News Release

Connecticut Health Foundation Adds Three Board Members

Board Members Bring Experience from Financial, Insurance and Health Sectors

HARTFORD, CT– March 15, 2016 – The Board of Directors of the Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) recently added three new members:  John J. Crawford, Chekesha Kidd and MaryAnn Perez-Brescia.

“These new appointments strengthen our board with additional, relevant expertise that will allow us to keep advancing the foundation’s work to ensure that health insurance coverage translates into high-quality care,” says board chairman Sanford Cloud Jr. “We are delighted that they are committing their time and talents to work on behalf of CT Health.”

John J. Crawford, MBA is president of Strategem, LLC based in New Haven. He currently serves on numerous boards, including: Webster Financial Corporation as lead director and chairman of the governance committee, St. Martin de Porres Academy, Albertus Magnus College and Central Connecticut Coast YMCA. Previously, Crawford served as an executive of several financial and utility institutions including:  Aristotle Corporation as chairman and CEO, South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority as president and CEO and Holt Wexler Crawford & Merchant as a financial management consulting partner. John received his MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in accounting from the University of Connecticut.

Chekesha Kidd, MBA, MS is vice president of Group Life and Voluntary Products at The Hartford. Kidd currently serves on the non-profit boards of the Metropolitan Jewish Health System of New York and the Florida-based Chaka Chinyelu Foundation whose mission is to pursue educational and community development goals within African-American communities. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Previously, Kidd served as president of Aetna’s Student Health business, and chief of staff and head of business development for the Hartford’s Local Employer and Consumer Segment. Prior to joining Aetna, she was a financial professional on Wall Street. Kidd earned her MBA in finance and corporate strategy, and an MS in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan.  She received her undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University.

MaryAnn Perez-Brescia, MSN, RN, is an assistant professor of nursing at Three Rivers Community College. She is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. Perez-Brescia is the immediate past president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Hartford Chapter and is the current vice president. She is on the advisory committee of the Connecticut Nurse Coalition-Action Coalition (CNC-AC) and is the co-chair of the CNC-AC diversity subcommittee. Previously, Perez-Brescia was on the faculty at several community colleges and high schools, including Capital Community College and New Britain High School. For six years, she was a psychiatric staff nurse at Riverview Hospital. The Willington resident received both an MS and a BS in Nursing from the University of Hartford College of Education. Recently, Perz-Brescia became a 2015 fellow of the CT Health’s Health Leadership Fellows Program. She has also served on CT Health’s Community Advisory Committee.

About the Connecticut Health Foundation

The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) is the state’s largest independent health philanthropy dedicated to improving lives by changing systems. Since it was established in 1999, the foundation has supported innovative grantmaking, public policy research, technical assistance and convening to achieve its mission – to improve the health of the people of Connecticut. Over the past 15 years, CT Health has awarded grants totaling ovder $57 million in 45 cities and towns throughout the state.

CT Health’s central focus is health equity. To CT Health, health equity means helping more people gain access to better care, especially people of color and underserved populations. Better care includes physical, mental, and oral health.

For more information about the foundation, please visit or contact vice president of policy and communications, Elizabeth Krause at or 860.724.1580, ext. 14.