Empire Health Foundation Announces Resignation of Founding President, Antony Chiang

By Empire Health Foundation
Aug 14, 2019

SPOKANE, Wash.—August 13, 2019—Empire Health Foundation’s (EHF) Board of Directors today announced the resignation of its President, Antony Chiang. Jeffrey Bell, current Chair of the Board, will be appointed Interim President. The Board has begun a search for Chiang’s successor.

Chiang, EHF’s founding president since 2010, has accepted the role of Chief Executive Officer for Dogwood Health Trust of Asheville, North Carolina, a health conversion foundation with an endowment of approximately $1.5 billion and a mission of improving the health and well-being of all people and communities in Western North Carolina. Chiang will remain with EHF through mid-September.

“I am so grateful for the honor and privilege to have served the communities and Tribes of eastern Washington as the founding President of Empire Health Foundation. What an incredible life opportunity to help design the DNA of the organization from the ground up in close collaboration with the Board, team and community partners,” said Chiang. “The Board and team’s dedication to health equity and their courage to take bold, innovative bets for measurable change are an inspiration to me. I look back on nearly 10 years of impact and could not be prouder of them. I will continue to cheer them on for another incredible 10 years of impact going forward. It is incredibly hard for me to leave EHF and for my family to leave the place and the people we called home. We will miss everyone dearly.”

“Antony’s impact on improving the lives of our most vulnerable residents in our region is immeasurable. His boldness, courage and compassion make him a great leader,” said Bell. “The founding Board of EHF made the right decision in hiring Antony 10 years ago and in that time Antony has made EHF a health foundation leader in innovation and impact. We will all miss Antony greatly and wish him nothing but success as CEO of Dogwood Health Trust. The EHF Board is confident with our national reputation and highest quality staff, we will find the next great leader for our foundation.”

As the founding president of EHF and in collaboration with a mission-driven board and a network of community and government leaders, Chiang designed and guided the foundation’s mission of measurably and sustainably improving the health of people across eastern Washington. His innovative and collaborative approach to philanthropy helped staff deliver programs, policies and systems changes that improved health outcomes and advanced health equity in rural, Tribal and urban communities, along with establishing EHF as a highly-regarded health-based philanthropic leader and innovator at both the regional and national levels. Under Chiang’s leadership, EHF grew the impact of its endowment nine-fold, leveraging more than $320 million in new funding to the region and stewarding nearly $70 million in annual funding.

In close collaboration with partners, EHF invested in transformative systems change that moved the needle on health and health equity including: radically reducing the uninsured rate in the region, improving the childhood obesity rate, reducing out of school suspension rates and disparities, increasing the pipeline of primary care physicians, reducing the entry rate disparities into foster care, among others. EHF has been recognized with national, state, and regional awards for its innovative approach with partners and measurable impact and results.

“Antony Chiang has quietly been the beating heart behind the transformation of Spokane into a community of innovative compassion,” said Rob McCann, President & CEO of Catholic Charities Eastern Washington. “EHF's growth over the past 11 years and its ability to incubate big ideas and then release them into the eastern Washington ecosystem can be traced directly to Antony's servant leadership and his ability to think on levels that are simply on a different plane than most of us who live in the world of serving others. Antony's leadership of EHF has done more than just guide an organization. It's led our entire half of the state to a place where we can finally identify, confront and start to solve the social determinants of health - the reasons behind why so many poor people are often so sick and why so many sick people are often so poor. Antony has been a dynamic change agent in our community for over a decade but more importantly he has created entire organizations that will continue to be disrupters for good and protectors of the most vulnerable in our midst for decades to come.”

“Antony has been a champion in Spokane for the promotion of medical education and biomedical research at WSU-Spokane, said Ken Roberts, Vice Dean for Academic & Community Partnerships, WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. “Under his leadership, EHF led the way in support for expanded medical education and continued support for key initiatives, such as funding the foundation for a Native American program in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. We will be forever thankful.”

Empire Health Foundation is a private health foundation based in Spokane, Washington with philanthropic assets totaling approximately $76 million. Through partnerships with key community leaders, government agencies and nonprofit organizations, EHF seeks to move the dial equitably, measurably and sustainably on health by investing in improvements in health outcomes, strengthening health systems, growing physician supply, building nonprofit capacity and advancing health equity.