Dogwood Health Trust names Antony Chiang as first CEO

Antony Chiang
NEW HIRE: Antony Chiang, the first CEO of Dogwood Health Trust. Photo courtesy of Dogwood

Press release from Dogwood Health Trust:

Following a thoughtful and deliberate national search, Dogwood Health Trust, a private, non-operating foundation whose sole purpose is to improve the health and well-being of all people and communities of Western North Carolina, is excited to announce the selection of philanthropic and health equity leader Antony Chiang as Dogwood’s initial chief executive officer.

Known as an innovator, Chiang, 51, currently serves as president of Empire Health Foundation, an organization similar to Dogwood based in Spokane, Washington, that serves a diverse and sweeping area of eastern Washington state. Chiang will join Dogwood Health Trust in November and brings a wealth of experience working with a variety of populations and partner organizations toward improving health and health equity.

In Antony Chiang we’ve found a leader who has lived the journey on which Dogwood Health is about to embark,” said Dogwood Health Trust Board Chair Janice Brumit. “His commitment to health equity and inclusion, his talent for forging meaningful partnerships, and his ingenious approach to solving chronic problems that affect health and wellness will be invaluable as we enter this next important chapter for Dogwood Health Trust.”

As founding president at Empire Health Foundation, Chiang designed and built a new and high-impact health conversion foundation from the ground up, in collaboration with a mission-driven board. In his nine years there, Chiang served as a trusted grantmaker, stewarding $70 million in annual funding and helping to deliver measurable impact advancing health equity in rural, tribal and urban communities.

Chiang will play a similar role at Dogwood Health Trust, which was established as a health conversion foundation to receive proceeds from the sale of the assets of the nonprofit Mission Health System, which will be approximately $1.5 billion. Dogwood will educate and inform stakeholders, conduct research, convene experts and, beginning in late 2020, make grants to organizations aligned with its purpose, all to help collectively improve health and well-being across 18 counties in Western North Carolina.

The founding Board of Dogwood Health Trust has a compelling vision for dramatically improving the health, equity and well-being of the people and communities of Western North Carolina. Their commitment to authentic community engagement and bold measurable impact is inspiring,” Chiang said. “It is humbling and an honor to be chosen to help make that vision a reality in service to the diverse communities of the region. Leading Dogwood Health Trust is an incredible once-in-a-career opportunity to make a lasting and measurable difference. I could not be more excited to collaborate with the board, staff and community partners to catalyze transformative change!”

Chiang’s appointment comes at the conclusion of an intensive search process led by Dogwood’s Board of Directors and facilitated by Witt/Kieffer, the pre-eminent national search firm focused solely on not-for-profit healthcare and philanthropy. The process included input from community leaders and stakeholders throughout the region and was designed to attract individuals across the country whose experience and beliefs are aligned with Dogwood’s values, guiding principles and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

While Antony’s accomplishments are expansive and impressive, what really struck a chord with our search committee were the personal characteristics that aligned perfectly with what we were seeking in a leader,” said Dr. John Ball, board member and search committee chairman. “He’s a great listener who seeks to understand first before being understood. He’s incredibly humble, deflecting praise to others and seeking their input in finding solutions. And he has an appetite for taking bold actions that affect lasting change, which is precisely what Dogwood Health Trust expects to deliver for the people of Western North Carolina.”

Witt/Kieffer identified more than 350 individuals, reviewed approximately 125 applicants and conducted telephonic and in-person interviews for the role of CEO, eventually narrowing the field to those candidates who were evaluated by the search committee.

It was an honor to work with such thoughtful and community-oriented leaders who worked diligently to review an enormously talented field of candidates,” said Witt/Kieffer’s Julie Rosen. “The search committee spent significant time with leaders from a variety of corporate and nonprofit backgrounds to understand their qualifications and proposed approach to this position, and ultimately, with a tremendous amount of input, chose a proven transformative leader.”

Under Chiang’s leadership, Empire multiplied the impact of its endowment nine-fold, leveraging more than $200 million in new funds. Chiang also serves as a member of the board of directors of Grantmakers in Health and of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Prize National Advisory Board. Prior to joining Empire, Chiang was part of the leadership team at TechSoup Global, a Silicon Valley nonprofit that administers corporate philanthropy for a variety of tech companies. Before that he served as the chief executive of several social enterprise start-ups.

The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Chiang earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley and a law degree from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Dogwood Health Trust is excited to welcome Antony, his wife Caroline Yu and daughters Kara (13) and Camille (6) to Western North Carolina.

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