Mayor Lee appoints Cecilia Chung and Belle Taylor-McGhee to the Health Commission

Mayor Edwin M. Lee has appointed Cecilia Chung and Belle Taylor-McGhee to the Health Commission. Chung is a nationally recognized Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community advocate and current Human Rights Commissioner. Taylor-McGhee is an internationally-recognized leader in women’s reproductive health, a public speaker and published writer.

The seven-member Health Commission oversees the City’s largest budget of nearly $1.6 billion and serves as the policy-making body for the Department of Public Health, San Francisco General Hospital, emergency medical services and other key City functions.

“The San Francisco Health Commission plays an important role in improving the health of our City’s residents. Now, more than ever, our policy decisions must build upon our landmark universal healthcare access, the rebuilding of a new, safe San Francisco General Hospital and bring our healthcare systems into the 21stcentury,” said Mayor Lee. “The Health Commission will greatly benefit from Cecilia’s experience in community health policy and human rights and her understanding as a person living with HIV. Belle’s international advocacy and activism for women’s reproductive health and freedom in the Bay Area, across the U.S. and around the world will ensure the health needs of our City’s women remain at the forefront of the public health discussion. I’m proud to appoint both Cecilia and Belle to the Health Commission, and I am grateful for their dedication to the community and willingness to serve all of our City’s residents.”

Cecilia Chung is a nationally recognized civil rights leader and is a recognized speaker on HIV/AIDS awareness and LGBT equality. Cecilia Chung served seven years as a Commissioner on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. In 1994, she was a member of the Transgender Discrimination Taskforce, which released a groundbreaking report by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, documenting widespread discrimination against transgender people. The report led the City to adopt many pioneering anti-discrimination ordinances and policies.

An immigrant from Hong Kong, Cecilia has lived in San Francisco for over 20 years and has dedicated herself to the advancement of equality and justice and ending stigma, discrimination and violence against all communities. Chung is the former Deputy Director of the Transgender Law Center, former HIV Program Coordinator for the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum and former Assessment and Placement Officer for the DPH Treatment Access Project, counseling multiple-diagnosed SFGH patients for treatment placement.

Chung is an active board member on many local, national and international organizations. She was President of the Board of Directors of San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration and a founding producer of Trans March. She has recently served on California Attorney General-Elect Kamala Harris’ Civil Rights Enforcement Workgroup. She has served on a number of planning bodies including the San Francisco HIV Health Services Planning Council, Transgender Community Advisory Board for UCSF TRANS and the Visioning Change Initiative of the California HIV/AIDS Research Program.

Chung holds a Bachelor’s degree from Golden Gate University in International Business Management. She has been recognized by the State of California LGBT Legislative Caucus and received the KQED Local Hero Award, A&PI Wellness Center Public Policy Award and Saint Francis Hospital Foundation Community Hero Award.

“I am thrilled by the Mayor’s selection of Cecilia Chung to the San Francisco Health Commission,” said Supervisor Christina Olague. “Her leadership and advocacy on HIV/AIDS and critical issues that impact the transgender community are unrivaled. Her perspective will benefit the health of all our residents.”

Last week Mayor Lee also appointed Belle Taylor-McGhee to the Health Commission. In 2010, Taylor-McGhee reported from Tanzania and Uganda, Africa on the high rate of maternal mortality and how communities and governments in Africa are addressing the problem. In a three-part series published in the 2010 spring, summer and winter issues of Ms Magazine, Ms. Taylor-McGhee wrote about the challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa to meet the Millennium Development Goal Five – to reduce maternal mortality by 75 percent.

Taylor-McGhee is the former President/CEO of the Pacific Institute for Women’s Health (PIWH); the former executive director of Pharmacy Access Partnership, a center of the Oakland-based Public Health Institute; and the former Executive Director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women – appointed by former Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr.

Taylor-McGhee is currently the Vice President of Strategic Communications for JLM Management Group, a multi-disciplinary consulting firm specializing in strategic communications, media and public relations, and business development. Taylor-McGhee has extensive expertise in media and public policy having served as Director of Communications for NARAL Pro-Choice America in Washington, D.C. She is a former investigative television news reporter with more than a decade of broadcast journalism experience in Seattle, Tampa/St. Petersburg and Alabama markets.

Taylor-McGhee serves on the Board of Directors for EngenderHealth, an international NGO working to improve the sexual and reproductive health of women and men worldwide. She also serves on the national steering committee to advance over-the-counter access for oral contraceptives in the U.S. Additionally, Taylor-McGhee serves as national communications chair for Trust Black Women, a national partnership working to protect and promote reproductive autonomy for African American women.

Taylor-McGhee holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in broadcasting and journalism. She completed the 2004 “Women and Power: Leadership in a New World” Executive Education Program at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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