News Release

Connecticut Health Foundation names Chekesha Kidd new board chair

HARTFORD, Conn. (June 27, 2023) – The Connecticut Health Foundation elected Chekesha Kidd as chair of its board of directors. She succeeds Kenneth R. Alleyne in chairing the board of Connecticut’s largest independent health foundation.

The foundation also named Getty Atienza and Kristie Kuhl to its board of directors, and awarded $315,000 in grants this quarter.

This is a photo of Chekesha Kidd

Chekesha Kidd

Kidd is the founder of Kinumi, a health and lifestyle platform for older adults that focuses on supporting them and their caregivers in living independently. She previously served in executive roles at Delta Dental of Minnesota, The Hartford, and Aetna, where she was president of the student health business. Her experience also includes more than a decade in investment banking. Kidd serves on the Alumni Board of Governors for the University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business. She holds a Master of Business Administration in finance/corporate strategy and a Master of Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University.

Kidd previously served as vice chair of the Connecticut Health Foundation’s board. The leadership slate elected this month also includes Vice Chair Alvin Thompson, Secretary Dennis Torres, and Treasurer Cynthia Tseng.

“The work of the Connecticut Health Foundation is deeply important to me,” Kidd said. “I am thrilled to serve as board chair and to support the foundation in finding the most effective and innovative ways to advance health equity for people of color.”

New board members

Getty Atienza is a managing director and the global head of product management for Blackstone Alternative Asset Management. He previously served in executive roles at Gartner and Bridgewater Associates and held positions at the International Finance Corporation, Goldman Sachs, and Bain & Company. He is a graduate of Ateneo de Manila University and Harvard Business School.

Kristie Kuhl is global managing director, health and wellness for the integrated communications company Zeno Group. She previously served as managing partner, global health practice leader for Finn Partners, and has held roles at the communications firms Cohn & Wolfe and Makovsky + Company. She is a graduate of Fairfield University and the Quinnipiac University School of Law.’

“We are excited for the perspectives and expertise Getty and Kristie will bring to the board, and we’re equally grateful to our board members who are taking on new leadership roles,” Connecticut Health Foundation President and CEO Tiffany Donelson said. “We’re also grateful for Ken’s dedication to the foundation and appreciate all that he contributed during his 10 years as a board member.”

Grants awarded

The foundation awarded five grants in the second quarter of 2023, totaling $315,000. They are:

Charter Oak Health Center, Hartford: $150,000
This funding will support the second year of a three-year project designed to demonstrate the return-on-investment of community health worker services in supporting children with asthma. The intervention is focused on children whose asthma required hospitalization, emergency or urgent care, or who were identified as high risk by a health care provider. Over a four-month period, a community health worker visits the child’s family at home multiple times and works with the child’s primary care provider to create a care plan. The community health worker can also provide supplies to help reduce asthma triggers and helps coordinate services to meet other needs such as transportation, food insecurity, housing, and health care coverage. The intervention is intended to help families better control their children’s asthma, leading to reduced emergency department visits and fewer school absences. The intervention is one of four models for community health worker services identified by researchers in 2017 as ways to improve health and produce a positive return-on-investment.

Greater Waterbury Health Partnership, Waterbury: $65,000
This funding will support the Greater Waterbury Health Partnership in transitioning its community care team from being supported primarily by grants to having sustainable funding. The community care team brings together a wide range of health care and social service providers to meet the needs of individuals with high health care and social service needs. The model includes using community health workers to support individuals and coordinate their care and services. With earlier funding from the Connecticut Health Foundation, Greater Waterbury Health Partnership worked with analysts who were able to demonstrate that the community care team’s work improved outcomes – clients were more likely to have housing, receive treatment for substance use, and have better control of chronic conditions – and saved money by helping individuals get routine care and avoid emergency department visits and other more costly care.

The Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers, Hartford: $50,000
This funding will support the association’s work to expand school-based health centers to communities with limited services and to increase access to medical, mental health, and oral health care for students. In addition, the association plans to explore ways to create a statewide data collection system for school-based health centers and address workforce development issues. The association will also advocate for the expansion of Medicaid coverage to more young people, and will help inform families whose children may be newly eligible for coverage.

Discretionary grants

President’s discretionary grants are awarded to organizations and institutions that respond to the foundation’s overall mission or priority areas.

Covering My Sisters, Shelton: $25,000
Covering My Sisters is a breast cancer support group that serves anyone with breast cancer and has a special focus on African American women. This funding will support the production of the Covering My Sisters toolkit and workbook, which are intended to bring breast health and breast cancer education to African American and other minority communities. This funding will also support capacity-building for the organization.

University of Connecticut, Storrs: $25,000
This funding will support the University of Connecticut School of Nursing in launching a program designed to address barriers to entry and completion of nursing education by students of color. The program will raise the visibility of the nursing profession to racially and ethnically diverse high school students and support these students, with discussions on topics including financial aid resources, career planning and advising, mentoring, health care issues affecting students’ communities, and health equity. The program is intended to help address the need to increase both the size and diversity of the nursing workforce in the state.

For more information, please contact Arielle Levin Becker at or 860-724-1580 x 116.