Equitas Health’s External Affairs team is made up of passionate individuals dedicated to promoting health equity and advocating for racial justice and the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. Our team works tirelessly to stay informed about legislative changes and developments that could impact our communities, and to develop and implement strategies to effect positive change. We believe that everyone deserves access to healthcare and social services, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or race, and we are committed to advancing policies and programs that support these values. Get to know the individuals behind our mission and learn more about their experience and dedication to our community.
Advocating for Legal and Societal Change to Improve Health Outcomes for Marginalized Communities.
Director of External Affairs
Rhea Debussy, Ph.D. (she/her) is the inaugural Director of External Affairs at Equitas Health, which is a federally designated community health center and one of the largest LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS serving healthcare organizations in the country. In her role at Equitas Health, Rhea is responsible for setting the government and community relations agenda for the agency. In doing so, she manages the organization’s public policy priorities; mobilizes community stakeholders to advance access to health and wellness services; cultivates strategic community partnerships across the state and beyond; and determines the organization’s legislative advocacy strategy at local, state-wide, and national levels.
Prior to joining Equitas Health in June 2022, Rhea enjoyed a decade of service in higher education, which began in public university settings in Connecticut. Most recently, she jointly served as the Associate Director for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Kenyon College—where she specialized in fostering LGBTQ+ inclusion and equity on campus—and as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Kenyon College—where she designed and regularly taught the college’s first permanent queer studies course. For two years, Rhea also concurrently served as the founding Executive Director of the Ace and Aro Alliance of Central Ohio, which is the state’s first organization focused upon serving the asexual and aromantic community.
A graduate of the Dept. of Political Science at the University of Connecticut, Rhea’s doctoral work focused on the histories of LGBTQ exclusion from the military and intelligence communities. She actively writes about issues affecting LGBTQ people in the military and LGBTQ+ politics more broadly. Most recently, Rhea served as the lead author for the newly updated and expanded third edition of Freedom to Serve: The Definitive Guide to LGBTQ Military Service (forthcoming; Washington, D.C.: Modern Military Association of America), which is the most comprehensive guidebook on issues affecting LGBTQ service members across all branches of the military. Given the important nature of this work and the status of this guidebook, an advance copy of this text was requested by the Biden Presidential Transition Team in December 2020.
As a scholar of LGBTQ+ politics and policy, Rhea also regularly presents at regional, national, and international LGBTQ+ conferences. In fall 2020, she presented at the Equitas Health Institute’s Transforming Care Conference, where she was also recognized with the Community Advocate Award. Rhea, who is a member of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH), also presented at WPATH’s 26th Annual Scientific Symposium, which is the world’s largest conference on transgender health. In summer 2022, she will be presenting an advocacy workshop at Stonewall Sports’ 8th Annual National Tournament and Summit, which is one of the largest LGBTQ+ focused athletic events in the country.
Passionate about accessible academic writing, Rhea frequently publishes non-academic articles on LGBTQ+ political issues. Her work has been published by The Conversation, The Associated Press, BUST Magazine, and The Gay & Lesbian Review among others. Her most recent article for The Conversation, which was also circulated by The Associated Press, garnered over 20,000 readers, and it was translated for international circulation throughout Japan. Additionally, her forthcoming book project is currently under contract with Columbia University Press.
As a nationally recognized advocate for trans-inclusive athletic spaces, Rhea was selected for the inaugural cohort of the NCAA’s Division III LGBTQ OneTeam Program, which is the organization’s first nationwide LGBTQ+ inclusion program. For nearly three years, she served as one of less than 55 facilitators across the country, and she facilitated trainings for hundreds of coaches, athletics administrators, DEI professionals, fellow facilitators, and student-athletes across multiple colleges and states during that time. In January 2022, she resigned in protest from that role, following changes to the NCAA’s transgender participation policy.
In addition to her role with Equitas Health, Rhea also currently serves as a Lecturer in the Dept. of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University at Newark, where she teaches courses about the LGBTQ+ community; a member of the Greater Columbus LGBTQ Health Coalition, which is a community-led working group that is focused on improving health outcomes for LGBTQ+ people living and working in Columbus, Ohio; a member of the Advisory Board for the TGX360 Initiative of the OUT Georgia Business Alliance, which is Georgia’s first transgender-focused economic empowerment initiative; and an organizational representative to the Public Policy Council of AIDS United, which is a national non-profit organization dedicated to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.
Previously, she served as a Lecturer in the Dept. of Political Science at The Ohio State University at Newark, where she taught courses on international relations; she also previously served as both the Vice President for the Board of Directors and the Acting Operational Director of the Newark Ohio Pride Coalition, which coordinates a local pride festival of roughly 1,500 annual attendees.
Community Relations Manager
Rick Barclay (He/Him/His) is the Community Relations Manager for Harm Reduction at Equitas Health. Since 2002, Rick began sharing his own lived experience as a person who injected drugs (PWID), as a person in recovery, and as a person impacted by law enforcement.
