Returning Home

December 20, 2013

lina paredesAfter serving as Vice President of Program at the Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) since October 2010, I have decided to step down from the position at the end June 2014 and return home to Los Angeles, California.  My decision is made in the spirit of gratitude and optimism. I’m eager for the possibilities that the future holds.

This decision, however, has not been easy. While I have enjoyed so many aspects of my life here in Connecticut, I had to admit to myself that I am home sick. The common theme was the sun. I miss the year-round sunshine. The sheer beauty of the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean. And, most importantly, the warming rays of the familial community I basked in for 27 years.

Don’t get me wrong. Moving to Connecticut has been an adventure on so many levels. Never before did I have to warm up my car in the winter, or shovel snow! Never before had I understood that cabin fever is a real thing. Weather jokes aside, I developed an appreciation of awe for the four-season cycle and how it insists on rebirth and renewal every spring.

My return home is bittersweet for professional reasons also. I am extremely grateful for the tremendous opportunity I have been afforded over the last three years to engage in the important work of CT Health. I have been honored to be part of the foundation’s bold commitments to health equity for people of color, integrated care that is inclusive of oral and mental health, and leadership development, to name a few.

To CT Health’s dedicated staff, board, grantee partners, Fellows, and consultants, all of whom share an amazing passion to improve our communities’ health for the better – I have been privileged to work with you. You have each and collectively been instrumental to my leadership development (both personal and professional), and I cherish each of you for that. I thank you for your commitment and I am proud of what we have accomplished together.

Over the next six months, I will continue to support the implementation of the foundation’s new strategic plan. I’m particularly thrilled to complete my work with the Health Leadership Fellows and the Children’s Mental Health Initiative. I will complete the 2014 Health Leadership Fellows Program with the class, encourage the ongoing engagement of the Fellows network, and help position the program for its 10th year. For our Children’s Mental Health Initiative, I plan to ensure grantees are set to maximize their success. And, I never thought I’d say this, but – I’m excited to manage the completion of our health equity evaluation plan and setting its implementation in motion.

As you can see, I will be here for a while longer and I look forward to our paths crossing in person at least one more time. My hope is that my transition will allow Patricia Baker and the management team the time they need to plan the foundation’s next steps.

I have every confidence that all of you who are part of the Connecticut Health Foundation will continue this important work with deep passion moving forward. Know that I will be cheering you on from the left, oops, I mean west coast. And, of course, if your travels take you out to California, please look me up!


8 Responses to Returning Home

  1. Susan Reisine says:

    Dear Lina – it has been a pleasure working with you. All the best in your new adventure.

  2. Lina Paredes says:

    Thank you Susan! I learned so much about pregnant women’s oral health from the research you did for CT Health. Keep up the good work!

  3. Carol Pollack says:

    I will miss your smile, optimisim and positive energy. I do know what you mean about missing the sun. Maybe we can open a West Coast branch! Best wishes as you enter this next phase.

  4. Vicki Veltri says:

    All the best to you, Lina. You will be missed. The pull of the Pacific is hard to resist! (Hermosa Beach is one of my favorite places.) Thank you for your work here and your support of our work.

  5. Tessie Zanoria says:

    Welcome back Lina! We sure are glad to have you back here in LA and are excited to hear about the work you did with CT Health.

  6. Lina Paredes says:

    Thank you, Carol and Vicki. It has been an honor to work with both of you. And if you ever need a break from the east coast, come visit the west! I’ll make sure the sun shines just for you!

  7. Yoellie Iglesias says:

    Lina I will miss you. Was an honor and a great opportunity for me work under your leadership. Thank you for believe in my work and for your support. Please keep in touch.. All the best, Yoellie Iglesias- 203-232-7779

  8. Yolanda Caldera-Durant says:

    Lina it was been a great pleasure to work with you over this past year. I will miss your positive energy and encouragement. I look forward to seeing “your” Los Angeles in the future and to staying in touch.

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