Fair Haven Community Health Center
Third Sector New England - New Haven, CT

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Chief Executive Officer, Fair Haven Community Health Center
          Posted: December 5, 2012
          Location: New Haven, Conn.

          The Organization Mission To provide a high quality and efficient health care home that is easily accessed and navigated by both patient and staff for the Fair Haven Community.

          Background Fair Haven Community Health Center (FHCHC) is a nonprofit primary health care organization that has been dedicated to serving the greater Fair Haven community since 1971, and that provides comprehensive health care – from prenatal to pediatric, adolescent to adult and geriatric. Its mission is to provide excellent, accessible health care to the residents of its community, regardless of their ability to pay.

          In 1971, under the leadership of a community advocacy agency called the Alliance for Latin American Progress, the Fair Haven Clinic opened in a local elementary school two evenings a week. With a small group of dedicated nurses, doctors, students and neighborhood volunteers, the clinic was able to serve adults and children on a walk-in basis for minor ailments, immunizations and family planning services. During that first year, it provided 500 visits with an original budget of $5,000 from the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven.

          During the 1970s, the clinic expanded services from episodic care to more comprehensive primary health care. Patients began to consider Fair Haven their medical home and a place where they could come for help. The organization also acquired its first building in 1976, a handsome old Victorian house which stands as an anchor on Grand Avenue, the main thoroughfare of its community. The clinic tripled its hours from 16 to 50 per week in 1978 and initiated a clinic at the Bella Vista Elderly Housing Complex.

          The 1980s was a time of major expansion and growth with the award of federal funding (330 Grant), assignees from the National Health Services Corps, the first full-time clinical staff and the opening of a satellite clinic at Wilbur Cross High School. The clinic’s name was changed from the Fair Haven Clinic to the Fair Haven Community Health Center to reflect the broader range of services provided. In 1988, a second, adjacent building was purchased to connect to the current facility. Through the 1990s and into the present, FHCHC has continued to expand and grow and now provides care to many three-generational families in a comfortable, accessible and supportive environment.

          FHCHC Today The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO), the benchmark organization for quality patient care, accredited FHCHC for its fourth three-year period in late 2011.

          FHCHC is one of 14 federally qualified health centers in Connecticut. The general clinic served approximately 15,000 patients and handled approximately 72,300 patient visits for the fiscal year which ended June 30, 2011. FHCHC has an operating budget of nearly $13 million and net assets of about $3 million.

          The organization is currently led by Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Katrina Clark and its 11-member board, a consumer and community-based board of directors, many of whom are patients, and who provide guidance and direction to the organization’s mission. FHCHC has nearly 200 employees, with a medical director as well as additional directors in finance; human resources; operations and information systems; and grants and quality management.

          FHCHC’s principal partners/supporters include:
          • City, state and federal agencies
          • Private foundations such as Yale/Donaghue, Komen, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Casey, Community Health Network Environmental Support
          • Yale School of Medicine – Free Clinic
          • Individual donors
          The Challenge and Opportunity Fair Haven Community Health Center has been led over the past 39 years by a talented and well regarded executive director who has guided the organization through significant growth during challenging economic times, and has built a strong network of governmental, foundation and community support for FHCHC’s mission and vision. The challenge for the new CEO of FHCHC will be to build upon past successes and provide new, creative and strategic leadership for a complex, multilevel organization/nonprofit, in a community and family based medical care environment. The new CEO will possess strong experience and skills in: financial oversight; fund development and donor relations (demonstrated philanthropic success); social services and family partnerships (working with the underserved); community relations and advocacy; staff development and volunteer management. The CEO position offers the opportunity for a leader to take a passion for FHCHC’s mission, combined with creative ideas, operational expertise, qualities of accountability and excellence, the viewpoint that diversity is a strategic advantage, and use these attributes to create additional ways to expand upon FHCHC’s impact in the Fair Haven community and New Haven. Clients Served and Programs In addition to clinical services, FHCHC coordinates a variety of programs to target various healthcare issues in the Fair Haven community. Programs are designed to provide additional support to patients who receive comprehensive healthcare from FHCHC’s providers. A summary of programs follows:


