News Release

Connecticut Health Foundation names two new board members, awards six grants

HARTFORD, Conn. (July 1, 2019) – The Connecticut Health Foundation has named hospital executive Patrick A. Charmel and finance expert Cynthia H. Tseng to its board of directors.

“We are proud to welcome Pat and Cindy to the board and look forward to the insights and experience they will bring to the foundation,” Board Chair David Newton said.

This is a photo of Patrick Charmel

Patrick A. Charmel

Charmel is president and chief executive officer of Griffin Hospital and its parent organization, Griffin Health Services Corporation. Charmel also serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Planetree International and is chairman of the Value Care Alliance. Charmel is involved in health policy at the state level, serving on the State Innovation Model Steering Committee and the state Health IT Advisory Council. He serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Connecticut Hospital Association, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Valley United Way.

Charmel is a graduate of Quinnipiac University and has a Master of Public Health degree from Yale University.

This is a photo of Cynthia Tseng

Cynthia H. Tseng

Tseng is a partner at Fairview Capital, a private equity investment management firm where she is involved in research, due diligence, investment monitoring, and business development for Fairview’s private equity/venture capital portfolios. Tseng previously worked as an investment banking associate at J.P. Morgan and conducted equity research on aerospace companies for a top institutional investor analyst. She is a board member of The Association of Asian American Investment Managers and Hartford Performs, a CFA charter holder, and a member of the Hartford CFA Society.

Tseng is a graduate of Brown University and received a Master of Business Administration degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

The new board members replace three who are concluding their board terms: Harold L. Rives III, Robert J. Krzys, and M. Saud Anwar.

“We are grateful for the wisdom and contributions of our retiring board members,” Newton said. “Each brought important expertise – Hal in financial matters, Bob in legal and policy issues, and Saud in the realities of delivering health care. We will miss them and are grateful for their passion and work on behalf of the foundation.”

Six grants awarded

The foundation awarded six grants this quarter, totaling $200,000. They are:

Christian Community Action, New Haven: $25,000
Christian Community Action is an ecumenical social service organization involved in both direct service and advocacy. Its advocacy work includes efforts to help community members share their experiences with policymakers to help ensure that public policy meets the needs of people of color in low-income communities. This funding will support the organization’s HEALTH group (Helping Everyone Achieve Lifelong Trusted Healthcare), which works to increase the number of people of color in low-income communities who participate in health care reform efforts.

Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut (CONECT), New Haven: $25,000
CONECT is an interfaith organization focused on community and social justice issues and is made up of 28 congregations and institutions from East Haven to Norwalk. This funding will support CONECT’s work on health care affordability and mental health issues.

Connecticut Legal Services, Middletown: $50,000
This funding will support Connecticut Legal Services’ work to address barriers that prevent low-income Connecticut residents from being able to access health care, including problems with non-emergency medical transportation provided through Medicaid. These barriers include long wait times for transportation, canceled rides, and clients being incorrectly told they are not eligible for transportation.

Connecticut Students for a Dream, Bridgeport: $50,000
Connecticut Students for a Dream is a statewide network that advocates for the rights of undocumented youth and their families. The group plans to organize immigrant youth and others to advocate for policies to make health care more accessible to undocumented individuals in the state. In addition, it will train immigrant youth of color in advocacy and organizing skills.

Cross Street Training and Academic Center, Middletown: $25,000
This funding supports the Ministerial Health Fellowship, a group of black faith leaders in New Britain, Hartford, and Middletown who advocate on health issues. Faith leaders are well-positioned to advocate on health matters because they hold trusted roles in their communities and members of their congregations often turn to them when they face health challenges. The Ministerial Health Fellowship focuses on health insurance affordability and health care access, as well as the health care delivery system, in working to address health disparities.

Discretionary grant
The foundation awarded the following President’s Discretionary Grant, a form of funding awarded to organizations and institutions that respond to the foundation’s overall mission or priority areas:

Asnuntuck Community College, Enfield: $25,000
This funding will support work to create a health and wellness hub on campus to connect students to primary and ongoing care. The hub will provide information about health care and social service options and connect students to providers in the community, in part by hosting regular visits from community health care providers who can arrange appointments for students and address barriers they face in getting care and services. The hub will be modeled after similar services in other states.

For more information, please contact Arielle Levin Becker at 860-724-1580 x 16 or

About the Connecticut Health Foundation

The Connecticut Health Foundation is the state’s largest independent health philanthropy dedicated to improving health outcomes for people of color. Since its creation in 1999, the foundation has awarded more than $63 million to nonprofit organizations and public entities to expand health equity, reduce health disparities, expand health coverage, and improve the health of all Connecticut residents.