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Health Foundation selects seventh cohort of Health Leadership Fellows

By Eric Reinhardt


BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Health Foundation for Western & Central New York has awarded fellowships to 39 Upstate health-care professionals, including a dozen in Central New York.

Now in its seventh 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.

The Health Foundation for Western & Central New York is an independent, private foundation that say it’s focused on improving health and health care across western and central New York, with a special emphasis on “young children, vulnerable older adults and the systems serving them.” The Buffalo–based organization operates a Syracuse office at the Central New York Philanthropy Center at 431 E. Fayette St.

The Health Foundation designed the 18-month fellowship program to improve the critical-thinking skills of leaders in health and human-service organizations.

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

The fellowship additionally offers individual leadership development, academic and team support, and executive coaching, the Health Foundation said.

The 2016-2018 Central New York fellows are:

  • Inga Back, coordinator, Oswego County Opportunities
  • Christina Cain, director, Herkimer County Public Health
  • Karen Carroll, director of education, Crown Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, Cortland
  • Shannon Holmes, program director, The Parkway Center, Utica
  • Catherine James, CEO, Alzheimer’s Association of CNY, Syracuse
  • Melissa Jillson, director, Liberty Resources, Inc., Syracuse
  • Daphene Johnson, CAO, Syracuse Community Health Center
  • Candace Murray, CCO, Catholic Charities of Onondaga County
  • Kathryn Pagliaroli, director of quality and patient safety, Oswego Hospital
  • Judith Reilly, services director, Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc., Utica
  • Shannyn Ryan, director of senior services, The Salvation Army, Syracuse
  • Donna White, director of inpatient rehabilitation services and occupational therapy supervisor, The Centers at St. Camillus, Geddes

Since 2005, the Health Foundation has accepted 253 health leadership fellows into its program.

A selection committee chose the fellows through an application process. The selection criteria includes leadership ability, the support of the nominee’s organization, and the potential benefit of the program to the applicant’s organization and community.

As graduates of the Health Leadership Fellows program, they continue their work as members of the Fellows Action Network, the Health Foundation said.

Contact Reinhardt at

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