Emilia Cobbs and Lamont Morales
The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness) President and CEO Judy Belk will step down in December 2023. Over the next year, the board will work closely with Ms. Belk to ensure a smooth leadership transition. Under Ms. Belk’s direction, Cal Wellness directed the majority of grantm
NY Health Foundation (NYHealth) recently added two new members to its team. Emilia Cobbs joined as a Policy & Research Associate. She holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she conducted work with the Boston Public Health Commission and Miami Homes for All. Earlier, she worked as a research coordinator at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Lamont Morales is NYHealth’s new Finance Associate. Previously, he was Associate Director of Finance and Human Resources at ArtsConnection, a nonprofit that brings arts programming to children in public schools.
Dogwood Health Trust
Mark D. Constantine will join Dogwood Health Trust as Senior Vice President of Community Investment in mid-April, leaving Richmond Memorial Health Foundation (RMHF) where he was President and CEO for seven years. RMHF works to foster an equitable and healthy Richmond, Virginia region through grantmaking, research, convenings, and impact investing.
As Senior Vice President of Community Investment, Mr. Constantine will lead Dogwood’s Community Investment Team in the visioning, development, and implementation of ambitious program strategies designed to advance strategic initiatives toward the Trust’s purpose of dramatically improving the health and well-being of all people and communities in Western North Carolina. Mr. Constantine will help identify and build strategic relationships based on shared objectives with key leaders, community-based organizations, nonprofits, and other funders in order to fund bold and innovative upstream strategies that address health disparities and inequity.
While at RMHF, Mr. Constantine adopted a five-year Strategic Framework centering the foundation’s work in health and racial equity. He also worked to align mission and money through impact investing strategies including debt and equity investments in CDFIs, foundation-directed Program Related Investments, and grants to position partners for impact capital.
In addition, Mr. Constantine has served as Board Chair of Virginia Funders Network, Co-Chair of the Jeffress Trust Awards Program in Research Advancing Health Equity, and as a faculty member for Grantmakers in Health Terrance Keenan Institute for Emerging Leaders in Health Philanthropy.
Prior to leading RMHF, Mr. Constantine was Senior Vice President at the Jessie Ball duPont Fund where he directed its Program-Related Investment and affordable housing activities. He also served as a Senior Fellow at Foundation for the Mid South. He is the author of Wit and Wisdom: Unleashing the Philanthropic Imagination and Travelers on the Journey: Pastors Talk about Their Lives and Commitments.
Wenora Johnson and Jeanne M. Regnante
Health Literacy Media
Health Literacy Media welcomed Wenora Johnson and Jeanne M. Regnante as its two newest board members.
As a patient and research advocate, Ms. Johnson brings her passion for and focus on health equity to raise awareness about cancer among support groups, organizations, patients, caregivers, and the public. A three-time cancer survivor herself, Ms. Johnson serves on a wide array of advisory boards and committees, including federal, foundation, and advocacy organizations. She is also a distinguished and sought-after speaker. She has addressed or served on panels at national and international conferences in cancer research, survivorship, tech, health psychology, clinical oncology, and more.
As an innovator, changemaker, and collaborator, Ms. Regnante has dedicated her career to answering questions that make a meaningful difference to all people living with cancer. Ms. Regnante is Founder and President of Patient 3i (patient insights inspire innovation), and her work history for more than 30 years has been in both the public and private sectors. She has consistently focused on driving equitable care for medically underserved populations across diseases with a notable network of healthcare stakeholders and researchers. Ms. Regnante primarily works with Tigerlily Foundation and Premier Allied Sciences driving health equity-focused strategic programs that impact all people with sustainability.
Caprice Taylor Mendez
Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut
Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut (Universal) announced that Caprice Taylor Mendez joined as President on March 1, 2023.
Ms. Mendez comes to Universal with over a decade of experience as not only a leader in the nonprofit sector but an organizer, coalition builder, trainer, advocate, and communicator. Her diverse experience working in various types of organizations includes nonprofit, grassroots and community-based, philanthropic, municipal government, academic, and policy advocacy-based. At five years old, Ms. Mendez immigrated to Connecticut from Guatemala. She also hosts a weekly radio show on La Voz Hispana de Connecticut.
Ms. Mendez will be instrumental in guiding Universal’s mission in centering Black, Brown, immigrant, low-income, chronically ill, disabled, and youth-based community organizing groups and allies in the fight for racial, social, and economic justice. She steps into the position upon the retirement of Universal’s president, Frances G. Padilla, who served as president for 10 years after succeeding Universal’s founding president, Juan Figueroa.
Nora OBrien-Suric, PhD
Health Foundation for Western & Central New York
Nora OBrien-Suric, PhD, President of the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, has been named by Gov. Kathy Hochul to the stakeholder advisory committee of New York State’s Master Plan for Aging Council. As one of 28 statewide experts who were named to the committee, Dr. OBrien-Suric will help guide the development of the state’s Master Plan for Aging, a comprehensive roadmap for meeting the needs of all New Yorkers as they age.
