July 2019

PCOA Creates LGBTQ Community Liaison

Sarah Bahnson
Sarah Bahnson. Photo by James Richardson

Pima Council on Aging (PCOA) has created a new position to continue to strengthen its support of LGBTQ aging communities. Sarah Bahnson has been named to the new position of LGBTQ Community Liaison. This new appointment is housed in the Philanthropy and Communications department, led by Lana Baldwin.

The position’s primary responsibility will be to deliver an award-winning training, Project Visibility, to care service providers to help them better serve aging LGBTQ people. It is important for LGBTQ people to receive services that are welcoming, relevant and safe; Sarah will be available for technical support and provide follow up evaluations for facilities that receive the training.

At its core, this position is the bridge to LGBTQ communities and services. Sarah will be available to the community for referrals to LGBTQ activities and services and to provide advocacy support when needed. Any LGBTQ information that should be included in PCOA’s newsletter Never Too Late can be sent to Sarah.

Plans in the works or on the horizon:
-PCOA will be providing Spanish language subtitles
to its training materials.
-PCOA is increasing efforts to make its LGBTQ
programming more visible. A new logo is intended
to highlight PCOA’s commitment to LGBTQ aging
adults.

Anyone interested in becoming involved with Project Visibility and/or assisting in developing additional training material is invited to attend the monthly meeting at PCOA every second Thursday of the month, 10am-11:30 am. Contact Sarah at sbahnson@pcoa.org

Previously, Sarah Bahnson served as the Anti-Violence Advocate and Educator for Wingspan, Tucson’s former LGBTQ
community center. Most recently, she was the Suicide Prevention Specialist and Case Manager for the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF).

The new LGBTQ liaison was created after the retirement of Sandy Davenport, who brought Project Visibility to our community and served informally as the PCOA advocate for LGBTQ issues. Sandy’s work was foundational to creating this new position and furthering the commitment to LGBTQ specific aging
issues.