator. Both are faculty members in the Department of Family & Community Health and the University of Missouri.


About this Site

Our website has been a labor of love for the last three years and we are so excited to have finally made our ideas a reality. One of the most important things to us here at Out, Proud and Healthy is creating a site that is inclusive, accessible, and provides resources to meet all of your needs.

To that end, we hope that you can see yourself in our site and find what you’re looking for here. If you can’t, we’re missing something and we’d really love to know about it. Are there resources that we’re missing? Parts of the community that we haven’t included? Things we could be doing better? Let us know. Drop us an e-mail or call (573) 882-5009.