          · Diabetes prevention/Chabaso community garden

          · Smoking cessation

          · School-based health centers (4)

          · Adult Satellite Center


          · Nurturing families

          · Women, infants, children (WIC)

          · Prenatal groups

          · Minding the baby


          · PediBRIDGE

          · Well baby groups

          · Reach out and read


          · Student groups

          · I promise campaign

          · HIV and AIDS

          · Teen parents

          The WIC program provides nutrition education and food benefits for pregnant and lactating women as well as infants and children under the age of five. Approximately 2,100 individuals benefit from this program. In addition, FHCHC operates The Haven Free Clinic, a student-run free clinic for the uninsured, operating on Saturday mornings in conjunction with Yale Medical, Nursing, Public Health, and PA students.

          Strategic Goals In April 2011 FHCHC underwent a Strategic Management Planning Retreat. As FHCHC moves further into its fourth decade, it will work to achieve the following three-year strategic goals and associated implementation priorities identified at this retreat:
          • Maintain and strengthen financial health
          • Diversify staff with regard to gender, culture, ethnicity, language
          • Develop and retain staff, board, clinical and administrative leadership
          • Maintain and ensure a patient focus
          • Be responsive to the larger community
          • Increase services and enhance resources through linkages and partnerships
          • Build on current strengths/develop best practices
          The entire plan is based on the assumption that the patient remains the center of FHCHC’s plans and action steps. It is also based on the assumption that the organization is still clear about its Mission and our Vision.

          The center is on track to becoming an accredited Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). In addition, FHCHC has strong and long ties with academia, and seeks to continue and expand upon those relationships.

          Profile of the Ideal Candidate Reporting to the board of directors, the CEO must be committed to and knowledgeable of the FQHC environment, the dynamics of the health care system as well as Federal, State and local funding/grants and the political arenas, and the value of collaboration/partnerships.

          The CEO shall be the chief executive officer of the health center, responsible for the successful leadership and management of FHCHC and its programs and services, according to the strategic direction set by the board and FHCHC’s stated purpose. S/he will be a strategic and innovative thinker, a problem solver and a coalition builder; someone who has strong communication and financial management oversight skills; exhibits cultural sensitivity; promotes an environment of continuous improvement; and demonstrates leadership and interpersonal skills.

          The candidate should be energetic and a ‘proven performer’ who is able to hit the ground running. S/he will be a well-organized, results-driven and inspiring leader with the following key responsibilities, professional background and personal characteristics:

