FHSP announces Dr. Kanika Tomalin as the next president and CEO

Dr. Kanika Tomalin will join the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg in mid-June as its next president and CEO.

 ST. PETERSBURG The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg (FHSP) announced yesterday the appointment of Dr. Kanika Tomalin as its next president and chief executive officer.

Her local leadership has crossed public and private sectors and was instrumental in creating the conversion foundation during her time as Bayfront Health System’s vice president of strategic planning and public affairs following the sale of the health system.

Over the last decade, the Foundation has awarded millions of dollars to local organizations, created the Center for Health Equity and formed strategic partnerships with organizations across the community that share its goals. It works in the communities it serves to address health disparities, advance population health and achieve health equity through the advancement of racial equity.

Tomalin will begin at the Foundation in mid-June.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Tomalin will lend her tremendous experience and expertise to lead this organization into its next chapter,” said Dr. Donna Petersen, chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “Our community faces tremendous challenges but is also poised to seize opportunities. Dr. Tomalin’s deep commitment, long-standing relationships and record of trajectory-shifting outcomes made her our clear choice. Her leadership will reinforce our commitment to achieve racial and health equity.”

Tomalin’s appointment follows a nationwide search that included extensive community outreach to a broad cross-section of the St. Petersburg community. Feedback was received from community leaders, ranging from business and health experts to clergy and local activists.

More than 175 people shared their ideas and priorities for a new leader’s ideal qualifications and background. In addition to the required executive experience, the importance of integrity, relationship building and community engagement emerged as most important. These factors shaped the nationwide search conducted by Winner Partners, the executive search firm tasked with leading the process.

“I am deeply committed to the mission, purpose and possibilities for the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, and I am excited to lead this talented team,” said Dr. Tomalin. “It is a continuation of my life’s work to create a healthier, more equitable community.”

Dr. Tomalin currently serves as Eckerd College’s chief operating officer and vice president for strategy. She previously served eight years as deputy mayor for the City of St. Petersburg, including four as city administrator.

Accomplishments during her time in office include founding the Innovation District, creating the Healthy St. Pete initiative, helping reduce poverty in the Black community to a record low and guiding St. Petersburg through its pandemic response.

The fifth generation of her family to call St. Pete home, Tomalin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Miami and completed the Doctor of Law and Policy program at Northeastern University.

More than two decades ago, she joined Bayfront Health System as a fundraiser and advanced through the ranks to the C-suite. As the regional vice president of external affairs, she led the creation of the joint-venture partnership that created the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg.

“The Foundation for Healthy St. Petersburg plays a vital role advocating for equity in this community,” said Gwendolyn Reese, president of the Florida African American Heritage Association. “Dr. Tomalin understands this vision, and we are thrilled that she will be leading this organization.”

About the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg

The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg is a private foundation formed in 2013 following the sale of the nonprofit Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. It is the steward of an endowment to support health equity in Pinellas County.

The Foundation achieves health equity through racial equity by listening humbly, learning fearlessly and leading courageously to impact systems change. In 2019, it opened the Center for Health Equity to invite people to learn, connect, and create together to advance racial equity and transform our communities.

To learn more, visit healthystpete.foundation.

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