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Brenda Solórzano Named CEO of Headwaters Health Foundation

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Join us in congratulating Brenda Solórzano on her new role as the first CEO of the Headwaters Health Foundation of Western Montana! She is currently the Vice Chair of NCG's Board of Directors and the Chief Program Director at the Blue Shield of California Foundation. Her final board meeting with NCG is tomorrow, February 2nd. Brenda, thank you for your service—you will be missed!

Take a look at the note below from the President and CEO of the Blue Shield of California Foundation, Peter Long, Ph.D.

Partners and friends, 

Today I am writing to share some very exciting news. Starting in early April, Brenda Solórzano, our chief program director, will become the first chief executive officer for the Headwaters Health Foundation of Western Montana. Headwaters, a brand new health foundation, will focus on health and underserved communities, including Native American tribes, in western Montana. Brenda will have an opportunity to shape the foundation from the ground up—and I could not think of a better fit for this assignment than her.

On a personal note, I have known Brenda for more than a decade, and in that time, I have witnessed her extraordinary leadership, professionalism, and partnership firsthand. I could not be happier for Brenda and her family as they take on this exciting opportunity.
Brenda came to the Blue Shield of California Foundation in 2005 as it was being revitalized and dramatically expanded in both its scope and ambition. She helped lead the Foundation from its start-up phase to its current position as a recognized leader in supporting California’s healthcare and domestic violence safety nets. On behalf of the Board and staff, I want to thank Brenda for her leadership in helping the Foundation play a role in so many gains for underserved Californians, including among others:

  • Seeing the passage and supporting successful implementation in California of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the most comprehensive health reform law since the creation of the Medicaid and Medicare programs;
  • Developing a successful bridge to health care reform in California that became the infrastructure for the Medi-Cal expansion under the ACA;
  • Launching the Clinic Leadership Institute and the Strong Field Project; and
  • Expanding the breadth of organizations addressing domestic violence in California.

As excited as we all are for Brenda, her departure creates real challenges and opportunities for the Foundation. We are losing a talented and valued leader who has grown with the Foundation over the years and has had an immeasurable impact on so many different aspects of our work. We are developing a comprehensive transition plan to ensure that we continue all of the important work that Brenda has led and continue to support our partners during this critical period. It goes without saying that our mission, values, and goals will not change.
To this end, we recently hired Katherine Haynes Sanstad to serve as an interim program director. Katherine is an experienced leader, and I am confident she will contribute immediately to the Foundation’s success and help with the transition process. She will be joining the team on a part-time basis beginning on Monday, February 6, 2017. We will also be conducting a comprehensive search to ensure that our team is best positioned to continue working to achieve our mission. We will share a position description as soon as it is available. In the interim, please refer any talented individuals who may be interested in helping to lead the next phase of our work.
Brenda’s last day at the Foundation will be Wednesday, March 15th. We are grateful for her many contributions to the Foundation, our partners, and the field over the past twelve years, and we wish her well in her next venture. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns that I can address at this time.
With gratitude,

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