Karen McNeil-Miller Named Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Health Foundation

For Immediate Release
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DENVER, CO —The Colorado Health Foundation’s Board of Directors has selected Karen McNeil-Miller as its next president and chief executive officer. Currently the president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem, N.C., McNeil-Miller will assume her role on Sept. 1, 2015. 

Karen McNeil-Miller

"We chose Karen because of her significant experience leading a philanthropic organization and deep technical expertise in issue areas comparable to the Foundation’s. She has the individual and organizational leadership skills required to lead the Colorado Health Foundation, which has experienced significant growth over the past few years and intends to function in perpetuity,” said Dr. Donald Murphy, board chair of the Colorado Health Foundation and medical director of Medicare Services at Colorado Access. “Karen brings strategic experience that complements well her commitment to improving the health and health care of Coloradans.”

“I am humbled and excited to be joining the Foundation — humbled to have been selected as a steward for this most precious Colorado resource and excited to join an organization with such a dynamic vision. It will be my honor to continue and expand the work that is currently underway toward improving the health of all Coloradans,” said McNeil-Miller. 

Under her leadership, the Trust developed and launched Healthy Places NC — a decade-long, $100 million initiative to improve the health of 10 to 12 of the state’s low-income, rural communities. The Trust’s health improvement work in rural communities, as well as its work to help residents access health insurance through the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, has garnered national attention from philanthropic peers, the Federal Office of Rural Health and health care leaders. 

McNeil-Miller also developed the Trust’s long-term $30 million initiative — Great Expectations — to invest in Forsyth County’s financially disadvantaged children to ensure they are successful in life and school. A former special education teacher and Head of the Piedmont School, McNeil-Miller pushed for increased investments in education, stemming from her belief that a robust early childhood education program can help close the gap in access to opportunity.

Other significant achievements under McNeil-Miller’s leadership:

  • Expansion of Federally Qualified Health Clinics throughout the state to ensure financially disadvantaged residents, especially those in rural areas, can access quality health care.
  • Rallying local funders when a computer glitch resulted in hundreds of local families unable to access food assistance. The partnership spawned a new coalition of local food funders to examine better ways to provide food to families in need
  • Increased presence of Trust leadership and staff on state and national boards, workgroups and advisory councils.

Prior to joining the Trust, McNeil-Miller spent 16 years with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), an international leadership development and research, nonprofit organization headquartered in Greensboro, N.C. During her tenure — of which she spent six years at the Colorado Springs CCL location — McNeil-Miller developed expertise in individual and organizational leadership development, succession planning, team building, diversity, executive coaching, leading change and transitions, and strategic thinking. She trained executives from the world’s major companies in twenty-four countries.

"Karen’s background and proven track record in successful nonprofit leadership and strategy, research and education make her an exceptional fit for this role. She impressed us as someone integrally involved with the staff and in the communities that are served through her leadership," said Rahn Porter, interim CEO at the Foundation.

McNeil-Miller is active within the nonprofit community, serving as a board member for many organizations including Leadership Winston-Salem, North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, North Carolina Foundation for Advanced Health Programs, North Carolina Institute of Medicine, Novant Health, Nurse Family Partnership State Advisory Council, Southeastern Council on Foundations, United Way of Forsyth County, and University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her doctorate from Vanderbilt University. 

McNeil-Miller will take over from Porter, who has been serving in the interim role since January 2015 when prior CEO Anne Warhover left the Foundation after ten years’ leadership. McNeil-Miller and Porter will spend time over the next few months preparing for the transition.

About the Colorado Health Foundation
The Colorado Health Foundation is singularly focused on helping Coloradans live their healthiest lives by advancing opportunities to pursue good health and achieve health equity through grantmaking, policy and advocacy, strategic private investments and convening to drive change. For more information, please visit www.coloradohealth.org.

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