          Key Responsibilities Leadership and Vision, including Community and Board Relations
          • Acts as the primary spokesperson, articulating a clear vision of the Fair Haven Community Health Center, promoting the program and building support for programs and initiatives
          • Leads the strategic planning process and work collaboratively with board of directors and leadership team to develop goals and outcome expectations
          • Promotes community interest and participation in development of programs, and directs public relations efforts, including fundraising contacts with funders, banks and public officials
          • Works with other community organizations (hospitals, health centers, mental health facilities, community groups, etc.) to ensure that current services are needed, used and available for the clinic’s patients
          • Cultivates an environment based on innovation, accountability and continuous improvement, and fosters clinician and staff collaboration
          Specific External Board Obligations
          • Represents FHCHC on the Board of Directors of the Community Health Network of Connecticut(monthly or bi-monthly meetings)
          • Represents FHCHC on the Board of Directors of the Community Health Center Association of Connecticut(monthly meetings)
          • May be invited to sit on other advisory committees and boards (e.g., YNHH Community Advisory Board, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars, DOH Committees, Ad Hoc Planning Groups, etc.)
          • Actively advocates in Hartford for community health centers and policies and programs that effect the FHCHC
          Executive Management, Planning and Coordination
          • Develops, evaluates and administers a system of planning and coordinating resources to accomplish the mission of the FHCHC
          • Collaborates with the board and its committees, reviews and analyzes programs and operations and reports regularly to the board and achieves goals set by the board of directors in strategic planning or other venues
          • Chairs the Performance Improvement Council and convenes the research committee to ensure continuous improvement
          • Oversees personnel in carrying out policies and works closely with other key staff and executive management in overseeing policies and benefits in accordance with federal and state requirements
          • Chairs executive management team meetings and supervises EMT members
          Financial Management
          • Achieves and maintains strong financial health; ensures a responsible financial operating base and oversees operating and capital budgets, grant applications and receipt and disbursement of funds
          • Collaborates with the CFO and board treasurer to review and develop budgets; coordinates finance meetings and works with CFO to ensure audit is performed
          Grants and Contract Management and Government Compliance
          • The majority of programs at FHCHC are supported by grant funding that involves research and data collection/evaluation, often conducted by a third party
          • Reviews and approves contracts on behalf of the corporation and consults with legal counsel
          • Accountable to public and private sources and funders for funds they provide to the center
          • Maintains responsibility for ensuring compliance with grant contracts and requirements with local, state and federal regulations. This includes the oversight of over 25 grants, with grant reporting on several; overseeing submission of UDS; negotiating and coordinating oversight with grants coordination staff; submitting the FTCA Deeming application
          • Ensures the center is in compliance with corporate, legal and licensure, including JCACHO oversight, HRSA and other accrediting and funding bodies
          • Updates board regarding FHCHC activities - funding, finances, development and programmatic
          • Provides timely reports and ensures board is apprised of all relevant progress/potential issues
          • Supports efforts for ongoing board development and recruitment
          • Provides information and guidance to the board, in order to maintain awareness of the center’s needs, and to facilitate decision making on policy issues
          Professional background Core Competency/Position Skill Characteristics
          • Leadership skills, including the ability to motivate others
          • Tact, discretion and diplomacy in relating to others both internal and external to the organization, both in personnel management and patient care services
          • Strong interpersonal and facilitation skills
          • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; politically savvy
          • Ability to respond and lead the organization through changes and challenges in a positive manner inclusive of all constituents
          • Ability to build a culture of accountability and excellence
          Technical Qualifications
          • Master’s degree in health care administration, public health, nursing or other related health care administrative or management field; training in business/financial management oversight
          • Minimum of five years of experience in an ambulatory care administration or equivalent progressive responsibility in the delivery of primary care services
          • Five years of experience in health care administration (FQHC or similar) with five years of staff supervision, preferably in a free standing 330-funded community health center environment
          Personal characteristics and leadership attributes Initiative and leadership in fulfilling goals and mission of the center
          • Provides leadership in bringing to the attention of the board and executive leadership issues that affect the center and recommends and implements plans to reach organizational goals
          • Displays initiative in developing action plans and resolving problems as they occur; entrepreneurial
          • Embraces diversity as a strategic advantage; including a diverse workforce in leadership positions
          • A sense of humor; an active listener; a true believer in the cause
          Management Maintains effective systems of internal controls for overseeing contractual and financial operations to ensure maximum generation of revenues and compliance with all federal, state and local requirements

          Job Knowledge
          • Understands the technical and ethical aspects of managing a nonprofit FQHC
          • Provides advice and leadership to staff and board regarding latest health and strategic developments that affect the center clinically and programmatically
          • Understands the duties and responsibilities of the position
          • Clearly understands the research and educational aspects of the FHCHC
          Communication Communicates effectively with multiple audiences using a variety of formats, including written communications that clearly outline and describe a situation, and verbal presentations and briefings to board, staff and leadership, public meetings, legislative testimony

          Dependability and Confidence Assumes responsibilities while remaining calm, conscientious and reliable with respect to the clinic’s goals and missions; shows respect at all times for employees, patients, the board and the public ; possesses a consistent and disciplined demeanor and ability to act as a professional role model internally and externally

          Application Information This executive search and transition is being conducted by Third Sector New England’s Executive Transition Program with Transition Consultant Michael Negrón. To apply, please click here .

          Candidates should include a resume, and a cover letter that describes how their qualifications and experience match the needs of FHCHC, along with salary requirements, how they learned of the position and any other relevant information (such as published articles). All applications will be acknowledged. Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled.

          Fair Haven Community Health Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.

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