Gail C. Christopher, senior adviser and vice president for the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, “has decided to exercise her option for retirement from the foundation and devote her creative energy to writing, speaking and developing the Ntianu Center for Healing and Nature,” according to a June 7 Kellogg press release. Her departure is effective August 31. Christopher founded the Ntianu Center, which is located in Maryland, to honor her firstborn child, who died in infancy, the release noted.

Tracey Greene-Washington joined the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in March 2017, in a newly created position—director, special initiatives. She will lead strategic implementation of the trust’s two major long-term initiatives, Healthy Places NC (which focuses on bettering the health of ten to twelve rural North Carolina counties) and Great Expectations, an early childhood initiative. Previously, Greene-Washington was at the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in the position of program officer for community economic development. She holds a master of social work degree from the University of South Carolina. (According to a trust spokesperson, Kate B. Reynolds and Z. Smith Reynolds were part of the same family, but the two philanthropies “have no formal relationship.”)

Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, has been appointed a member of the Kresge Foundation’s board of trustees. The forum “influences policy, mobilizes communities and strengthens organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders,” according to a June 8 Kresge press release. Ko Chin holds a master’s degree in health policy and management from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is “recognized as an authority on national health policy.”

Kresge also named Cecilia Muñoz to its board. She is vice president of policy and technology and director of the national network at New America, a “think tank and civic enterprise committed to renewing American politics, prosperity and purpose in the Digital Age,” the Kresge release said. She served in President Barack Obama’s administration. Her positions there included director of the Domestic Policy Council. Muñoz was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2000. The fellows program is affiliated with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Carolina Reyes has been elected to the board of directors of the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF). A practicing obstetrician/gynecologist, she has returned to California after spending seven years in the Washington, D.C., area, where she specialized in caring for high-risk pregnancies at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and, prior to that, at Virginia Hospital Center. During that time, she served on the US Preventive Health Services Task Force. The CHCF noted in a May 2017 press release that Reyes “is recognized nationally for her work in maternal-fetal medicine.”

Earlier in her career, Reyes was vice president of evaluation and planning at the California Endowment. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Reyes now also serves on the board of the Catholic Health Association. Her husband, Xavier Becerra, a former Democratic congressman, is now attorney general of California.

Laura Walker, president and CEO of New York Public Radio, has been elected to the board of directors of the Commonwealth Fund. Benjamin K. Chu, Commonwealth’s board chair, said in a March 28 press release that Walker’s “insights will be invaluable in informing the Fund’s efforts to communicate to key audiences as it works towards fulfilling its mission to move our country toward a high performing health system.”

Honors

Dan Fox, president emeritus of the Milbank Memorial Fund, was given the Genevieve Miller Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association for the History of Medicine in early May. In presenting the award, William Summers of Yale University noted that Fox’s career spans more than a half-century of scholarship, teaching, and public service—from his graduate work at Harvard “to his long tenure” with Milbank, “through his current work as an author, editor, policy adviser, and mentor,” according to a May 30 Milbank press release, which paraphrased Summers’s remarks. At the same presentation, current Milbank president Chris Koller also honored Fox’s accomplishments, including his service in state and federal government, the release added.

Read a November 2006 Health Affairs GrantWatch essay by Dan Fox titled “Foundations’ Impact on Health Policy.”

Chet Hewitt received Grantmakers In Health’s (GIH’s) 2017 Terrance Keenan Leadership Award in Health Philanthropy in June 2017, at the GIH Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy, which was held in Boston, Massachusetts. Hewitt is president and CEO of the Sierra Health Foundation, in Sacramento, California. GIH said in a press release that, since coming to Sierra Health as its leader in 2007, Hewitt “has crafted a bold strategy focused on achieving health equity in underserved communities and improving the well-being of vulnerable children and youth in Northern California.” Hewitt is the recipient of several awards, including the Congressman Robert T. Matsui Community Service Award. Read more about Hewitt’s accomplishments and background here.

Hewitt’s life story, as told by Bob Hughes of the Missouri Foundation for Health at the awards luncheon, is a remarkable one: it even included serving seven months in jail at age sixteen. “Yet, he found the pathway that included getting his high school equivalency [degree], completing law school without having attended college, and parenting a dozen foster children,” Hughes noted.

In his award acceptance speech, Hewitt indicated, without mentioning specific politicians, that he is heartened by how health philanthropy is responding to the country’s different political climate following the 2016 elections. He said that “a growing number of health foundations and other foundations are investing more, leveraging their influence more, supporting more advocacy, and investing in the building of [a] movement in response to what may be in fact the most important moral and ethical calling of our time.”

Kelly Pfeifer, director of High-Value Care at the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), has been presented with the 2017 Beverlee A. Myers Award for Excellence in Public Health. “It is the highest award presented annually by the California Department of Public Health” to a person showing “outstanding leadership and achieving notable accomplishments in public health in California,” according to a March 31 CHCF press release.

Read Kelly Pfeifer’s September 24, 2015, post in the GrantWatch section of Health Affairs Blog. It is titled “California Steps Up To Respond To The Opioid Addiction Epidemic.”