The Horizon Foundation has hired Nicolette Highsmith Vernick as president and CEO. Highsmith Vernick succeeds founding President and CEO Richard Krieg, who is retiring after 13 years at the helm of the philanthropy, which seeks to improve the health and wellness of people living and working in Howard County.
Highsmith Vernick has been serving as senior vice president for programs at the Center for Health Care Strategies in Hamilton, N.J. At the center, she guided states and communities across the country to develop innovative solutions for improving health care quality and reducing disparities in publicly-financed care.
During her tenure, she oversaw multi-million-dollar programs for major health care philanthropies, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She has been in numerous publications and has spoken at national conferences, primarily on issues related to health care delivery, quality and equity.
“She has the right attitude and intellectual energy to help us assess community needs, develop evidence-based strategies and implement measurable initiatives to improve health and wellness in Howard County,” said Shirley Collier, chair of the board of trustees.
“Nikki is particularly accomplished in collaborating with a broad spectrum of regional and national stakeholders to affect positive change,” Collier said. “We are confident that she will be able to lead our efforts to leverage the Foundation’s resources with those of others to tackle increasingly complex health and wellness issues in our community.”
A graduate of the University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in History, Highsmith Vernick has a master’s in Public Administration from American University in Washington, D.C. She starts work at the Foundation on March 1.
For information about The Horizon Foundation, visit www.thehorizonfoundation.org.