The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) will recognize C. Virginia Fields, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Black Leadership Commission on Health (Black Health), formerly, National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc. with its eighth annual Leadership in Advocacy Award. Ms. Fields was nominated by Amida Care of New York; she serves on Amida Care’s Board of Directors.
Ms. Fields has demonstrated a fierce commitment to improving the lives of New Yorkers—especially New Yorkers with low incomes. She began her service to the city as a Social Service Administrator for the city’s Work Release Program before becoming the Director of Foster Care and Adoption at the Children’s Aid Society and a Consultant to the National Board of the YWCA. She has also served the public as a member of the New York City Council and as Manhattan Borough President.
“In the many years I have worked closely with Virginia, I have witnessed her dedication to our shared mission of promoting social equity and access to high-quality, comprehensive, culturally competent health care,” said Doug Wirth, President and CEO of Amida Care, who nominated Ms. Fields. “With her lifelong social justice leadership and accomplishments in health care advocacy, she has been a valuable partner, driving numerous public policy achievements to improve the health and well-being of communities of color experiencing health disparities, which brings us closer to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York State.”
Ms. Fields has fought to improve access to health care for people living in marginalized communities, especially for people living with HIV/AIDS. Since 2008, she has served as the President and CEO of the organization, connecting thousands of organizations and institutions through community development, training, public policy, and advocacy.
Under Ms. Field’s leadership, the organization has:
- Raised billions in federal funding for HIV/AIDS and public health-related direct service organizations serving Black communities.
- Created the National Black Men and HIV/AIDS Initiative, which focuses on prevention, treatment and care-related policy needs of Black men affected by HIV/AIDS.
- Launched the National & New York Statewide Community Mobilization Initiative, which addresses health disparities in Black communities and works to implement related public health policies.
- Started the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Initiative, a partnership with Bennett College, to combat the rise of HIV/AIDS on Black college campuses.
“At ACAP, we know how vital community health resources are. Our member plans work to improve lives in their communities every day. For nearly five decades, Ms. Fields has championed the communities she serves,” said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray. “Thanks to her leadership, Black Health is a trusted resource for information on ways to combat not only the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but also the racial disparities in health care access and quality that persist in our country. We’re privileged to honor her leadership tonight.”
ACAP represents 67 Safety Net Health Plans, which provide health coverage to more than 20 million people in 28 states. Safety Net Health Plans serve their members through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Marketplace and other publicly-sponsored health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.
Amida Care Inc. is a not-for-profit health plan that specializes in providing comprehensive health coverage and coordinated care to New Yorkers with complex conditions, including HIV and behavioral health disorders, and people who are of transgender experience or who are homeless (regardless of HIV status). Amida Care has a wide network of health care providers throughout New York City and is the largest Medicaid Special Needs Health Plan (SNP) in New York State. For more information, visit http://www.amidacareny.org
The National Black Leadership Commission on Health (Black Health), formerly known as NBLCA, is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization with a mission to champion the promotion of health and prevention of diseases to reduce disparities and achieve equity with the black community. For more information, visit www.nblch.org.
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