A welcome face in Suffolk

Published 8:46 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2016

After the resignation of Gina Pitrone as executive director of the Obici Healthcare Foundation, that organization set out on a nationwide search for a new leader, while re-examining and confirming its mission in light of the start of its second decade of service to Suffolk and its neighbors in Western Tidewater and northeastern North Carolina.

Under the able leadership of interim director Angelica Light, a new board of directors — having taken control of the philanthropic organization in a planned transition — worked not just to fill the position of chief executive officer but also to continue providing grant funding to many deserving health-related programs throughout the region.

Obici’s most recent round of grants, announced in October, will fund $1.8 million of programming for everything from diabetes care and education to health care support for poor and homeless families to exercise initiatives.

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The fact that the foundation continued its tradition of philanthropy, even as it searched for its next leader, is a testament to the commitment and professionalism of its staff, its interim director and its dedicated board members.

As those associated with the foundation prepare to welcome Annette C. Beuchler into the fold from her current position as director of programs and communications at The Rapides Foundation of Louisiana, they are eager to see what the next 10 years holds for them and for the foundation that was created in 2006 with assets established through the generosity of Amedeo Obici and funds from the merger of Louise Obici Memorial Hospital and Sentara Healthcare.

“Ms. Beuchler brings our foundation the leadership and grantmaking experience we were seeking to take our work to the next level of effectiveness in addressing access to care and the prevention of disease in Western Tidewater,” J. Samuel Glasscock, chair of the Obici Healthcare Foundation, stated in a press release announcing her appointment.

While at The Rapides Foundation, a health care legacy foundation with assets of $250 million that serves a nine-parish area of central Louisiana, Beuchler has been responsible for the design, development, delivery and evaluation of its grantmaking activities and the implementation of strategic plans for the foundation’s program priorities.

She seems eminently fitted for this position, and she seems eager to continue the foundation’s good work in this community. We wish her the best in this new position and welcome her to Suffolk.