CommonSpirit Health Foundation Spotlight

CommonSpirit Health Foundation Welcomes Three New Board Members

Chicago, Ill. (November 1, 2021) – CommonSpirit Health Foundation is honored to welcome Kristi Yamaguchi, Lela Riis Usry Agnew and Alisahah Jackson, MD to its Board of Directors. These new members will lend their extensive experience, as well as their respected voices, as they join the foundation to advance CommonSpirit Health’s work to address health equity across the nation.

Kristi Yamaguchi is a former figure skater and gold medalist at the 1992 Olympics and a two-time world champion who, in 2005, was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. A New York Times Best Selling Author, in 1996 she established Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream. Currently, Always Dream is focused on early childhood literacy. Yamaguchi joined the CommonSpirit Health Foundation’s board in September 2021.

Lela Riis Usry Agnew, who joined the foundation’s board in July 2021, brings broad philanthropic expertise with 30 years as an executive director, development professional, consultant, board chair, community organizer, advocacy expert and donor in educational and public health programming. She has a diverse network of philanthropic, corporate, academic and political leaders and currently serves on the Board of Advisors for One Love Foundation and as a senior advisor to the founder and Board of the Echo Project.

Alisahah Jackson (Cole), MD is CommonSpirit’s System Vice President for Population Health Innovation and Policy with responsibilities for strategy development regarding vulnerable populations, health equity and innovative care delivery models. Dr. Jackson joined the foundation’s board in September 2021. She was recently named to Diversity MBA Magazine’s prestigious annual list of Top 100 Under 50 Emerging and Executive Leaders.

“As we continue the critical work of our foundation, I am proud to welcome three such remarkable leaders to our board, “ said Fred Najjar, CommonSpirit’s Executive Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer and President of CommonSpirit Health Foundation. “We are so honored to have Kristi join us. Her commitment to addressing the needs of the whole child- whether it's through access to healthcare or to literacy - make her voice an important one to add to the board. Lela brings a wealth of experience in nonprofit leadership. She has a long history of advocating for programs related to violence prevention, social justice and mental health. Her expertise will push us to focus on innovative solutions to accelerate health equity throughout the nation. Completing our newest group of board members, Dr. Jackson’s work at CommonSpirit is fundamental to the mission of our foundation. Her extensive clinical experience in supporting vulnerable populations, her breadth of knowledge and her advocacy make her a valuable partner in our work."

Yamaguchi, Agnew and Jackson joined existing board members Najjar, Chairman Jed York, CommonSpirit Health Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Dean, Michael Covarrubias, Janet Reilly and the Honorable Willie L. Brown Jr.

About CommonSpirit Health
CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit is committed to creating healthier communities, delivering exceptional patient care, and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With its national office in Chicago and a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit Health operates 140 hospitals and more than 1,000 care sites across 21 states. Learn more at

About CommonSpirit Health Foundation
CommonSpirit Health Foundation is making the promise of health equity and health justice a reality across the country — through funding pioneering programs that ensure greater access, creating community partnerships, and advocating for the underserved and most vulnerable. The foundation inspires investments and donations from individuals, private foundations, corporate foundations, and other entities — to support programs and initiatives that enable all people to be healthy and safe. Learn more at