We are proud to announce that Cynthia (“Cy”) Herrera has been named as ASHwell’s new Executive Director by ASHwell’s Board of Directors. Cynthia formerly served as ASHwell’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and lead the launch of a million-dollar campaign to guarantee full coverage health insurance for hundreds of uninsured queer people of color in Central Texas.
In Cy’s own words she states, “I am excited to lead the agency in a strategic planning process that will build out the vision for ASHwell to have the most impact on the community and chart our path into the future.”
Cynthia is a driven, creative, and compassionate leader, who utilizes her legal skills as an attorney to advocate for whole person and whole community wellness. Prior to her hiring as Director of Strategic Partnerships of ASHwell Sexual Health + Wellness in 2021, Cynthia was the CEO of Project Transitions and spearheaded a successful $3.5M capital campaign to build 101 new units of affordable housing for people living with HIV in Central Texas. In the years preceding, Cynthia restlessly advocated for survivors of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault as an attorney with the Texas Advocacy Project. She founded an initiative to partner with local health providers to identify and prevent ongoing intimate-partner violence against their patients. Cynthia graduated from Loyola University Chicago, School of Law with a Juris Doctor and a Certificate in Health Law from the Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy, ranked the second health law program in the nation. Her interest in public health began as a psychology major, when she served as a volunteer at The University of Michigan Law School Pediatric Advocacy Initiative, and she has been a staunch advocate for public health equity ever since.
Since arriving in Austin, Cynthia has established a free community legal clinic with patients of Community Health Empowerment and trained hundreds of health providers on how the upstream medical-legal partnership model of patient-client care saves money, time, & lives. In 2018, she was published in the Texas Family Physician magazine. Her community involvement includes serving on the Access to Quality Health Care Committee of the Travis County Adolescent Health Collaborative to ensure youth-centered, quality healthcare for all young people in Travis County, and serving on the board of Contigo Wellness to fight mental health stigma and increase mental health treatment access to communities of color. She also co-founded and is currently serving as Co-Chair of the ECHO Affinity Group to End HIV Homelessness where she helps coordinate and advocate for a more complete and thorough community response to achieve functional zero homelessness for our community members living with HIV.