FHLI Names 2022 Health Leadership and Community Achievement Honorees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
August 18, 2022  

FHLI Names 2022 Health Leadership and Community Achievement Honorees 

Award Winners to Be Honored at Annual Bernstein Dinner in October 

CARY, NC – The Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation (FHLI) announced the winners of its annual awards today. The awards will be presented on Oct. 6 during the organization’s Annual Bernstein Dinner at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. 

“These award winners represent innovation, empathy, and a deep dedication to improving health outcomes,” said David Reese, president and CEO of FHLI. “It’s an honor to recognize their decades of service in North Carolina.”  

The 2022 Jim Bernstein Community Health Career Achievement Award will be presented to Randy Jordan, outgoing CEO of the North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. Jordan, who retired in 2022, is a longtime supporter and partner of FHLI.  

The Jim Bernstein Community Health Career Achievement Award recognizes individuals who are invested in improving the health of their community or region. The award recipient exemplifies the Foundation’s whole-person and whole-community approach to health and reflects the Foundation’s values. The award recipient is deeply respected among their peers, they can be mid-to-late career, and they likely work in partnership with at least one of FHLI’s programs. 

The 2022 FHLI Community Achievement Award will be presented to Dr. Viviana Martinez- Bianchi, M.D., FAAFP, of the Department of Family Medicine at Duke Health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she co-founded the Latinx Advocacy Team & Interdisciplinary Network for COVID-19, better known as LATIN-19. 

“LATIN-19 is creating space for leaders across North Carolina to collaborate on innovative solutions to the unique barriers faced within the Latinx community,” said Reese. “This organization and Dr. Martinez-Bianchi’s leadership are testaments to the importance of diverse voices having a seat at the table to create more equitable health systems.” 

“I want to make sure that this recognition goes also to those who have worked tirelessly with LATIN-19, collectively joining in the effort to improve the health outcomes of the comunidad latina in North Carolina and the US,” said Dr. Martinez-Bianchi. 

The 2022 FHLI Community Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have dedicated their careers to improving the health of communities, exemplifying the values lived by Jim Bernstein: everyone has a right to care; care should be delivered in a respectful, efficient, and effective manner; and health care belongs to the community it serves. The award recipient has had an impact, like Bernstein, at the community, state, and federal level and is deeply respected among their peers. 

The 2022 Annual Bernstein Dinner will celebrate FHLI’s 40 years of serving communities across North Carolina and will focus on the theme, “Allyship. Advocacy. Action.  

In addition, FHLI will honor the 2022 Class of Bernstein Fellows. The Jim Bernstein Community Health Leadership Fellows Program was founded in 2006 to honor Bernstein’s legacy of developing future leaders to carry on his work. 

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About Jim Bernstein 

The Bernstein Event honors the late Jim Bernstein, the founder and first president of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation. Bernstein dedicated his life and work to improving health care in rural communities across North Carolina. An innovator and a motivator, he served as a role model for how to address some of rural health care’s most pressing challenges.  

About FHLI 

Launched in 1982, under the leadership of James D. Bernstein, the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation develops innovative programs and establishes strong partnerships that advance affordable, sustainable, quality health services that improve the overall health of communities in North Carolina and beyond. 

FHLI programs include: 

  • Jim Bernstein Community Health Leadership Fellows 
  • Jim & Sue Bernstein Health Center Scholarship 
  • Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) 
  • Results NC 
  • NCCARE360 
  • NC Oral Health Collaborative (NCOHC) 
  • The NC Rural Health Association 

For more information, contact:  

Brady Blackburn 
Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation 
Brady.Blackburn@foundationhli.org  
919.533.9934 

For Immediate Release
July 12, 2022

Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation to Welcome New President and Chief Executive Officer

Organization continues its comprehensive strategic planning work planned for rollout in October

Cary, NC — The Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation (FHLI) today announced a change in executive leadership. David Reese will assume the role of President and Chief Executive Officer on August 1, 2022. Kelly Calabria, who has served as President and CEO at FHLI since December 2020, will begin a new role as Chief Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina in August.

David comes to FHLI with more than 30 years of experience in non-profit operations and leadership development with expertise in community development and aligning systems and partners to improve outcomes for underserved and at-risk populations.

“David brings to FHLI a passion for elevating marginalized communities and populations and developing partnerships and programs that empower them to thrive. David shares our organization’s belief that complex issues, such as poverty, health, social mobility, and food security, require holistic and community-based solutions,” said FHLI Board Chair Dr. Lloyd Michener. “As we make this transition to David’s leadership, the FHLI Board would like to thank Kelly Calabria for her leadership in growing FHLI and strengthening its ties to our diverse communities. We wish her the very best.”  

Most recently, David has served as CEO of the Durham Children’s Initiative, where he raised nearly $24 million dollars in support of families and children in Durham, expanded from a team of 2 to 25 (with over 180 part-time and seasonal staff) and has served over 2,400 young people. He also has guided DCI through a county-wide expansion and re-branding, along with a merger to expand its pipeline to serve youth ages 14-24. He also spearheaded efforts to develop a Durham County Early Childhood Action Plan (ECAP).

“The needs of North Carolina’s marginalized communities have never been more urgent,” said David Reese, incoming President and CEO of the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation. “Partnering with communities to collectively create tailored solutions that support the root causes of what impacts the health and well-being of all North Carolinians is essential to the health and economic well-being of our state. FHLI has a remarkable team, who care deeply about the important work they do, and I am thrilled to join this amazing group of change-makers and learn and work with them.”

