Qiana Thomason named President/CEO of Health Forward Foundation

Kansas City, MO — Health Forward Foundation’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce Qiana Thomason as its new President/CEO. Thomason will begin her duties January 21, 2020.

Thomason, a life-long Kansas Citian, has dedicated her career to the improvement of health and wellness across the region, with a special focus on communities with significant health disparities. Thomason comes to Health Forward from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC), where she most recently served as Vice President, Community Health and Health Equity. During that time, she spearheaded development of new care delivery and payment models in partnership with health care providers throughout Kansas City and has been a champion for the inclusion of health equity and the social determinants of health in corporate strategy.

Prior to her tenure at Blue KC, Thomason spent eight years at Swope Health as the Director of Clinical Operations, Behavioral Health and Program Manager of the multi-municipality Mental Health Court. She also served as Deputy Director and Health and Human Services Liaison for United States Senator Jean Carnahan.

“We are honored to have someone with the background, experience and vision that Qiana brings to lead Health Forward as the next President/CEO,” said Marshaun Butler, Chair of the Health Forward Board of Directors.

“In addition to her compassion and commitment to the mission of Health Forward, Qiana brings a deep understanding of our community. She has experienced, firsthand, the complex socioeconomic and environmental challenges of the uninsured. Her expertise in health care payment, delivery and, policy, combined with her value of equity and commitment to a holistic approach to creating access to care, uniquely positions her to lead Health Forward into our next chapter.”

Thomason currently serves on the City of Kansas City, Missouri, Health Commission, is a Board Trustee for William Jewel College and is a Board Member of ArtsKC. She received her undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University and has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Kansas.

“I am blessed to once again serve the safety net system that once served me. I’m confident that everything in my career and the foundations of my personal journey have not only led me to this opportunity but equipped and prepared me to lead Health Forward Foundation as President and CEO,” said Thomason. “I’m excited to partner with the stakeholders in our service area and eager to catalyze cross-sector partnerships that improve health for those most in need.”

Health Forward conducted a nationwide search to replace Bridget McCandless, M.D., who led Health Forward from September 2013 until her retirement in October 2019. The search committee was chaired by Jim Pryde, Vice Chair, with the assistance of the executive search firm WittKieffer. Chief Financial Officer Rick Zimmer is currently serving as Interim President/CEO.