Missouri Foundation for Health recently welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors. Connie Cunningham, Janet Gooch and Andwele Jolly will each offer their expertise for a three-year term. The new directors represent different portions of the Foundation’s service area and will provide their unique perspectives to the 15-member group. Each director must have expertise, education and/or experience in one or more of the following areas: provision of health care, asset management and investment strategy, philanthropic administration or public health care.
Connie J. Cunningham of Jefferson City, Missouri, serves as the executive director for the Missouri Family Health Council, Inc., administering Title X funding to 20 agencies that provide family planning services to low-income individuals statewide. As someone who has spent many years advocating for the reproductive health of those in need, Cunningham’s 30-year professional career has included serving as legislative director/lobbyist for the Missouri Department of Social Services, president/CEO for United Way of Central Missouri, manager of community services and health promotion at St. Mary’s Health Center and statewide service coordinator for the Missouri Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Program. She is also on the board of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association.
Janet Gooch, a licensed speech-language pathologist, is dean of the School of Health Sciences and Education at Truman State University, Kirksville. She is a former chair of the Communication Disorders Department at Truman, and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses as a professor there. Gooch has lectured and written extensively on professional training, screening and treatment related to speech and language disorders, and was vice president of legislative affairs for the Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She has served on the board of the Kirksville R-III School District and the provost search committee for Truman State. Gooch joined MFH’s Community Advisory Council in 2012.
Andwele Jolly is a Manager of Business Operations for the Divisions of Allergy & Immunology and of Rheumatology at Washington University School of Medicine. Prior to his current role, Jolly served as the school of medicine’s first Executive Management Fellow. His previous experiences also include serving as a clinic director of a physical therapy, sports medicine and ergonomic practice. Jolly remains active in the American Physical Therapy Association, American College of Healthcare Executives, Regional Business Council’s Young Professional Network, and the National Association of Health Services Executives, where he serves as president of the St. Louis chapter.
Prospective Board members are identified, screened and nominated by the Foundation’s 13-member Community Advisory Council. Applicants must be Missouri residents and live within MFH’s service region of 84 counties and the City of St. Louis. Board members must have demonstrated an ability to contribute perspective in either health care access for the poor and uninsured; affordable care for the poor and uninsured; health promotion in underserved communities; health care quality and outcome improvement; health care needs of women, children, the elderly, low income, ethnic and cultural minorities; health education or general issues of public health.
“I believe that joining the Missouri Foundation for Health Board of Directors is one small part of giving back to a community that has served me and my family well,” said Jolly. “My hope for the region is that everyone has timely access to exceptional and affordable health care, eliminating health care disparities and improving health outcomes for all.”