HCF Announces New Executive Board and Welcomes New Board Members to Advance Health and Racial Equity

HCF Announces New Executive Board and Welcomes New Board Members to Advance Health and Racial Equity

Healthy Communities Foundation Announces New Executive Board and Welcomes New Board Members to Advance Health and Racial Equity


RIVERSIDE, IL (JANUARY 23, 2024) – Healthy Communities Foundation (HCF), a private health conversion foundation based in Riverside, ILproudly announces the appointment of new board leadership and the addition of three distinguished board members, marking a significant stride in the Foundation’s commitment to health and racial equity in its funding area located in Chicago’s South and West Sides and western suburbs of Cook County.

New Executive Board

As of January 1, 2024, HCF’s new Executive Board is as follows:
Carl Bergetz
Carl Bergetz, Board Chair, 2024-2027 term: Bergetz is the Chief Legal Officer for Rush University System for Health and the General Counsel for Rush University Medical Center. He has been on the HCF Board of Directors since being appointed in 2016, previously serving as Vice Chair from 2020 to 2023.
Yesenia Yepez, M.D., Vice Chair, 2024-2027 term: Dr. Yepez is the Associate Program Director and Site Medical Director for the Rush-Esperanza Family Medicine Residency Program based out of Esperanza Health Centers in Brighton Park, a community within HCF’s funding area. She has been on HCF’s Board of Directors and a member of the Program Committee since 2019.
Amalia S Rioja
Amalia Rioja, Treasurer, 2024 term: Rioja is Principal at Rioja, LLC and partner at HOKE, LLC. She has served on the HCF Board since 2016 and as the Foundation’s Immediate Past Board Chair from 2020 to 2023. Rioja will complete Craig Huffman’s last year as Treasurer, with Huffman continuing as an HCF Board member.
Joseph W. McInerney
Joseph McInerney, Secretary, 2024 term: McInerney is the Chief Risk Officer for Northern Trust Asset Management. He has been on the Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2016 and will serve his last year as Secretary in 2024
“Serving as Board Chair these past three years has been a privilege and meaningful journey,” said outgoing Board Chair Amalia Rioja. “As I step into a new role, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the incoming leadership team and welcome the esteemed new members to our Board.”
“I am deeply honored to assume the role of Board Chair alongside this exceptional Board of Directors,” said Carl Bergetz. “I look forward to upholding our values and commitment to stewarding the Foundation’s resources toward advancing health and racial equity in our service region.”

New Board Members

The Foundation welcomes three additions to its Board of Directors:
Ngozi Ezike, M.D.: Dr. Ezike is the President and CEO of Sinai Chicago, the City’s largest private safety net hospital system and Immediate Past Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, where she helped Illinoisians navigate the COVID pandemic. Dr. Ezike resides in LaGrange, a community within the HCF funding region.
Corliss Garner: Garner is the Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Old National Bank. She was named one of 2023 Crain’s Notable Leaders in DEI, an honor also bestowed in 2021. Garner grew up in North Lawndale, a community within the HCF funding region.
Elizabeth Sandoval-Cabrera: Sandoval-Cabrera is the Illinois West Area Director at Citibank, who has been recognized nationally for her leadership in service and sales. She resides in Riverside, a community within the HCF funding region.
Dr. Ezike is new to the Healthy Communities Foundation Board of Directors and Garner and Sandoval-Cabrera have been members of the Foundation’s Finance Committee since 2023. As all HCF Board Members and staff, the new board members live or have a deep connection to the Foundation’s service region, reinforcing their understanding and commitment to its mission and vision.
The appointment of the new Executive Board and Board Members follows the Foundation’s October grant announcement of $6,290,000 in general operating support to 73 nonprofit organizations dedicated to addressing local health needs, improving access to quality health care, and advancing systemic solutions for communities facing significant health and racial inequities.
“Our new board leaders and members bring fresh energy, diverse experiences, and valuable perspectives to the Foundation, enriching our collective vision for health and racial equity in our region,” said Maria Pesqueira, President. “I, along with our staff, are excited for the work we will do together to propel our mission forward in this new chapter.”
The Foundation sees 2024 as a critical year to deepen its commitment to advancing health justice and racial and health equity amid the growing needs of community members in its funding region. 
Learn more about each of the Healthy Communities Foundation Board of Directors at www.hcfdn.org/board-staff/.
For more information, contact Jackie Rodriguez, Director of Communications, at jrodriguez@hcfdn.org or (708)443-4518.

About Healthy Communities Foundation

Healthy Communities Foundation is a community-engaged foundation that seeks to measurably improve the health and well-being of community members in its 27-zip code service area located in the City of Chicago and the western suburbs of Cook County, Illinois. Using health equity as an overarching principle and lens, the Foundation supports and collaborates with organizations that serve its legacy service area and zip codes with the greatest health inequities.

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