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THE TEAM


Meet our TRANS-ARC Steering Committee!

The TRANS-ARC Steering Committee represents a national group of stakeholders of many identities who are collaborating in the creation of TRANS-ARC. 


Ina Amarillo, PhD (she/her) is an Associate Professor in Pathology and Immunology and an Associate Medical Director of Clinical and Translational Genomics Lab, Division of Lab and Genomics Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She is a member of the Transgender and the Differences of Sex Development/Intersex clinic and research teams. Within the medical school, Dr. Amarillo leads efforts to incorporate LGBTQIA+ health topics within the medical school curriculum as well as advance partnership and engagement within St Louis TGNB community. A trans-identifying woman who has undergone gender-affirming surgery, Dr. Amarillo partnered with Dr. Dy in the American Urological Association-Society of Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons’ Gender Affirming Genital Surgery Research Summit, lending community perspective to round table discussions. Read more about Dr. Amarillo’s work, or follow her on Twitter.

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Cris Avery (he/him) is a Community Educator and Advocate. He has done extensive advocacy work around access to transition related care nationally and has helped start several trans healthcare programs. For 12+ years, Cris Avery has been a key part of the Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference Planning (Formerly Philadelphia Trans Health Conference) committee creating space for the first ever genital surgery-specific information sessions for community as well as Show and Tells. For several years Cris also co-led the surgery information track and POC track at the Southern Comfort Conference from 2007 to 2011. He  helped coordinate the First WPATH Live surgery Event at Mount Sinai Hospital. Most recently, Cris created the Networking Empowerment Wellness (NEW) Conference to “bring together communities across identity lines” which was a success and premiered May 2018. Cris is founder of Cris Avery Consulting. 

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Gaines Blasdel (he/him) is a Research Associate at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and in that capacity has undertaken a community-centered survey on transmasculine genital interventions that received 1500 responses. Gaines is a co-founder of “The Tool Shed”, an in-person, monthly, peer support group for those seeking or recovering from phalloplasty and metoidioplasty procedures in NYC. He volunteers in community leadership roles for gender affirming genital surgery advocacy and education, including as an administrator of “FTM Bottom Surgery Discussion,” a 14,000 member Facebook group. He is primary author (accepted, publication anticipated Spring 2021, Oxford University Press) of the Surgical Transitions chapter of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, 2nd edition. He has provided trainings and lectures on transgender patient care at SUNY Downstate Nursing Grand Rounds, New York University School of Medicine, Rutgers Doctoral Nursing Program, Columbia University School of Public Health, Yale College, and Georgetown College. Additionally, he has provided CME credit-bearing instruction on transgender genital surgery for primary care providers. Gaines can be followed on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and Instagram as @trans_Gaines.

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Maddie Deutsch, MD, MPH (she/her) is the Medical Director of UCSF Transgender Care and an Associate Professor of Clinical Family & Community Medicine at the University of California - San Francisco.  She has several active research projects including study of collection of SOGI data in clinical settings, and study implementation of PrEP in transgender populations, including potential hormone-related drug interactions. She has cared for more than 2000 transgender people since 2007, and has more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in the field.  Dr. Deutsch is the President-Elect and a member of the Board of Directors of the US Professional Association of Transgender Health. Read more about Dr. Deutsch’s research.

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Jae Downing, PhD (they/them) is TRANS-ARC Project Co-Lead. Jae is an Assistant Professor at the Oregon Health & Science University-Portland State University School of Public Health, and has published in and taught courses in CER and transgender health. Their work on transgender health during their PhD in Health Services and Policy Analysis from UC Berkeley was funded by AHRQ’s National Research Award. In 2019, Jae planned and convened a community-oriented research symposium for Portland State of Mind, The Future of Transgender Health. As part of the Oregon Health Authority’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Advisory Board, Dr. Downing has convened multi-stakeholder workgroups on transgender health research and policy. As a former trainee of the NICHD-funded Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Population Health program at the Fenway Institute, Dr. Downing has access to a strong network of nationally-recognized leaders in transgender health research. Read more about Dr. Jae Downing.

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Geolani Dy, MD (she/her) is TRANS-ARC Project Lead, and an Assistant Professor in the Transgender Health Program and Department of Urology at Oregon Health & Science University. She is passionate about the improving the health and surgical outcomes of trans/non-binary people by centering patient voices in research and improving provider education in gender-affirming care. Dr. Dy has researched gaps in TGNB-specific education in surgical residencies, using these findings to develop and disseminate educational initiatives in TGNB urologic care through the American Urological Association (AUA). As Principal Investigator of the TRANS Registry, she is leading development of a multi-center database to track clinical and patient-reported outcomes of GGAS, to improve the quality of information on surgical outcomes for patients and providers. Learn more about Dr. Geolani Dy and the OHSU Transgender Health Program.

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Cecilia Gentili (she/her) is Principal Consultant and Founder of Trans Equity Consulting. Cecilia came to the United States from Argentina for a safer life as a transgender woman and lived undocumented for 10 years. Her experiences with sex work, recovery from substance use, police targeting and immigration detention impassions her desire to ensure that all people living on the margins are provided with access to the dignity and respect deserved in all spaces. Cecilia has worked for many years in community health, developing the transgender health services at Apicha Community Health Center in New York City. From 2016-2019, Cecilia was the Managing Director of Policy at GMHC, and was one of the hardest fighters for the passage of GENDA (Gender Non-Discrimination Act). Her successes in policy inspired her to found Decrim NY, a coalition working towards the decriminalization, decarceration and destigmatization of people in the sex trade. Cecilia started Transgender Equity Consulting in 2019.

