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Contact: Courtney Z. Stewart
Missouri Foundation for Health
Missouri Foundation for Health Names Dr. Dwayne Proctor as its New President and CEO
Proctor’s bold vision to achieve health equity in Missouri in 10 years offers a sense of hope and healing at a time when it’s needed most
St. Louis, MO (March 18, 2021) – Missouri Foundation for Health today announced Dr. Dwayne Proctor as its new president and CEO, effective May 3, 2021. Proctor, a well-respected philanthropic leader, comes to MFH from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in New Jersey, where he held the position of senior adviser to the president. Positioned for the next phase in its evolution, MFH is pleased to welcome Proctor during a time when the role of philanthropy is expanding and shifting and is looking forward to his leadership advancing the Foundation into even greater impact.
“After a comprehensive national search, we are thrilled to have Dwayne join us in Missouri,” said Brooks Miller, MFH Board chair. “Bob has left the Foundation in good health, and we are certain that Dwayne’s innovation and experience are what’s needed for us to be even better at improving the health of Missourians. He’s worked on so many of the same issues that are important to us at MFH, and we are excited to embrace his fresh thinking and perspectives.”
Proctor will work closely with MFH Board and Community Advisory Council members on Foundation governance responsibilities, while leading an Executive Team of experts in health policy, learning and research, strategic communications, program administration, and strategic initiatives. His vision to achieve health equity in 10 years aligns well with MFH’s mission of eliminating the underlying causes of health inequities, transforming systems, and enabling individuals and communities to thrive. Proctor’s understanding of the value of building and relying on partnerships – both local and national – to generate positive changes in health will help MFH accomplish its goal of contributing toward an enabling environment for improving health equity in the state.
“I believe that health equity can be achieved in Missouri for all who live in Missouri,” said Proctor. “I believe that health equity can be achieved in partnerships and collaborations with others. I believe that our success in Missouri will inform other states’ efforts and attract investments to what will eventually become a healthy, thriving Missouri. I am beyond excited to experience all that Missouri has to offer.”
“As I step down at the Foundation, I couldn’t be happier to pass on the torch to Dwayne,” said Bob Hughes, current MFH president and CEO. “Missouri is a wonderful, unique place, and Dwayne will do great things here.”
During his nearly 20 years in philanthropy, Proctor has always worked to ensure various communities were healthy and thriving. He arrived at RWJF in 2002 as a senior communications and program officer, providing strategic guidance and resources for several child health and risk-prevention initiatives such as Nurse-Family Partnership, Free to Grow, Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol-Free, Partnership for a Drug-Free America, and the National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy.
In 2005, Proctor was tapped to lead RWJF’s national strategies to reverse the rise in childhood obesity rates. In this role, he worked with his colleagues to promote effective changes to public policies and industry practices; test and demonstrate innovative community and school-based environmental changes; and use both “grassroots” and “treetops” advocacy approaches to educate leaders on their roles in preventing childhood obesity. His work at RWJF has been varied and extensive, preparing him for his new role as a Missouri changemaker.
“While Dwayne’s presence will be greatly missed at RWJF, I can’t think of a better fit for his passion and leadership,” shared Rich Besser, RWJF president and CEO. “His commitment to health equity, generosity with his knowledge and experience, and wise and supportive guidance will have a great impact on the health of all in Missouri.”
Before RWJF, Proctor was an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine where he taught courses on health communication and marketing to multicultural populations. During his Fulbright Fellowship in Senegal, West Africa, his research team investigated how HIV/AIDS prevention messages raised awareness of AIDS as a national health problem. Proctor received his doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in marketing and communication science from the University of Connecticut. He is the former chairman of the board of directors for the Association of Black Foundation Executives and currently is the chairman of the board of trustees for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Foundation.
Proctor, who’s drawn to Missouri’s vibrant social culture and arts communities, is eager to move to the Show Me State. He is devoted to his family, which includes two daughters, his father, sisters, brothers, and a large, loving extended family.