Thursday, May 22, 2014

Wyandotte Health Foundation names new President/CEO

By Therese Horvat

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The Wyandotte Health Foundation (WHF) Board of Directors has announced the selection of Cathy Harding as its new President/CEO.

She will transition to the role in early July, succeeding founding President/CEO Bill Epperheimer, who will retire after nearly 17 years at the helm of WHF.

Harding has worked in the health care safety net environment for nearly two decades, focusing on initiatives that improve the health of low-income and uninsured individuals.

Since 2007, she has served as the Executive Director of the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, the Primary Care Association of Kansas.

As such, Harding has worked with health clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers, local health departments, members of the Kansas Legislature and health foundations across the state to promote health care access for underserved populations, including those in Wyandotte County.

A Kansas native, Harding previously held leadership positions with Ozark Tri-County Health Care Consortium and served as the Executive Director of the Flint Hills Community Health Center in Emporia.

The WHF Search Committee selected Harding from a “very strong slate of candidates.” Leon Logan, chair of the WHF Board of Directors said, “We were impressed by Cathy’s strong passion for making a difference in the lives of others.  She has dedicated much of her career to supporting safety net clinics and advocating for policies that improve population health.  The Board feels that her talents will be a great asset to the Wyandotte County community.”

“To have been selected as the CEO of the Wyandotte Health Foundation is a great honor, as well as a great responsibility that I do not take lightly.  I’m excited about working with the Board, stakeholders and citizens of this community to make an impact on the health of the county,” said Harding.

The Wyandotte Health Foundation was established in 1997 with proceeds from the sale of Bethany Medical Center to Columbia HCA.

The organization ranks No. 18 on the Kansas City Business Journal’s list of top area charitable trusts and foundations, with approximately $40 million in assets.

WHF has awarded over $30 million to organizations providing health care services to uninsured and underinsured residents of Wyandotte County, including $1.8 million in grants in its 2013 funding cycle.

The Foundation recently announced a $1 million grant to the proposed $30-million Healthy Campus initiative in Kansas City, Kansas.