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John Gore, MD, MS (he/him) is a Professor in the Department of Urology at the University of Washington who has extensive expertise in stakeholder engagement, patient-centered outcomes research and comparative effectiveness research. Dr. Gore has served as Co-Investigator in a series of PCORI engagement projects used to mobilize and build research capacity within the national bladder cancer patient community, and is currently co-leading the funded and contracted PCORI Pragmatic Clinical Study, CISTO (Comparison of Intravesical therapy and Surgery as Treatment Options for Bladder Cancer). Read more about Dr. Gore’s research.

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Robin Knauerhase (she/her) recently retired as a Research Scientist from the Intel Corporation, and is a member of the Oregon Health & Science University Community Advisory Board. She has published and presented extensively in academic workshops/conferences, and has both “shepherded” and actively collaborated on research projects with academia and government agencies, including service on Industrial Advisory Boards for major US universities. She served on Intel’s “Out and Ally Leadership Council”, a small group of senior employees who advise executive management about issues of queer diversity and inclusion, in which capacity she was able to help Intel achieve an industry-leading position in providing insurance coverage for transgender healthcare. She serves as Moderator (Board Chair) of the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance, a nationwide nonprofit advocating for queer equality in the Christian Church, and has served as Communication Director for the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists.  Ms. Knauerhase is publicly “out” as a woman of transgender experience. Read more about Ms. Knauerhase’s work with the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance.

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Mary Marsiglio, PhD (they/them) serves as clinical psychologist for the Transgender Health Program and Assistant Professor in Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. Mary offers gender-affirming mental health care for individuals in general and, specifically, for those seeking gender-affirming surgery at OHSU. Dr. Marsiglio is passionate about using a trauma-informed approach to treatment and understanding individual symptoms through a systemic lens. In addition to clinical work, they provide training, education, and consultation specific to gender affirming health care practices for healthcare providers. Prior to working at OHSU, Mary focused on expanding services for transgender, gender diverse, and non-conforming Veterans as well as published several articles focusing on barriers to care for this population. Read more about Dr. Mary Marsiglio and the OHSU Transgender Health Program.

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Amy Penkin, LCSW (she/her) is TRANS-ARC Project Co-Lead. Amy serves as the Oregon Health & Science University Transgender Health Program (THP) Supervisor and has participated in and led local, regional, and statewide community engagement activities. Amy has co-organized capacity building training in LGBQ+ and TGNB health in collaboration with local, regional, and statewide stakeholders resulting in several multi-day gatherings for professional development.  Amy was a co-founder of the Oregon Trans Health Coalition which has focused on statewide advocacy efforts towards improving the implementation of the State Medicaid inclusion of a benefit for gender dysphoria. The OTHC was responsible for organizing public forums and community resource fairs dedicated to educating and providing TGNB community members with information and resources related to accessing care within the healthcare environment.  Amy launched the OHSU THP Volunteer Program and CAB which integrates TGNB community members to inform workforce education, policy and program development, and peer support opportunities. Read more about Amy Penkin and the OHSU Transgender Health Program.

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Sachiko Ragosta (they/them) works as a Research Assistant at Ibis Reproductive Health on a number of qualitative and quantitative projects in both the United States and Central America. The main focus of their work is in assessing sexual and reproductive health barriers specific to transgender, non-binary and gender-expansive individuals. Previous to their work at Ibis, Sachiko worked with youth in San Francisco, facilitating weekly queer support groups and giving workshops on harm reduction, positive sexuality and anti-oppression. Sachiko holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature and American Studies with an emphasis in Intersectionality and Health from the University of California Berkeley and is a San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI) certified sex educator.

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Naiymah Sanchez (she/her) is an OUT & PROUD Trans Afro-Latina from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has been active as a community activist for over ten years, finding her voice when she had enough of experiencing discrimination and injustices in her life. Throughout Naiymah’s Activism years, she has been able to help those in her community identify qualities they poses within so that they are copowered to be the best version of themselves that they can be.  Naiymah goals are to reduce barriers experienced by community members due to the lack of Protections, Cultural Awareness, and Cultural Competency which drives her work to end intersectional systematic oppression.  Read more about Naiymah’s work with TRANSformation PA.


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Jae Sevelius, PhD (they/them) is Associate Professor with the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and a licensed clinical psychologist. As co-founder and principal investigator at the UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, Dr. Sevelius’ community-based, federally funded research is focused on the investigation of risk and protective factors in transgender communities and the relationships between stigma, gender affirmation, and health-related behaviors and outcomes. In 2016, Dr. Sevelius was awarded the Early Career Research Excellence Award for Behavioral Sciences by the UCSF Gladstone Center for AIDS Research. For their scholarship on transgender health, they were awarded the 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award by the Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity of the American Psychological Association. Read more about Dr. Jae Sevelius’s work.