Health Equity Program Staff
Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, J.D.
Health Equity Director
Sinsi Hernández-Cancio is the Director of Health Equity at Families USA, where she focuses on expanding and strengthening the organization's ability to enable, enhance, and elevate health care advocacy and activism in communities of color across the nation. She is continuing the group's work to help build a thriving and vocal health equity movement that will protect the gains of the health care law while ensuring maximum equity in its implementation. She has appeared on Univision, CNN Español, and Telemundo, and has been widely quoted in both print and radio.
Ms. Hernández-Cancio has worked in the field of health policy for over a decade and has a longstanding commitment to advancing social justice and fighting for the rights of people of color, especially vulnerable women and children. She started her professional career as a women's human and civil rights lawyer with a Georgetown Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship at the Women's Rights Project of Human Rights Watch and continued to work on reproductive rights and women’s health, and gender based discrimination and violence, in both the domestic and international arenas for several years. She first became deeply engaged in health care justice and the elimination of health disparities when she served as Health and Human Services advisor for two Puerto Rico Governors at their Washington, D.C., offices. She later worked on health policy for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), where she continued to work on Puerto Rico health care issues, in addition to long-term care, health equity, and health reform. During the effort to pass the Affordable Care Act, she was the National Campaign Coordinator for SEIU's Healthcare Equality Project, where she worked with many coalition partners to ensure that health equity was part of the national debate and that health disparities were addressed.
Ms. Hernández-Cancio was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and grew up there and in western Massachusetts. She earned an A.B. from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Hays Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Fellow and earned a Vanderbilt medal. She currently lives with her husband and son in northern Virginia.
Wellstone Fellow, 2012-2013
Sascha Murillo is the Families USA Wellstone Fellow, working in the Health Equity Department. In this position, she coordinates and collaborates with all other departments on Families USA’s work on health equity issues, which includes analyzing racial and ethnic disparities in health care and exploring the impact of health care policy on communities of color. Since starting in August 2012, she has been involved in a broad range of projects, from organizing Latino community forums in Florida, to bringing together national groups on Capitol Hill to draw attention to how federal budget decisions affect health care services for communities of color.
Ms. Murillo started her work in health care justice as a policy intern at the Maternity Care Coalition in Philadelphia. There, she participated in advocacy efforts to promote paid sick leave, the creation of workplaces that are friendly to breastfeeding, and state legislation designed to expand coverage for maternity services and curb discriminatory practices by health insurance companies.
Ms. Murillo grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Biology from the University of Pennsylvania. During her undergraduate studies, she conducted research on Guatemalan indigenous women’s experiences with municipal water development initiatives, which culminated in a written thesis and video documentary. Ms. Murillo was very active in Latino student life and was admitted into the Cipactli Latino Honor Society. After completing her degree, she remained in Philadelphia and volunteered with Media Mobilizing Project, a grassroots media and social justice organization. She also volunteered as a doula (labor coach) with the Philadelphia Alliance for Labor Support.