Welcome to Suffolk

Published 10:23 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A philanthropic organization with the reputation and gravitas of the Obici Healthcare Foundation deserves a capable, strong leader, and OHF has been blessed through its 10-year history with just such leaders.

The foundation appears to have found another great person to stand at its helm in Annette Beuchler, who started work at Obici Healthcare at the end of January.

Beuchler comes with considerable philanthropic experience, having worked for 15 years for The Rapides Foundation in central Louisiana. It was similar to the Obici Healthcare Foundation in that it was also relatively young — 23 years — and got its assets from the sale of a hospital.

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Whereas the Obici foundation, which was formed with assets realized from the sale of Obici Memorial Hospital to Sentara, concentrates its considerable largesse on health-related matters, Rapides makes grants in the areas of education and economic development as well as health care.

During the 10 years the foundation in Suffolk has been making grants, it has disbursed nearly $35 million to 82 agencies serving more than 360,000 participants. The money has been used to help prevent obesity, provide chronic disease management, insure more people, boost access to primary care and more.

Beuchler, who applied for the position at the request of former Interim Director Angelica Light, is still getting the lay of the land in the huge area OHF serves, which includes the cities of Suffolk and Franklin, Isle of Wight County, Gates County, N.C., and parts of Surry, Sussex and Southampton counties.

“She had a unique skillset,” OHF Board Chairman Scott Carr said this week. “We had a huge pool of applicants. We winnowed that pool down to a list of great folks, all of whom we would have been really proud to have as a director, but Annette’s qualifications rose above the rest.”

Beuchler and her husband, Michael, who is a surgical technician at Sentara Obici Hospital, live in Suffolk with their 12-year-old dog, Titus.

We welcome them to the area and are excited to see how the foundation will thrive under her leadership.