Former Planned Parenthood CEO and President Lillian Tamayo was awarded the SAVE Champions of Equality award for Planned Parenthood’s expansion of transgender care. 

“I was so deeply honored to have been recognized this year for my work at Planned Parenthood and for representing the intersectional issues of the care that we provide at Planned Parenthood, about our values around the self-determination agency, and how we stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ community,” Tamayo said.

Tamayo stepped down as the President and CEO of Southeast and North Florida this past April after 22 years in the position.

The SAVE Champions of Equality award honors individuals and organizations that have worked to improve equality for the LGBT community. The SAVE Foundation advocates for equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Tamayo detailed how trans individuals are often the most discriminated against members of the LGBT community, and Planned Parenthood’s mission to provide fair and equal healthcare to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or immigration issues is what inspired her to expand Planned Parenthood’s care of trans individuals.

“We knew that our LGBT community was growing in South Florida and throughout the state, and that there was a gap in the care that we were delivering to the community that we wanted to double down and to better serve,” Tamayo said.

Planned Parenthood is committed to delivering higher quality care throughout the entire organization and developing cultural competence to provide better clinical care. As a gay Latina, Tamayo wanted her colleagues and the Board of Directors to stand with the trans community.

Samantha Cahen, Planned Parenthood’s Director for Transgender and Non-Binary Care, elaborated on the specific things Planned Parenthood has done to create inclusive trans care. This includes HIV, STDs, counseling and psychological services, and hormone therapy.

“As of today’s date, we do have nurse practitioners who practice transgender care services and are able to provide those services from Miami all the way up to Tallahassee, and then we were able to expand during COVID by starting with telehealth.”

Cahen mentioned that some trans individuals prefer telehealth appointments so they can stay in the comfort of their homes without being misgendered or facing any kind of transphobia.

Tamayo hopes this will “provide better health outcomes to allow our trans family to be able to set their own compass for their own future with the support of healthcare providers.”