Maggie Sauer Steps Down as CEO and President

On June 7, 2017, Maggie Sauer will step down as the Foundation’s President and CEO and will transition to a new position as the Director for the North Carolina Office of Rural Health. Anne Thomas, our Board Chair, will immediately step in as Interim President and CEO following Maggie’s departure.

While all of us here at the Foundation are sad to see Maggie go, we are grateful for the hard work, leadership, and guidance she has provided during her time here.

“It has been my distinct honor to serve as the President/CEO of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation for the past five and a half years,” Maggie says. “The Board of Directors and staff are some of the brightest and most dedicated people I have had the privilege of working with and I know under the interim leadership of Anne Thomas, the innovation will continue. The communities and stakeholders that have placed their trust in us to do our work is the reason the Foundation thrives. In my new role as the Director of the NC Office of Rural Health, I look forward to seeing the organization continue to make innovative impact.”

When Maggie first came to the Foundation, it was clear to all that she had a big vision. Today, the results that show are indicative of her hard work and dedication. Since she joined, our staff size has tripled, our footprint on NC has expanded to a national scale, and our internal tools have grown significantly.

Calvin Allen Portrait“Maggie refused to let us be a collection of health programs or simply a program incubator,” says staff member Calvin Allen, Director of Rural Forward NC. “She wanted to impact NC with a dynamic group of leaders and innovative approaches to whole person, community-based health interventions. For that, for her constant support of Rural Forward NC, and her efforts to make us more of a true team, I am forever grateful.”

Staff member Zulayka Santiago, Director of the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative also expresses appreciation for Maggie’s leadership.

Zulayka Santiago Portrait“It’s not easy for women to achieve positions of power, and it is even more challenging to achieve those positions of power and maintain a sense of genuineness, kindness and warmth,” she says. “My direct experience with Maggie has provided an example of a woman who has done just that, and I am forever grateful for the trust, support and encouragement she has extended me.”

While Maggie will no longer be a part of the Foundation, we are excited to continue to work closely with her as colleagues in her new position leading the NC Office of Rural Health.

“The Foundation has a long and rich history with ORH that we know will continue and grow under Maggie,” says Steve Cline, Foundation Board Chair. “We look forward to new collaborations between these two organizations serving the rural residents of North Carolina.”


We are also fortunate to have our previous Board Chair, Anne Thomas step in as Interim President and CEO.

“Anne is an experienced public health leader and from her experience on the Foundation Board, including Chair, she knows the programs we operate as well as the staff and other board members,” says Steve. “We can think of no better person to lead us through the transition to the appointment of a permanent President.”

Having served  on the Board of Directors for five years, Anne looks forward to serving in her new position with the Foundation. “I am invested in the important and impactful work and the dedicated and talented team here at the Foundation,” she says. “It is my honor and privilege to serve as Interim President/CEO to assure a smooth leadership transition and to keep our momentum going.”

Overall, we are endlessly grateful for all that Maggie has contributed to the organization, and are committed to continue building on the solid foundation that she has established. We wish her all the best in her new position and look forward to continue working with her to improve the overall health of communities in North Carolina and beyond.