Hil O’Connell

Senior Research Analyst and Trainer

Hil O’Connell is a Philadelphia-based researcher and educator working towards gender justice in sexual and reproductive health care. They currently serve as the Senior Research Analyst at AccessMatters, bringing a health equity and social justice lens to original research and evaluation within programs covering family planning, HIV testing and care, breast and cervical cancer prevention, maternal/child health, patient navigation, and adolescent health. As a Trainer, Hil has provided education to hundreds of clinical and social service providers, youth-serving professionals, academics, undergraduate and medical students, and the public—with the ultimate goal of facilitating inclusive, affirming, and trauma-informed health care for queer and trans people everywhere. Their research and training are deeply informed by their lived experience as a queer, trans, and chronically ill person navigating the American healthcare system. Outside of their professional public health work, Hil has applied their intersecting skills to educate large groups of community organizers and lay people on how to conduct accessible movement research, including legislative and power research. They were a co-founder and lead organizer of grassroots fundraising group Philly Queer Brunch from 2014-2017. They hold a BA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Yale University.

As part of the AccessMatters’ Training Team, Hil’s subject matter expertise includes:

  • Understanding sexual orientation and gender diversity
  • Providing inclusive and affirming care to LGBQ/T patients – adults, students on college campuses, and adolescents
  • Introduction to trauma and trauma-informed care
  • Providing trauma-informed care
  • Identifying and challenging implicit bias
  • Developing culturally responsive data collection tools and processes


Selected Trainings

  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity: Parts I and II
  • Inclusive and Affirming Care for Trans and Gender-Nonconforming College Students
  • Supporting the Health and Well-Being of LGBQ/T Youth
  • Introduction to Trauma-Informed Care
  • Case Studies in Trauma-Informed Care
  • Introduction to Grassroots Legislative Research
  • Using Data for Program Improvement


Selected Conference Presentations

  • Oral presentation: The Impact of PrEP Counseling on Women in Family Planning. Hil O’Connell. SYNChronicity 2020: the national HIV, HCV, STI and LGBTQ health conference. Virtual due to COVID-19. August 2020.
  • Oral presentation: Evidence of Impact: School-Based Health Resource Centers and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive HealthHil O’Connell & Meghan Rich. NACCHO Annual 2018: Unleashing the Power of Local Public Health. New Orleans, LA. July 2018.
  • Oral presentation: Evaluating and Addressing Clients’ Absence from Care in a Statewide Free Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Hil O’Connell. Understanding Public Health in Pennsylvania 2018. Lancaster, PA. April 2018.
  • Panel presentation: Queer Futures after ObergefellHil O’Connell, Amber Hollibaugh, Demoya Gordon, & Chinyere Ezie. 23rd Annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference. New Haven, CT. February 2017.
  • Oral presentation: Gender and Sexuality: Pronouns, Practices, and Possibilities. Shannon Criniti & Hil O’Connell. 34th Annual Maryland Reproductive Health Update. Baltimore, MD. April 2016.
  • Panel presentation: Topics in Legal Theory: Disabling Consent, or Reconstructing Sexual Autonomy. Joseph Fischel & Hil O’Connell. Midwest Political Science Association Conference. Chicago, IL. April 2015.


Selected Publications

O’Connell, HR and SM Criniti. (2020). “The impact of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) counseling on PrEP knowledge and attitudes among women seeking family planning care.” Journal of Women’s Health November 2020 (online ahead of print).

Fischel, J & O’Connell, HR. (2019). “Cripping Consent: Autonomy and Access.” In Fischel, J., Screw Consent: A Better Politics of Sexual Justice. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.

Fischel, J & O’Connell, HR. (2016). Disabling Consent, or Reconstructing Sexual Autonomy. Columbia Journal of Gender & Law 30(2)

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