AHP News

UCSF Alliance Health Project Leadership Transition

Leadership Change at AHP

The UCSF Alliance Health Project (AHP) is announcing the retirement of our Director, Lori Thoemmes. After beginning as a mental health crisis consultant in 1995, Thoemmes has been an impressive operational, clinical and community leader of AHP for the past 28 years. Under her capable guidance the organization has expanded its capacity to care for more people in need of mental health, substance use, and HIV-related care in San Francisco. Thoemmes guided the organization through its name and mission change in 2012 and AHP’s annual budget has nearly doubled under her leadership. As an organization dependent on government contracts and grants, she has also graciously interfaced with Federal, State and local leaders, building stellar relationship with our funders and community partners.

Director Thoemmes will leave a significant legacy as a tenacious and engaged doer. Her commitment to the LGBTQ community was honored with the UCSF Chancellor’s Award for LGBTQI Leadership in 2019. A consummate leader, a champion of accessible mental health care, and an unwavering advocate for creating a fair and equitable LGBTQ+ antiracist organization, she will be greatly missed.

While a national search to replace Thoemmes continues, Braulio García, LCSW has been appointed AHP’s new Deputy Director. García’s promotion reflects an expansion in the agency’s leadership structure including the creation of this new position responsible for clinical oversight. While the Director role remains vacant, Braulio will also hold the Interim Director role.

“I am so happy that Braulio García, LCSW, has agreed to take on this new, expanded role,” said Lori Thoemmes. “Braulio is an engaged and talented clinician and leader. His commitment to anti-racism and improving our organization for the people we serve has been a touchstone for me. I know he will have even more to give in the Deputy Director role.”

The mission of the UCSF Alliance Health Project is to support the mental health and wellness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities in constructing healthy and meaningful lives. With García’s more than twenty years of clinical service, nonprofit management, and leadership experience, the organization is thrilled to welcome Braulio García at the helm.

At a recent AHP Community Advisory Board meeting where Deputy Director García was introduced, Brad Hare, MD, a board member, and long-time provider of medical care to people living with HIV, registered his enthusiasm for García by asserting “Braulio is one of the most compassionate and capable people I’ve worked with, and the organization has made a good choice promoting him.”

García’s tenure at AHP has included being a clinical social worker and therapist, a supervisor, and the manager of the substance use disorder program for the past decade. García is a staunch advocate of our clients and staff and has spent his career caring for those who experience health disparities based on their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or racial identity. He is an advocate for compassionate, client-centered behavioral health services, especially for those living with HIV, LGBTQ+ people, and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in San Francisco.

Deputy Director García has fought for wider access to Narcan, drop-in groups for substance users, less reliance on 911 for crisis interventions and has been a champion of more case management services for substance users to meet clients where they are, rather than expecting them to come to the clinic. His reputation as a fierce advocate for his team will serve him well in his new role.