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Charles King of Housing Works Recognized with ACAP Leadership in Advocacy Award: Nominated by Amida Care

February 1, 2016

The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) today named Charles King, President and Chief Executive Officer of Housing Works, Inc., the winner of its 2015 Leadership in Advocacy Award. Doug Wirth, President and CEO of Amida Care, nominated Mr. King for the award. Housing Works is an organization dedicated to ending the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain its efforts.

ACAP Leadership in Advocacy Award

Mr. King co-founded Housing Works in 1990 to serve the thousands of homeless people in New York City who were living with HIV/AIDS at the time. In the 25-plus years since, Housing Works has become the largest community-based and minority-controlled HIV/AIDS service organization in the United States. Since it was founded, Housing Works has served more than 20,000 homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS and currently serves over 5,000 people each year.

A founding board member of Amida Care, Mr. King played a leading role in Amida Care’s formation. Housing Works was one of several New York City community health organizations that came together to found Amida Care (then Vida Care) in 2003, recognizing that their clients who were living with HIV/AIDS needed a specialized health plan that could provide coordinated care to address their complex health challenges.

“I’ve worked personally worked with Charles over the past 20 years. I’ve seen firsthand how he’s built bridges and become a highly effective partner with New York State and Medicaid Special Needs Plans—effecting significant and lasting health care policy and delivery transformation,” said Doug Wirth, President and CEO of Amida Care. “Charles is a passionate, tireless advocate for advancing the Blueprint to End the AIDS Epidemic in New York by 2020. Charles and Housing Works have been at the forefront of the effort to lower HIV infection rates among New Yorkers. Their approach works.”

Mr. King is a pioneering HIV/AIDS activist of national and international stature. He has chaired the Visioning Taskforce of the National AIDS Housing Coalition, which has hosted seven national and international research and policy summits on housing and HIV/AIDS. He serves on the governing body of UNAIDS as a member of the NGO Delegation to the Programme Coordinating Board, and he was a founding convener of the Campaign to End AIDS, a platform for grassroots AIDS activism across the U.S. He recently served as Community Co-chair of the New York State Ending the AIDS Epidemic (EtE) Task Force, which developed the Blueprint for reducing the number of new HIV infections in the state from 3,000 to under 750 per year by 2020. He continues to work to advance implementation of the Blueprint by promoting community engagement and advocating for government resource allocation.

“In the last few years, Safety Net Health Plans have ramped up their efforts to address the underlying social determinants of health—we’ve learned they make a giant difference in health outcomes,” said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray. “Charles King has advocated for these kinds of efforts for decades. We’re delighted to recognize his vision and his meaningful work across the spectrum of health care stakeholders.”

Mr. King was recognized at a national meeting of Safety Net Health Plan government relations professionals in Washington. For more information, visit ACAP’s Web site at http://www.communityplans.net.