In 2017, many of us lost someone dear to us – family, friend, or colleague – and the foundation is no different. We mourned the loss of one of our Community Advisory Committee members, Katrina Clark.
Katrina served as the CEO of Fair Haven Community Health Center, a clinic that had a reputation for patient centeredness before anyone ever coined the term. In four decades, she led the organization as it grew from a small storefront staffed by volunteers to an anchor of New Haven’s health care system, providing critical services to thousands of patients.
In many ways, Fair Haven reflected the values of Katrina. When you met Katrina, she was completely present – you had her complete attention. She conveyed a sense that what you said mattered to her, and even when you disagreed, you knew she would listen attentively and take your position into consideration.
Katrina honored the community by listening and caring for those in the Fair Haven neighborhood, building a community health center that reflected their culture and respecting all who entered. When asked to serve, she was always there, providing a calm voice and great insight. With the passing of Katrina Clark, we all lost someone who made a difference on a personal, professional, and community level. Those of us who worked with her were blessed as she showed us all how to collaborate and what stewardship meant.
The foundation is grateful for Katrina’s thoughtfulness, compassion, commitment to equity and sharing her time to help us be even better than we imagined. We also recognize that this loss was Connecticut’s loss. For me, it was also personal. I met Katrina shortly after I moved to the state to serve as the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Connecticut. I moved not knowing anyone in Connecticut, and Katrina welcomed me and guided me as I learned about health care in Connecticut and New Haven.
It is hard to say goodbye.