Friday, June 26, 2015


Heartland Trans* Wellness Group recognizes former Director and Founder, JAC Stringer, MSW, LSW, for his dedication.

Heartland wishes to thank our founder, JAC Stringer, for his years of service to the Cincinnati transgender community through his founding and work at Heartland Trans* Wellness Group. JAC’s passion for the community has helped countless individuals, and helped to establish the flourishing trans community our city has today.

­During his seven years as Founding Director, JAC taught over 215 trainings nationally; developed best-practice models for socially just trans group work and harm reduction services; built a database of trans inclusive Midwestern providers; created a Midwestern trans resource help-line; published educational materials on trans cultural competency and community organizing; acquired local and national grants to support trans initiatives; produced countless trans community events; provided 24 hour on-call assistance and advocacy to innumerable trans youth; lobbied in Washington D.C. to advance trans and queer housing, employment, and health policies; served on seven organizing boards nationally; worked with leaders among local and national government, faith institutions, non-profits, hospitals, service agencies, schools, universities, and art/performance companies; established a national presence for the Cincinnati trans community; and launched multiple local and regional programs serving trans people, their partners, family members, and friends including one of the largest trans support groups in the country, Cincinnati Trans* Community Group. In recognition of his work with Heartland, JAC has received The American Counseling Association’s 2013 Joe Norton Award, The University of Cincinnati’s 2013 Visible and Vocal award, The National Association for Social Worker’s 2014 regional and statewide  Emerging Leader awards, and the 2015 Cincinnati Pride Service in Education award.

JAC is continuing his activist and educational work; by fall 2015, his Comprehensive Community Group model will have launched programs in five Midwestern cities, and counting. During our time of transition, JAC will continue to advise Heartland on some of our programs, including Cincinnati Trans* Community Group. We are all eagerly looking forward to what the future will bring for our greater trans community.

We thank you, JAC, for all of the important work you’ve done over the years. We wish you well in all your future endeavors. We are forever grateful for all of your hard work and dedication.



Thursday, June 25, 2015


Heartland Trans* Wellness Group announces new Director, Jonah Yokoyama, BSN, RN.

Heartland’s Founder and Director, JAC Stringer, MSW, LSW is stepping down from his position to launch a national trans resource organization. From Heartland’s conception in 2008, JAC grew a one-person initiative into the Midwest’s first and only trans health advocacy organization, Heartland Trans* Wellness Group. After so much success, JAC is joyfully handing the Director seat to our current Transition Care Services Director, Jonah Yokoyama, BSN, RN.

Jonah is a graduate of Cincinnati State and Wright State University. He is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Jonah began his work with Heartland as an intern, working to increase provider competency. He quickly grew from that role and for over 2 years, he has served as Heartland’s Transition Care Services Director. During that time, he has earned a reputation as a compassionate and knowledgeable leader. He has assisted countless clients with transition-related needs, met with parents and caregivers, facilitated group meetings, and forged ties with community leaders and other organizations. Jonah has held trainings for schools, business, and organizations within the community, as well as local, state, and federal government agencies. Jonah has demonstrated his commitment to the trans and queer community, he has given freely of his time and his skills to assist those in need.

Jonah’s expertise in crisis response, public health relations, and wellness education has been integral to Heartland’s services. Heartland is proud to welcome such an accomplished professional as our new Director. We know that great things lie ahead for our organization and our community with Mr. Yokoyama as our new director.