Current foundation VP will begin new job in September
HARTFORD, CT -- The Connecticut Health Foundation has named Tiffany Donelson to be its next president and CEO, effective Sept. 1. Donelson will succeed Patricia Baker, who plans to retire after more than 20 years as the foundation’s founding leader.
Donelson currently serves as the foundation’s vice president of program, overseeing grantmaking, policy, and communications. The foundation’s board of directors unanimously selected her following a national search.
“Tiffany has a deep understanding of the issues that are core to the foundation’s work. She is a strategic thinker and committed to the foundation’s work of eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities. We are thrilled she will lead us into the future,” Connecticut Health Foundation Board Chair David I. Newton said.
Donelson joined the foundation in 2014 after serving in several leadership roles at Aetna, including as deputy chief of staff for the company’s national business office and as a director in corporate strategy. She previously worked as a consultant at Ingenix Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and received her MPH in health policy and management at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.
Donelson serves on several boards and advisory committees, including the United Way of Connecticut and the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, for which she is vice chair.
“I joined the foundation because health equity is something very personal for me. While Connecticut has made significant progress, there is still a long way to go to ensure that all of us receive equitable care and an equal opportunity to be our healthiest selves,” Donelson said. “Pat Baker has established a legacy of excellence and collaboration in moving our state closer to health equity. I am honored to continue this legacy as our organization continues to move forward to address the needs of our most vulnerable residents. The current pandemic shows the importance of these issues and we will continue to respond to the needs created by the pandemic while focusing on deeper systemic issues and long-term change.”
Founded in 1999, the Connecticut Health Foundation works to improve the health of Connecticut’s residents and eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities through a combination of grantmaking, policy work, and leadership development. The foundation has awarded more than $67 million in grants and has worked on topics including oral health, children’s mental health, expanding access to health coverage and care, improving the care delivery system, connecting clinical care and communities, and advocacy.
Baker, who has led the foundation since inception, originally planned to retire at the end of June, but will stay on as president and CEO until Sept. 1 because of the pandemic and challenges of a transition during this time.
“The COVID 19 pandemic laid bare the entrenched health disparities communities of color face in Connecticut, which increases the importance of the Connecticut Health Foundation’s work to advance health equity by eliminating racial and ethnic disparities,” Baker said. “Tiffany made a career-changing decision when she came to the Connecticut Health Foundation because of her commitment to the foundation’s mission. I leave the foundation confident in Tiffany’s dedication to improving health outcomes for people of color and to ensuring that the next generation of Connecticut residents has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible.”
About the Connecticut Health Foundation
The Connecticut Health Foundation is the state’s largest independent health philanthropy dedicated to improving health outcomes for people of color. Since its creation in 1999, the foundation has awarded more than $67 million to nonprofit organizations and public entities to expand health equity, reduce health disparities, expand health coverage, and improve the health of all Connecticut residents.
Arielle Levin Becker
Director of Communications
Connecticut Health Foundation