Meet our Community Advisory Board!
The LGBTQ+ Health Initiative Community Advisory Board is composed of 15+ members of our LGBTQ+ community located in Rochester, NY. The purpose of the CAB is to provide the perspective of stakeholders within sexual and gender minority communities in the work that the LGBTQ+ Health Initiative is doing.
The CAB meets about 6 times per year, and tasks include reviewing drafts of materials and providing suggestions to make sure materials and plans are inclusive and sensitive to racial, ethnic, and cultural aspects, discussing the overall direction and goals for the grant, and successes and areas for improvement, etc.
Olivia Hillary is the Chair of the Community Advisory Board.
Vilma Vendrell joined the CAB shortly after its commencement in January of 2020. She identifies as a bisexual, cisgender, Latinx woman with experience working in mental health in multiple levels of care. She is also has experience in care management and substance abuse services. Vilma has been active in raising awareness of the emotional and physical needs of all LGBTQ+ individuals.
Nicole Fleming joined the CAB when it began in November 2019. She identifies as a Deaf, gay, cisgender white woman. She is a pediatric nurse and joined the CAB to help bring disabled and Deaf voices to the discussion of LGBTQ+ healthcare and services. She is most interested in how intersectionality of minority identities impact health disparities.
Rudi Lott joined the LGBTQ community Advisory Board (CAB) when it started in November of 2019. She identifies as a Trans African American woman, and has experience working in Community Education for HIV, Substance Abuse counseling and is currently enrolled at the University of Rochester working on her Masters in mental health counseling. Rudi joined the CAB because she is interested in a more positive social inclusion with society. In addition, to help plan human services to be more unbiased for all LGBTQ+ people and wants to give back to her community.
Ryan is an NYS Community Mental Health Therapist and have been developing an comprehensive clinical caseload devoted toward those with chronic illness, trauma-complex disorders, and Gender-Sexual-Racial minorities. In both the upstate NY communities and state-to-state communities; Ryan has been known to be serving the expansive Trans, Gender-diverse, and Non-binary communities thus far. Ryan have been providing primary and secondary gender affirming intervention letters with ages from 13 years old to late 80s. Ryan continues to serve the community as expansively they can by running 2-3 concurrent community outreach psychotherapy groups in a 6-month period.
Nia Jones, Director of Residential Services at East House, considers herself classic with a twist. Dedicated to the souls that make up her community, Nia’s career is comprised of experience in mental health, chemical dependency, eating disorders, elders, developmental disabilities, and at risk youth. A balance of heart and mind and the ability to implement positive transformational change are Nia’s greatest strengths; superseding her knack for building haunted houses for Halloween. After graduating from SUNY Brockport with an undergraduate degree in Social Work, Nia went on to complete a graduate degree in Healthcare Administration from Roberts Wesleyan. She is an advocate for equity and believes in being a voice for underserved and unheard populations. Identifying as a Mom and a Black Professional LGBTQ Woman, Nia joined the CAB at its inception with the hopes of continuing her efforts to advocate for equity and put actions behind her beliefs.