BOSTON, MA – The Board of Directors of Fenway Health announced today that it has selected Ellen LaPointe to be its next Chief Executive Officer. LaPointe was selected through a national search process to lead one of the nation’s foremost health centers for care and research focused on LGBTQIA+ health and HIV/AIDS. She will assume the role on March 9, 2020.
LaPointe has held numerous leadership roles in the nonprofit and public health sectors, working in social justice, research, LGBTQIA+/HIV activism and advocacy, health policy, law, and equity over the last three decades. She currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Northern California Grantmakers in San Francisco, a nonprofit that brings together Bay Area philanthropy to advance the common good. During her tenure over the past five years, the organization has strengthened its leading role within a member-based philanthropic community that gives over $3.5 billion annually. LaPointe is also credited with transforming the culture of the organization, including the establishment of a robust equity framework to inform organizational priorities and practices.
Jonathan Matsui, Chair of the Fenway Health Board of Directors, said, “We are delighted to have found an outstanding leader with a proven track record and tremendous commitment to advancing LGBTQIA+ health, HIV treatment and research, racial equity, and social justice. We are confident Ellen has the character, experience, knowledge, skill, energy, passion, and vision needed to lead Fenway Health successfully into the future, and we look forward to working with her.”
“It is an incredible honor to have been selected to join the Fenway Health team,” said LaPointe. “I am well-familiar with the extraordinary, path-breaking role that Fenway Health has played in the provision and advancement of top-quality healthcare for LGBTQIA+ people. I knew the organization well when I was living in New England, and I have been inspired by the organization’s steady, strategic growth and continued evolution and relevance in the community over time.”
Previously, LaPointe served as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at HopeLab, an operating foundation that focuses on technology-based approaches to promoting positive health behavior, and she was Executive Director of Project Inform. She began her career as Coordinator of the Brown University AIDS Program, where she was involved in some of the earliest efforts to ensure access to promising experimental AIDS treatments and life-saving care. LaPointe moved to San Francisco to become Director of Clinical Research at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and later practiced law at a large firm, where she represented pro bono clients in cases involving marriage equality, wrongful eviction, end-of-life liberty, and other matters.
She said, “While LGBTQIA+ people are enjoying unprecedented gains and have access to opportunities many never dreamed we might see in our lifetimes, there remain substantial unmet needs in our communities and continued threats to our hard-won gains. We urgently need to ensure that LGBTQIA+ people have access to high-quality health care and health promotion programs designed specifically for us. We need to advance research that is focused squarely on the health and well-being of LGBTQIA+ people. We need to engage and leverage the rich diversity of our community to strengthen our collective well-being and resilience. And we need to speak loudly and with one voice when policies impacting our lives, families, and communities are being advanced.”
A native of Maine, LaPointe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. She currently serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Lambda Literary Foundation, One Justice, and the United Philanthropy Forum.
Dr. Matsui commended the CEO Search Committee and its co-chairs, Diane M. Tucker and Scott Walker, for leading a national search process in partnership with the executive search firm Spencer Stuart. The search yielded widespread interest in the position and a diverse pool of qualified applicants from across the country.
Dr. Matsui, on behalf of the Board and staff, also extended his thanks to M. Jane Powers for her service as Acting CEO.
“Jane Powers has provided Fenway Health with immeasurable leadership and stability, and we are immensely grateful to her,” said Dr. Matsui.
“I am excited about this new chapter for Fenway and look forward to working closely with Ellen to ensure a smooth transition in the coming months,” said Powers.
About Fenway Health
Since 1971, Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the people in our neighborhoods, the LGBTQIA+ community, people living with HIV/AIDS and the broader population. The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. Fenway’s Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center cares for youth and young adults ages 12 to 29, including those who are LGBTQIA+ or just figuring things out; homeless; struggling with substance use; or living with HIV/AIDS. AIDS Action, Fenway’s public health division, works to reduce the number of HIV infections while supporting those already infected, and operates a needle exchange that serves as an entry point to healthcare services for active substance users.