AHP News

Welcome Director William Hua, PhD

The UCSF Alliance Health Project (AHP) is delighted to welcome William “Will” Hua, PhD as our new agency Director. Will joins Deputy Director Braulio Garcia, LCSW, to complete the organization’s leadership transformation following the 2023 departure of Director Lori Thoemmes. Along with our Management Team, Will and Braulio will be forging the path forward for AHP staff, clients, and volunteers.   

William Hua, PhDWill’s arrival coincides with AHP’s 40th Anniversary and adds to the excitement of this historical moment as we celebrate both the tenacity and resilience of our LGBTQ+ and HIV-affected communities and AHP’s future of strength-based, client-centered health and wellness. As a co-investigator on research and care that focused on HIV, Hepatitis C, chronic pain, opioid use, and alcohol disorders, he is intimately familiar with the range of health concerns that bring clients to AHP for help.  Will describes feeling an instant connection to AHP’s mission to support the health and wellness of HIV-affected and LGBTQ communities and noted how moved he feels by the organization's passion, dedication, and commitment to providing the most thoughtful and comprehensive services to our clients.  

Before joining AHP, Will served as a clinical health psychologist at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs where he  held a range of leadership roles including Chair of the Psychology Diversity Committee, Director of a Mental Health HIV/HCV Specialty Care Access Network Clinic; staff lead of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Clinic, and faculty member of three fellowship emphasis areas of Integrated Care Psychology in HIV and Liver Disease, Primary Care Psychology, and LGBTQ+ Healthcare Psychology.

The son of Vietnamese immigrants, Will identifies as Vietnamese American and was raised in an intergenerational household in Oklahoma City. He is a proud “guncle” to six nieces and nephews. Dr. Hua’s passion for mental health was formed through a cultural lens, noting the consequences of silence around subjects like substance use and mental health in his communities; and alternatively, the healing and wellness that thriving communities can share. During his 13-year career at the VA, Will developed a strong appreciation for the experiences of veterans and members of the HIV and LGBTQ+ communities. He lives in San Francisco with his partner, Francis. 

As a leader, Will strives to amplify attention to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) both in his professional and personal work. His previous DEIB initiatives include the implementation of novel and innovative approaches to care and informing equitable policy development. According to Behavioral Health Manager Ashley Mooney LCSW, “Will is engaging, inviting, and warm—he brings an unparalleled combination of academic and clinical experience along with a true passion for seeing and supporting others.” She went on to say that she is so happy Will is aboard and is excited about where his leadership will take the organization. 

Will highlighted how quickly at ease he felt at AHP—influenced by the beautiful artwork donated by artists, the calming design of the clinic space, and the many ways in which the agency‘s history is honored.  

Dr. Hua said he feels privileged to bring a spirit of collective leadership—via centering the experiences, expertise, resilience, and resolve of the entire AHP community; staff and clients alike—in building upon AHP’s rich history and bright future. 

Founded by a group of LGBTQ mental health providers in response to the psychosocial impact of the AIDS epidemic, Alliance Health Project continues to be a beacon of hope for thousands of San Franciscans who, now, as in the beginning, seek solace and support while facing emotional and mental health challenges brought on by mental illness, HIV/AIDS and health concerns related to gender transitions, substance use disorders, homelessness, immigration, and access to healthcare.