Organization: Michael Reese Health Trust

Location: Chicago, IL

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About Michael Reese Health Trust:

Michael Reese Health Trust (‘MRHT’ or ‘the Foundation’) is a catalyst for change, an active player in improving the health and well being of those in metro Chicago, particularly its most vulnerable.

The mission of the Michael Reese Health Trust is to improve the health of people in Chicago’s metropolitan communities through effective grant making in health care, health education and health related policy development, assessment and advocacy.

The Foundation was established when the nonprofit Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center was sold to Humana, a for-profit corporation.  Carrying on the Michael Reese tradition, MRHT has worked since 1995 to improve the health of the area’s poor, children and youth, people with disabilities, the elderly, immigrants and refugees, the uninsured, and others not adequately served by existing health care delivery systems.

MRHT focuses a portion of its funding on Jewish institutions and issues to fulfill the 110-year legacy of Michael Reese Hospital, founded and supported primarily by the Jewish community. The Foundation, in fulfilling its Jewish responsibilities to participate in the arena of general community needs and problem solving, strives to serve the health care needs of vulnerable and underserved Chicagoans of all races and ethnic origins.

The size of the Trust is approximately $145 million, and it distributes about $6.3 million annually through its grant programs.

In addition to some restricted funds, MRHT has two grant making programs that generally receive equal attention and comparable funding:

Responsive Grant Program

The Responsive Grant Program accepts applications for support of specific projects, programs, or general operations. Areas of interest include increasing access to health and social services, innovation in health care delivery, disease prevention, education for health care providers, policy analysis, and advocacy to improve health care systems serving those in greatest need. The Foundation does not fund “bench” research or capital programs. Most grants are made for one year, though the Foundation will make a small number of strategic multi-year awards.

Proactive Grant Program

Through the Proactive Grant Program, MRHT works with a wide range of public and private partners to develop more effective, integrated health care delivery models—systems geared to provide individuals with comprehensive, coordinated services. The program is staff-driven and is often informed by the work of the Responsive Grant Program.

MRHT is guided by the following grant making principles:

Define Health Broadly: Allow for more comprehensive, lasting and creative approaches;

Support Effective Systems that Increase Health and Wellness: Seek improved quality, and sustainability beyond individual grants;

Focus on Quality Programs: Wherever possible, seek to support programs/projects that can be objectively demonstrated (e.g., evidence-based strategies, objectively derived “Best Practices”), and for programs with no formal evaluation, examine fidelity to known effective approaches, where possible, and validate quality utilizing community and expert reference checking;

Nurture Sustainability: Build the capacity for effective programs and organizations so that they may continue to thrive and grow; and

Nurture and Reinforce Outstanding Leadership: Strive to attract, train, network and support individuals and teams that are talented, ethical, experienced, committed, and creative.

In addition to making grants, MRHT convenes forums and other meetings that bring together innovative thinkers, policymakers, advocates, funders, and practitioners to create long-term solutions to the region’s persistent and emerging health care challenges.

MRHT currently operates with a staff of four full-time professionals, including the President & CEO.

Please visit for more information on the Michael Reese Health Trust.

The Opportunity:

Michael Reese Health Trust has enjoyed steady growth and has positively impacted health and healthcare for the underserved in metro Chicago, earning great respect in the field. The Board of Trustees recognizes this moment of transition for its leadership as a time to take stock and carefully consider the future of MRHT’s work and how the Foundation can move to an even higher level of impact.

The Trustees will look to its new President & CEO to build upon MRHT’s achievements and continue its momentum in providing leadership and resources to impact health and healthcare for the underserved. This strategic thinking will involve a thoughtful review of the structure and function of the Foundation’s operations to ensure optimization of assets.

In collaboration with the staff and Board, the major role of the President & CEO is to provide leadership and guidance in establishing goals, strategies, policies and procedures for grant making and operations of the organization.

The President & CEO will have the character and confidence to work comfortably in a visible role with a variety of stakeholders and relationships.

Candidate Profile:

The Board seeks a President & CEO that shares and understands the core Michael Reese Health Trust values and mission and will implement them in guiding his/her work.

This leader will be comfortable and confident being a leader in the Chicago healthcare and social services communities and well beyond. Importantly, s/he will be a person of high integrity and accountability.

The ideal candidate will possess attributes and competencies in four key areas:

Strategic Leadership and Implementation: The next President & CEO will partner closely with the Board, working to align a range of varying interests and ensure the strategy of the Foundation is being implemented effectively. The President & CEO will be a steady, mature and confident force, with a history of being thoughtful, yet bold, in responding to community needs and capturing opportunities.

Collaboration and Consensus Building: The President & CEO will be a positive and proactive communicator who will support a culture of collaboration among the Board and staff. S/he will be experienced at bringing together varied constituencies, providing clear expectations and accountability measures to support the work of the Foundation. S/he will actively and strategically seek partnerships and build coalitions with other nonprofit organizations, foundations, and leaders; s/he will have the humility to understand MRHT will be most effective with strong allies.

Business Acumen & Management: The President & CEO will be a seasoned executive with strong staff and financial management experience and exceptional verbal and written communication skills. S/he will have a track record of sound financial planning, oversight, and accountability, which includes the ability to clearly communicate financial status to the Board. S/he will inspire a staff with a diverse set of skills and provide staff with a productive work environment and professional growth opportunities that result in team cohesion and camaraderie.

Passion for the Mission: The President & CEO will have a passion for MRHT’s mission and a commitment to Chicago’s healthcare and social services community. S/he will embrace the Foundation’s culture of service and be a motivational individual with an unwavering faith in humanity. S/he will be thoughtful and strategic working with the Board and staff, understanding that the priority is improving the lives and health of the underserved. The President & CEO will be an empathic leader, treating others with respect. S/he will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics, and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

The President & CEO will have an undergraduate degree. An advanced degree is desired but not required.


Koya Leadership Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. This search is being led by Alison P. Ranney and Marissa Martin.

To express your interest in this role, please submit your resume using Koya’s online link: or email Alison and Marissa directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them.  For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit