REACH Healthcare Foundation
The REACH Healthcare Foundation announced the promotion of Carla Gibson to Vice President of Programs. Ms. Gibson has been with REACH for 14 years as Senior Program Officer, responsible for program development and grants administration. Ms. Gibson also has guided the foundation’s health equity investments. As Vice President of Programs, Ms. Gibson will assume responsibility for all program functions of the foundation, developing strategic community investments designed to implement REACH’s mission of advancing health equity in its six-county service area.
Blue Shield of California Foundation
Rachael Kagan, a strategic leader with two decades of experience leading communications for California health care organizations, has been named Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Blue Shield of California Foundation.
Ms. Kagan, who started her career as a journalist, spent the last 20 years in public health and health-related organizations, most recently as Director of Communications for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, where she built a team responsible for communications for the department’s vast services and programs, including thoughtfully leading the Department’s proactive communications strategy and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to that, Ms. Kagan led communications for the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, California Prison Health Care Receivership, and California Association of Public Hospitals.
Contact: Andrew Kolbenschlag at 415.229.5284.
Mat-Su Health Foundation
The Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) has promoted Heather Merry to Executive Assistant and Board Liaison. In her new role, Ms. Merry is responsible for providing executive support to the CEO and for serving as the primary administrative liaison with members of the Mat-Su Health Foundation board of directors.
Ms. Merry joined the MSHF in 2013 in the role of administrative assistant. In the years since then she has taken on additional duties at various times, including assisting with scholarship applications and backfilling for the previous executive assistant while that person was acting in an interim position elsewhere in the organization. She came to the MSHF with a proven background in administrative support. She previously worked as a senior clerical specialist for a telecommunications company and as a secretary for an aviation firm.
In addition, MSHF welcomed four new members to its board of directors: Raelynn Danielowksi, Greg Jones, Philip Licht and Lisa Smayda.
Ms. Danielowski is a lifelong Alaskan with 23 years in the Mat-Su. She has a wealth of finance experience in the energy sector and currently works as the assistant financial controller at Matanuska Telephone Association (MTA). She is a current member of the MTA Investment Committee.
Mr. Jones’ previous work experience has ranged across entrepreneurship, organization building, management of both large and small organizations, and public policy. More recently, he served as the interim CEO for the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and was subsequently appointed a trustee. Mr. Jones is currently a member of the Connect Mat-Su Steering Committee and has previously served on the boards of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Anchorage Planning and Zoning Commission, Anchorage Board of Examiners and Appeals, Special Olympics of Alaska, Alaska Academic Decathlon, Anchorage Home Builders Association, Great Land Trust, and the Covenant House Site Selection Committee.
Ms. Smayda has lived in Alaska since 1978 and became a resident of the Mat-Su in 1991. The majority of her 44-year career was spent working in the medical field as a registered nurse in the Mat-Su and rural Alaska. Ms. Smayda is on the Mat-Su Senior Services Board of Directors and previously served on the board for the Denali Kid Care pilot program, as well as on the advisory boards for Holy Family Catholic Church and Saint Michael’s Catholic Church.
Mr. Licht is a lifelong Mat-Su resident who has devoted his life and skills toward improving the health and wellness within the community for the past 20 years and presently works as the executive director of Set Free Alaska. Mr. Licht currently serves on the steering committee for ROCK Mat-Su, as well as the board of Recover Alaska and Governor Dunleavy’s Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. In the past, he has served on the boards of Thrive Mat-Su, Mat-Su Agency Partnership, Northgate Alaska and Mat-Su Health and Social Services.
At the same board meeting where the new members were elected, board officers were named. Lebron McPhail was chosen as chair and Mary Olson as vice-chair. Ken Kincaid was selected to continue in his role of secretary-treasurer.
Service on the Mat-Su Health Foundation board of directors is on a volunteer basis. Board members serve an initial three-year term, which may be renewed for two additional three-year terms.
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Contact: Robin Minard at 907.352.2892 or firstname.lastname@example.org.