Over the last year, FHLI has worked to complete comprehensive strategic planning, as well as, equity, diversity, and inclusion work designed to chart the organization’s next chapter and position it for maximum impact in improving the overall health, well-being, and quality of life of North Carolinians. The year-long project is intended to be all-encompassing, influencing nearly every aspect of FHLI’s operations, strategy, and program engagement. FHLI plans to share its new strategic plan with its community partners at its upcoming Bernstein Dinner in October.

About the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation (FHLI)

Launched in 1982, under the leadership of James D. Bernstein, the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation develops innovative programs—and helps establish strong partnerships—that advance affordable, sustainable, quality health services that improve the overall health of communities in North Carolina and beyond.

FHLI programs include:

  • Jim Bernstein Community Health Leadership Fellows
  • Jim & Sue Bernstein Health Center Scholarship
  • Center of Excellence for Integrated Care
  • Results NC
  • NCCARE360
  • NC Oral Health Collaborative
  • The NC Rural Health Association

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For Immediate Release
June 28, 2022

New Report Reveals Significant Challenges for North Carolina’s Rural Communities

30 percent of North Carolina Counties have no active licensed psychologist; North Carolina ranks third in the nation for rural hospital closures

Cary, NC — The North Carolina Rural Health Association’s (NCRHA) 2022 NC Rural Health Snapshot reveals significant challenges for the state’s most vulnerable communities and populations in mental healthcare, maternity services, and access to care. The report finds that of North Carolina’s 100 counties, 30 have no active, practicing psychologist, according to the UNC Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services. This finding comes as symptoms of anxiety and depression due to the COVID-19 pandemic have increased across North Carolina.

“The data highlighted in this year’s Rural Health Snapshot exemplifies the importance of supporting the health and well-being needs of our most vulnerable communities and elevating the voices of rural healthcare leaders from across the state,” said Donald Hughes, Director of Community Voice at the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation (FHLI). “The North Carolina Rural Health Association works to help every community become as healthy as possible by facilitating valuable connections, linking to resources, and sharing best practices.”

Other highlights from the NC Rural Snapshot include:

Fewer Places to Safely Give Birth
Between 2014 and 2019, 13 maternity units — or entire hospitals that contain maternity units — closed in rural North Carolina counties. Because access to maternity care in rural areas is heavily dependent on hospital infrastructure, this trend is concerning for North Carolina mothers and babies. 

An Unsettling Distinction in Rural Hospital Closures
North Carolina ranked 3rd in rural hospital closures, with 11 closures since 2005. Compounding the hardship, among the state’s rural hospitals, approximately 30 percent (15 out of 50) are vulnerable to closing because of financial deficits, according to a study from the Chartis Group in 2020.

Unmet Behavioral Health Needs
According to Mental Health America, North Carolina ranked 34th out of all states for adults with a mental illness who did not receive treatment in 2021 (56.5%).

“The health challenges our rural communities face are immense,” added Hughes. “The North Carolina Rural Health Association, supported by our members and the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation, believe expanding Medicaid is an important and crucial step to improving and saving lives in rural communities. It is our hope the legislature will act in this session. Now is the time.”

NCRHA — formerly known as the North Carolina Rural Health Leadership Alliance — announced its new name, more inclusive approach, and vision for a healthier future for North Carolina’s most vulnerable communities at a legislative breakfast in early June. In addition, attendees received a copy of the 2022 NC Rural Health Snapshot. The full report is available here.

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About the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation (FHLI)

Launched in 1982 under the leadership of James D. Bernstein, the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation develops innovative programs—and helps establish strong partnerships—that advance affordable, sustainable, quality health services that improve the overall health of communities in North Carolina and beyond.

FHLI programs include

  • Jim Bernstein Community Health Leadership Fellows
  • Jim & Sue Bernstein Health Center Scholarship
  • Center of Excellence for Integrated Care
  • Results NC
  • NCCARE360
  • NC Oral Health Collaborative
  • The NC Rural Health Association

About the North Carolina Rural Health Association (NCRHA)

A program of FHLI, the North Carolina Rural Health Association is a collaborative network of associations, organizations, and individuals representing healthcare, education, economic development, local government, and a variety of rural leaders invested in supporting rural health. NCRHA is committed to amplifying the voice of North Carolina’s rural communities to improve the health and well-being of all citizens. NCRHA is also recognized by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) as North Carolina’s state rural health association.

For more information, contact:
Donald Hughes, Director of Community Voice
Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation
donald.hughes@foundationhli.org | P: 919.726.4028

The Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation (FHLI) supports Medicaid expansion in North Carolina. By expanding Medicaid, more than 600,000 North Carolinians will obtain access to timely, affordable health care, a cornerstone of overall health, well-being, and economic security. The working families of this state, including veterans, front-line workers, small business owners, parents, and others, will benefit from expansion. Increasing access to health care for more North Carolinians will strengthen our economy, create more resilient communities, and reduce uncompensated health care costs. We also believe that expanding Medicaid in North Carolina will better support our rural health care systems and providers, who face especially daunting challenges during the global pandemic.

FHLI aims to advance programs and partnerships that increase access to affordable, quality health care services and improve the overall health of our state’s communities. We are proud to endorse this policy change in alignment with our organization’s principles. 

To that end, FHLI is pleased to see the House and Senate have named a Joint Legislative Committee on Access to Healthcare and Medicaid Expansion. We look forward to supporting the committee’s work as we collectively strive toward a better, healthier North Carolina.