Thérèse Fitzgerald and Kathleen Glunz Skarin
RIZE Massachusetts announced the appointment of Thérèse Fitzgerald, PhD, MSW as Chief Program Officer and Kathleen Glunz Skarin as Senior Engagement Officer. Ms. Fitzgerald and Ms. Glunz Skarin bring decades of experience and seasoned leadership to their respective positions. Together they will support RIZE as it continues to expand its programs and grantmaking initiatives to address the ongoing opioid epidemic in Massachusetts, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its related economic and social impacts.
Ms. Fitzgerald will lead the strategic growth of RIZE’s grantmaking and programmatic initiatives, helping scale the foundation’s efforts to achieve its vision of “zero stigma and zero deaths.” She has spent her career working to improve health care for underserved populations as a researcher, policy expert, and advocate. She previously served as the Director of Research for The American City Coalition (TACC), where she conducted community-based research to address the social determinants of health in marginalized communities. Prior to her work at TACC, she was the Director of Health Care Research, Analytics and Insights at the Massachusetts Medical Society.
Ms. Fitzgerald has also served as the Director of Women’s Health Policy & Advocacy at the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health & Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She has extensive research and policy experience in the field of addiction, having served as the Associate Director of the Center for Addiction Research and Services at Boston University’s School of Social Work. She is an instructor of practice at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a lecturer at Boston University’s School of Social Work.
Ms. Glunz Skarin oversees public affairs, including government relations, communications, and board relations for RIZE. She has more than 25 years in high-intensity political and professional environments, having served most recently as Director of Strategic Partnerships for the New England Aquarium, where she identified and established affiliate relationships in support of strategic priorities for the nonprofit. Previously, she was Chief of Staff at the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office for nearly a decade, where she served as a member of the sheriff’s command staff and was involved in executing priority initiatives, including the medication assisted treatment pilot program involving several Massachusetts sheriffs.
Ms. Glunz Skarin previously held senior executive and management positions in the public sector, and served as staff director on two committees in the Massachusetts Legislature: the Joint Committee on Public Health and the Joint Committee on Financial Services. During this time, she managed the daily operations of the respective committees and developed the policy agenda with the chairs and committee staff. Her career began in Washington, DC, in the U.S. Senate where she served on the legislative staff of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and later joined Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Washington office.
Contact: Alex Villanueva at 617.243.9950 or email@example.com
Impact Health announced that Dionne Greenlee-Jones, a seasoned community advocate, has joined the organization as Director of Programs. Ms. Greenlee-Jones will be responsible for building strong relationships with the Healthy Opportunities Pilot stakeholder community, facilitating efficient referrals between and among the network of Human Service Organizations, and ensuring the quality of service delivery and processes.
Prior to joining Impact Health, Ms. Greenlee-Jones served as a Resource Development Manager for United Way of Asheville & Buncombe County, as a grant writer and strategic planning consultant, and as a Community Engagement Manager for Unite Us/NCCARE360, the nation’s first statewide coordinated care network serving 23 WNC counties. Her professional experience also includes directing the Duke Nonprofit Management Certificate Program and consulting with Duke’s Continuing Studies and Duke Integrative Medicine, assisting with program development and implementation while in that role.
A passionate advocate for DEI initiatives, Ms. Greenlee-Jones is actively involved with several DEI-focused organizations including the WNC Diversity Engagement Coalition, WNC Health Equity Coalition, WNC Health Network, CoThinkk, and Building Bridges of Asheville.
Contact: Erica Allison at 828.329.5089 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Vitamix® announced Natalie Haynes as its new Executive Director of the Vitamix Foundation, tapping over 20 years of experience in nutrition and health care to advance the plant-based whole-foods mission of the foundation.
Prior to joining Vitamix, Ms. Haynes was with the Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. As part of the Institute’s founding team, she developed and managed their global grant funding programs and partnerships designed to fund and advance the most promising discoveries by academic scientists into cures. Prior to Harrington Discovery Institute, Ms. Haynes had roles with the Cleveland Clinic, Boehringer Ingelheim, Baxter, and Mead Johnson. Ms. Haynes started her health care career as a Women, Infants, and Children program dietitian.
Contact: Kim Wysocki at 216.450.5685 or email@example.com
The Weinberg Foundation promoted Aaron Merki to the role of Chief Program Officer. Mr. Merki has led the program team in distributing approximately $130 million in annual grants, all focused on improving the lives of people experiencing poverty in the United States and Israel. Under his leadership, the foundation has prioritized strategic and collaborative approaches to grantmaking focused on achieving measurable impacts within the communities it serves. He has also overseen the streamlining of its grantmaking to four core focus areas—housing, health, jobs, and education—enabling it to focus greater resources on select funding priorities and initiatives.
Mr. Merki previously served as a Program Director at the foundation and was responsible for grantmaking focused on aging and older adult services, which is now included under its Housing and Health portfolios. In that role, he helped lead the expansion of Housing Upgrades to Benefit Seniors in Baltimore City, a collaboration of nonprofits, city government, and philanthropy to enable low-income older adult homeowners to remain independent by providing home modifications and repairs, occupational therapy, and wraparound services.
Prior to the Weinberg Foundation, Mr. Merki served as the Executive Director of FreeState Justice, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of Maryland’s LGBTQ citizens through legal services and advocacy. He also worked as a corporate litigator at Venable LLP and clerked for the Honorable Judge Susan K. Gauvey of the United States District Court for Maryland.
Adell Neal and Sumita Keller
The Healing Trust
The Healing Trust welcomed Adell Neal and Sumita Keller to its team. Ms. Neal joins the team as its Operations Director and Ms. Keller joins as the Senior Program Officer for Policy and Advocacy.