He graduated from California State University, Long Beach in 2008 with a BA in English, and began his professional career as a copywriter and editor for a private marketing company in Orange County.
In 2016, Rick was hired to develop and establish the Safe Point syringe exchange and harm reduction center at Equitas Health (then AIDS Resource Center of Ohio), which remains the only syringe services program (SSP) directly serving residents of Columbus/Franklin County today. During that time, he also served on the Franklin County Re-entry Advisory Board on matters affecting people leaving law enforcement custody. Additionally, he has served as a speaker and panelist for the Centers for Disease Control, Ohio Department of Health, The Ohio State University’s College of Public Health and College of Social Work, throughout the state at conferences, and at community functions to speak on harm reduction, drug policy, and the health of People Who Use Drugs (PWUDs).
Rick left Equitas Health and Safe Point in February of 2022 to become the Community Drug Overdose Prevention Grants Manager at the Ohio Department of Health, returning to Equitas Health shortly thereafter to expand harm reduction efforts to other areas of the state and advocate for the needs of PWUDs.
Community Relations Manager
Randle B. Moore-Frost (He/Him/His), originally from Atlanta, GA, relocated to Dayton, Oh at the age of 7. Randle is currently the Community Relations Manager in the Department of External Affairs at Equitas Health. Randle has served in an array of roles at Equitas Health for the past 7 years, all of which have been focused around community engagement, education, and advocacy serving the LGBTQ+ population and other medically marginalized and other underserved communities.
Prior to his time at Equitas Health, Randle spent 4 years at the Department of Veteran Affairs in Dayton, Oh, serving as a linkage to care coordinator for the homeless veteran population. It was at the Dayton VA where Randle found his passion for serving others, and becoming a voice for the voice-less.
Randle has an immense passion for working collaboratively across multiple sectors, both internally at Equitas Health, and externally with community partners across Ohio. His efforts have been proven (backed by data) to increase health awareness and understanding of the critical need for intersectionality as it relates to holistic health outcomes of the communities that we serve.
Randle also serves on the R.A.C.E BRG and its’ facilitation team, which leads the intentional work of the BRG to bring about diversity, equity, & inclusion to the organization (Equitas Health) at large. Randle also works as the interdepartmental liaison between both the marketing/communications department and the Prevention department, to ensure that our work has meaningful impact among the communities that they serve.
Additionally, Randle serves on the Board of Trustees at his home church, Wayman Chapel A.M.E Church in Dayton. He serves on the outreach committee for a local non-profit called SoLoved. In Randle’s spare time, he enjoys making new memories with close friends and family, volunteering at the local men’s and women’s homeless shelter. Lastly, Randle is still enjoying the newlywed life and spending time with he and his husband’s new Miniature Golden Doodle, named Bentley Carmichael!
Sarah Green (They/Them/Theirs or She/Her/Hers) currently serves as the Administrative Assistant – Advancement in the Dept. of External Affairs at Equitas Health. Previously, she served as a Prevention Support Specialist, where they performed administrative functions and assisted with HIV/STI testing needs for the community. In their new role in External Affairs, Sarah fulfills the major administrative responsibilities for the department and other units across the agency’s Advancement Division. In addition to this, she often assists with community outreach projects, advocacy work, and public testimony at both the state and federal level.
Outside of their role with Equitas Health, they are a local performer, and she is lifelong member of Columbus’s LGBTQ+ community. Previously, Sarah served on the Board of Directors for TransOhio, which is Ohio’s state-wide transgender advocacy organization. During their four-year tenure with TransOhio, she also served the organization as the Secretary for the Board of Directors. Sarah is also a community activist, who has organized with and for the BIPOC LGBTQ+ community, for the past decade. Sarah’s passion and voice continue to shape their work at Equitas Health.
Gender Equity Policy Manager
Oliver Licking (They/Them/Theirs), currently serves in the Department of External Affairs at Equitas Health as the Legal Clinic Coordinator for the Ohio Name Change Legal Clinic, which is a partnership between the agency and key community partners TransOhio, Equality Ohio, and others. These legal clinics offer monthly free legal assistance to the transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive community of Ohio in accessing their legal name changes and/or gender marker changes on identity documents.
Oliver has taken great pride in growing the size and scope of the program since they began leading the legal clinics in winter 2019. Their work is focused in community partner relationship management, attorney volunteer training, project management, and attorney partnership recruitment. During their time in this role, Oliver has seen the program grow at a rate of 300% increase in clients served per month, cementing this program as of significance and importance to equitable access to transition related services to the Ohio trans and gender expansive community. Oliver has also served as the Legal Clinic Coordinator during the era of fast changing political landscape of Ohio with the new access for updating Ohio Birth certificates. Outside of their work with the Legal clinics, Oliver also serves in the Trans Business Resource Group, since before its official recognition in the agency.