The advisory committee is made up of leaders from across New York State who represent health care and support service providers; family caregivers and older adults, including those in communities experiencing disparities; labor and community-based organizations; experts on aging; and others. It will ensure that leading experts and the public have strong input into the plan and help establish guidelines for age-friendly policies to provide opportunities for New Yorkers of all ages. It will also participate in a series of stakeholder engagement sessions to consider input from peer experts and leaders in healthy aging and will engage in regional listening sessions to help ensure a community-focused approach to the state’s Master Plan for Aging.
Dr. OBrien-Suric has served as president of the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York since 2017. She has more than 20 years of experience in philanthropy, with extensive focus on healthy aging issues. In 2021, Dr. OBrien-Suric was among the first leaders in New York State to publicly advocate for Gov. Hochul to launch a Master Plan for Aging.
Contact: Kerry Jones Waring at 716.380.7319 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Luis Granados, Lucia Corral Peña, and Maricela Rios-Faust
Blue Shield of California Foundation
Luis Granados, who leads the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), a San Francisco-based community development organization, has been appointed to the Blue Shield of California Foundation Board of Trustees. Granados brings extensive experience serving on boards of local and national organizations that seek to improve economic and health outcomes for Latinos and Californians. His work improving the economic base of the Latino community in California will bolster the Foundation’s strategies centered around economic security and mobility for people of color with low incomes.
Granados, as MEDA’s Executive Director and CEO for more than 20 years, has transformed a $300,000 organization into a $23 million enterprise that builds Latino prosperity, community ownership, and civic power. Under Granados’ leadership, the organization established Fondo Adelante—the only Latino-focused certified community development financial institution in the Bay Area—and raised $9 million to build a 21,000-square-foot neighborhood center. The organization has also developed a portfolio of more than 2,200 units of affordable housing. These accomplishments work to address root causes of inequities often faced by people of color with low incomes, by removing barriers to establishing economic security.
Prior to leading MEDA, Granados helped manage grants at the Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund and served as project manager and planner for organizations involved in economic development, environmental management, and community development. He has a Master of Science in city and regional planning from University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in natural resources management from University of California, Davis.
Lucia Corral Peña has been promoted to the position of Chief Program Director to oversee the overall strategy, design, and management of the foundation’s programs.
Peña is a well-known and respected leader and the architect of the Foundation’s domestic violence prevention strategy. She joined the Foundation 10 years ago, serving as a Senior Program Officer overseeing the organization’s work and grantmaking focused on breaking the cycle of domestic violence. Beginning March 19, she will become the Chief Program Director, an executive leadership position that reports to the CEO.
During her time at the Foundation, Peña has led proactive and innovative projects to end domestic violence in California. She launched the Foundation’s Reimagine Lab initiative that brought together a diverse group of leaders from across California to apply human-centered design to domestic violence prevention with promising new solutions. She also created the Foundation’s Breaking the Cycle Two Generation cohort, a group of 12 organizations that are building evidence for community-level practices that achieve domestic violence prevention for whole families. Currently, she is orchestrating the Foundation’s investments in community-based solutions to domestic violence that go beyond the criminal justice system.
Peña received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. She currently serves on the boards of Sisters of St. Joseph Health Care Foundation and Northern California Grantmakers and is a founding member of the California Gender Justice Funders Collaborative.
Maricela Rios-Faust, CEO of Human Options, which provides education, support, and empowerment to those affected by relationship violence in Orange County, California has been appointed to the foundation’s board of trustees. Ms. Rios-Faust will help guide the foundation in its mission to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence.
Ms. Rios-Faust has held senior leadership roles at the nonprofit Human Options since 2006, taking the reins as Chief Executive Officer in 2016. She has a long history of serving on boards of organizations that support families affected by domestic violence, including the Family Violence Appellate Project, where she is currently serving as the board president, and the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.
Named one of Orange County, California’s most influential for her leadership in increasing awareness of health impacts of domestic violence, Ms. Rios-Faust’s extensive board experience also includes service to groups working to end homelessness and organizations that promote nonprofit success through partnerships. She also has board experience with educational institutions, including a community college foundation, and a pre-K through middle-grade school.
Ms. Rios-Faust is a licensed clinical social worker. She currently serves as Chair of the Board for County of Orange – Continuum of Care, which focuses on a community-wide commitment to ending homelessness, and on the boards for OneOC and the Coast Community College District Foundation. Ms. Rios-Faust replaces Michael Rodriguez, who left the board last May.
To learn more about the foundation, its staff, and its board of trustees, click here.
Contact: Rachael Kagan at 510.227.7665.