About Us

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Our Mission

The Healthfirst Foundation aims to build a healthier future for people in New York City and its surrounding areas by supporting access to health and social services, advancing the provision of culturally competent care by providers and community-based organizations, and addressing social determinants which are barriers to optimal health outcomes.

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Our Vision

The Healthfirst Foundation envisions achieving health equity by eliminating disparities in health and social determinants so that people in NYC and its surrounding areas have a fair and just opportunity to live a healthy life.

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Our Values

A focus on community and learning guides the programs and initiatives that the Healthfirst Foundation supports in service to its mission and vision.



working to eradicate barriers to care and eliminate disparities for all



addressing demonstrated community needs through education, engagement, and resources



investing in initiatives led by organizations that are recognized as positive changemakers and connectors in their local communities



leveraging expertise, resources, and relationships to seek opportunities, incorporate lessons learned, and seek change

Evidence based Innovation

Evidence-based Innovation

supporting new approaches and creative solutions that drive measurable impact

I am excited to leverage my experience to help guide the Healthfirst Foundation and improve health equity in our community.

Odin Erickson

Director, Healthfirst Foundation

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Healthfirst Foundation Board of Directors

Pat Wang

Pat Wang is President of the Healthfirst Foundation and President & CEO of Healthfirst, one of the largest not-for-profit health insurance providers in the country. In 2023, Pat was appointed to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s newly formed NYS Commission on the Future of Health Care, tasked with addressing the state’s pressing health challenges. She is a Director of the New York Federal Reserve Bank and plays an active role on the Boards of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the New York Health Plan Association (NYHPA). Pat previously served as a commissioner for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), as a member of New York’s Medicaid Redesign Team II and as co-chair of New York’s Vaccine Equity Taskforce.

Errol Pierre

Errol Pierre serves as Healthfirst Senior Vice President, State Programs. He oversees sales and retention across the company’s Medicaid and Long-Term Care product portfolios as well as the company’s community engagement activities. Errol previously served as Chief Operating Officer for the commercial business unit of Empire BlueCross BlueShield. He serves as a board member of the Arthur Ashe Institute of Urban Health, Medinova, and as a member of 100 Black Men of America’s New York City Chapter, where he serves as a member of their national Health and Wellness Committee.

Kathy Howell

Kathy Howell serves as Healthfirst Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel. Prior to joining Healthfirst in 2023, Kathy served as Chief Legal and Privacy Officer at Well Dot Inc., a health technology and services company. Kathy had previously served as Chief Legal Officer and Acting President of Northwell’s CareConnect Health Plan, where she built a new provider-owned commercial insurer and launched a long-term care plan. Kathy has also been a partner or associate at law firms, including Dentons, Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, and Proskauer Rose LLP.

Christina Jenkins

Christina Jenkins, M.D. is a Co-Founder and General Partner of Convergent Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture fund focused on health and sustainability. She also serves as a national advisor to Manatt Health. Recently, Christina was the vice-chair of the NYC COVID-19 Rapid Response Coalition, helping support vulnerable New Yorkers via tech-enabled outreach and social services supports. She was the founding CEO of OneCity Health, a subsidiary of NYC Health + Hospitals, the nation’s largest public hospital system. She is a former board member and Chair of the Quality Committee for MetroPlus.

Odin Erickson

Odin Erickson is the Director of the Healthfirst Foundation and serves on the Healthfirst Foundation’s Board of Directors. In his role he is responsible for leading the Healthfirst Foundation and helping it achieve its mission of reducing inequality and advancing a more just healthcare system. He has extensive experience in healthcare strategy, grantmaking and program management and brings exceptional leadership to the Foundation. Prior to joining Healthfirst in 2023, Odin served as a Program Officer at the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, the largest healthcare specific funder in New York State. Previous to that role he served as a Global Data & Analytics Business Project Advisor at Cigna and a Senior Program Manager at New York eHealth Collaborative. Odin holds a B.S. of Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

For additional information

please contact kerickson@healthfirst.org