Ms. Neal manages the operations of the agency, including financial administration, human resources/benefits administration, and IT support. During her career, she has worked in corporate, government, educational, and nonprofit settings. Most recently, she enjoyed dual roles at University School of Nashville in both Finance—as Assistant Controller and inHuman Resources—focusing on diversity and inclusion and coordinating recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and professional development initiatives. Ms. Neal is also experienced in cultural competency training and brings to The Trust her passion for guiding efforts to reach equity, anti-racism, and social justice goals.
Ms. Keller manages the Healing from Abuse Neglect and Violence and Advocacy Grant portfolios. She also engages in systems change advocacy alongside The Trust’s grantee partners to help improve health care access and prevent or mitigate Adverse Childhood Experiences. Ms. Keller served as the Director of Statewide Partnerships at the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth (TCCY). She also served in the roles of Director of the Home Visiting Leadership Alliance and Policy Advocate at TCCY. Ms. Keller also served on the Executive Team at the Tennessee Department of Human Services in the role of Customer Service Administrator. Prior to her roles in state government, Ms. Keller was an International Student Adviser at Vanderbilt University and the Director of the TeenPEACE program at the Domestic Violence Interventional Center where she provided individual and group therapy for youth who encountered the juvenile justice system or experienced intimate partner or family violence.
Contact: Jennifer Oldham at 615.284.8271 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Reverend Dr. LaKeesha Walrond, Dayna Bowen Matthew, and David K. Mineta
Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE)
The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) announced that The Reverend Dr. LaKeesha Walrond, President of the New York Theological Seminary and Preaching Pastor at the First Corinthian Baptist Church in New York City has joined its board of directors. FORE also announced that Dayna Bowen Matthew, Dean of the George Washington University Law School, and David K. Mineta, President and CEO of Momentum for Health in Santa Clara County, California have joined its Scientific Advisory Council.
Dr. Walrond is educator, visionary leader, sought-after speaker, and consummate change agent who faithfully encourages individuals to embody their infinite possibilities. As the first woman and 12th President of New York Theological Seminary, Dr. Walrond is committed to preparing faith and thought leaders to engage relevant, restorative, and revolutionary ministry.
Dr. Walrond has received numerous recognitions including honors by the New York Liberty WNBA Basketball Association, the National Action Network, the McDonald’s GospelFest, National Council of Negro Women, NAACP, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Union Theological Seminary.
Dean Matthew is a nationally recognized lawyer and legal scholar and an expert in health equity and public health policy. She is the first woman to lead George Washington University Law School. She was previously the University of Virginia (UVA) Law School’s William L. Matheson and Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of Law and the F. Palmer Weber Research Professor of Civil Liberties and Human Rights. She was also a professor of public health sciences at the UVA School of Medicine and served as Director of the Equity Center at UVA, which works to build relationships between the university and its surrounding community to address racial and socioeconomic inequality. Dean Matthew has been professor of law, vice dean, and associate dean of academic affairs at the University of Colorado Law School and professor of law and medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Law. She has served as the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow for U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and as senior advisor in the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She is also a non-resident fellow in the Center for Health Policy at the Brookings Institution.
She is the author of the book “Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care,” and has authored or co-authored dozens of book chapters and articles, focusing largely on health care reform, public health law, health disparities, patient protection, and antitrust laws and civil rights.
Mr. Mineta is nationally recognized for his focus on drug prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. He began his career in behavioral health over 25 years ago, and since 2015, has been the president and CEO of Momentum for Health, the largest private nonprofit dedicated to providing comprehensive adult behavioral health services in Santa Clara County, California. From 2010 to 2015, Mr. Mineta served as a Presidential appointee in the position of Deputy Director of Demand Reduction for the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
In 1996, he worked with Asian American Recovery Services (AARS) throughout the Bay Area. Prior to AARS, Mr. Mineta was a counselor in the San Jose Unified School District and later in Santa Clara County’s Alcohol and Drug Department. He also served twice as board president for the Jefferson Union High School District Board of Trustees. He was a member of the American Public Health Association and Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.
Contact: Myrna Manners at 718.986.7255
Dogwood Health Trust
Dogwood Health Trust announced Ereka R. Williams, PhD, will be joining its team as Vice President of Impact for Education on November 1. In this role, Dr. Williams will be responsible for the visioning, development, and implementation of ambitious impact strategies to help improve early care and education and K-12 school systems in western North Carolina and will work closely with Dogwood’s Vice President of Impact- Economic Opportunity to expand post-secondary opportunities.
Dr. Williams currently serves as the Associate Provost for Academic Strategy and Institutional Effectiveness at Winston Salem State University (WSSU). Prior to that role, she served as Associate Dean of Education, Quality Assurance, and Community Engagement at WSSU and Associate Dean of Education at Fayetteville State University (FSU). At both institutions, Dr. Williams created Teacher Residency models and initiated regional and national partnerships aimed toward strengthening quality assurance systems for teacher education programs.
Prior to FSU, she was tenured faculty in the College of Education at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. While there, she led two academic units as Departmental Chairperson, earning distinctions including the University Outstanding Teacher of the Year award and Interdisciplinary Research Team Award finalist honors. Additionally, Dr. Williams collaborated with public schools, community leaders, and colleagues to secure over $3.9 million in federal funding aimed at leveraging equitable outcomes for rural districts in North Carolina.
Dr. Williams has served as a coach, speaker, researcher, board member, and reviewer for rural and urban schools across the midwest, northeast, and southeastern United States.
Contact: Erica Allison at 828.329.5089 or email@example.com