Amida Care News

Trans Equity Consulting’s Cecilia Gentili Recognized with ACAP Leadership in Advocacy Award, Nominated by Amida Care

February 23 2021

On February 23, 2021, The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) presented Cecilia Gentili, Principal Consultant and Founder of Trans Equity Consulting, with its ninth annual Leadership in Advocacy Award. Ms. Gentili was nominated by Amida Care, New York’s largest Medicaid Special Needs Health Plan.

Ms. Gentili founded Trans Equity Consulting in 2019 to improve education and advocacy for the transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary community, focusing especially on trans women of color, sex workers, and people with substance use disorders. She previously served as the Director of Policy at GMHC, the world’s leading provider of HIV/AIDS care, and with New York City’s LGBT Center.

“Ms. Gentili’s passion, commitment, and expertise are invaluable to our shared goals of access to quality, culturally competent health care,” said Amida Care President and CEO, Doug Wirth.  “Cecilia is a tireless fighter for more inclusive public policies and a unique asset to Medicaid health plans seeking to improve the quality of care and to ensure that transgender and gender non-conforming individuals have the health resources they need to live authentically.”

Ms. Gentili’s extensive list of public policy achievements and advocacy for the LGBT community includes:

  • Founded Decrim NY and successfully lobbied for statewide legislation to provide survivors of trafficking with record relief, and to end the criminalization of ‘loitering’ – a charge overwhelmingly leveled against transgender women, regardless of their involvement in sex work.
  • Fought for passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression in employment, housing, places of public accommodation, and non-religious schools. As the Board Co-Chair of the NEW Pride Agenda, her efforts led Governor Andrew Cuomo to mandate GENDA training for all 340,000 New York State employees—the first state in the nation to do so.
  • Brought a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services after the Trump administration erased provisions in the Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibiting sex discrimination against gay and transgender patients.
  • Expanded access to community health services for transgender people, including helping a local community health center grow from 27 patients in 2012 to 500 in 2016.

As a playwright and actress, Ms. Gentili draws on a deep well of personal experience as an undocumented trans woman to share stories that are stigmatized and often excluded from mainstream media and entertainment.

“Ms. Gentili’s thoughtful leadership and tireless commitment to her work are shining examples of advocacy in its purest form— to improve the life and well-being of people who have been underrepresented and underserved,” said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray. “She shows us what it means to be a champion for your community. ACAP and our plans are lucky to benefit from her example and we couldn’t be happier to honor her today.”

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