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Health Foundation selects 2015 health-leadership fellows

By Eric Reinhardt


BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Health Foundation for Western & Central New York has awarded fellowships to 40 Upstate health-care professionals, including a dozen in Central New York.

Now in its sixth edition, the nonprofit’s health-leadership fellows program seeks to produce a “network of diverse, highly-skilled leaders that will learn to lead collaboratively from both within and outside of their organizations,” the Health Foundation said in a news release issued Tuesday.

The Health Foundation for Western & Central New York seeks to foster positive change in health and health care across Western and Central New York, with a focus on young children, vulnerable older adults, and the systems serving them, according to the release. The Buffalo–based organization also operates a Syracuse office at the Central New York Philanthropy Center at 431 E. Fayette St.

The 40 fellows “become advocates for improved health-care delivery, particularly for vulnerable older adults and children impacted by poverty,” the foundation contends.

“Through the health-leadership fellows program, we can bring leaders from all facets of the health care and human-services community together to learn collaboratively, share best practices and develop new and innovative ways to improve the health of the people living in our region,” Ann Monroe, president of the Health Foundation, said in the release.


The 2015-2017 Central New York fellows include:


·         Chima Chionuma, medical director, Syracuse Community Health Center

·         Brian Coleman, network coordinator, Oswego County Opportunities

·         Christopher Curry, associate director, Catholic Charities of Onondaga County

·         Lisa Green Mills, program coordinator for Syracuse Healthy Start, Onondaga County Health Department

·         Jiancheng Huang, director of public health, Oswego County Health Department

·         Antara Mitra, program director, REACH CNY, Inc.

·         Kim Osborne, vice president of operations, Family Health Network of Central New York

·         Sandra Schwartz, director of out-patient and community-based services, The Centers at St. Camillus

·         Bonnie Slocum, executive director, Madison County Rural Health Network Council, Inc.

·         Chandra Smith, director of day-care services, Salvation Army, Syracuse

·         Jessica Soule, program coordinator, Cayuga Community Health Network

·         Christine Steinman-Reale, director or patient services, St. Camillus Home Care Agency


The 18-month program for fellows includes sessions on personal leadership, results-based leadership, leading change, and communicating as a leader.

In addition to four residential sessions, each spanning two to three days, fellows will meet monthly and develop a “collaborative, inter-organizational” project in small teams.

The program also provides executive coaching for each fellow, as well as access to the fellows’ website and learning materials, the Health Foundation said.

Members of the 2015 class join 214 other health-leadership fellows who have participated in the program since it began in 2005.

The Health Foundation selected the fellows through an application process. A committee that included Health Foundation board members and other local professionals in leadership and health care made the selections.

Selection criteria included leadership ability, the support of the nominee’s organization, and the potential benefit of the program to the applicant’s organization and community, the release stated.


Contact Reinhardt at



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