Briggs named as new CEO of Brandywine Health Foundation

Vanessa Briggs

COATESVILLE — The Brandywine Health Foundation Board of Directors today announced that Vanessa Briggs has been named as the foundation’s new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Briggs will assume her position effective July 17, 2017.

She replaces long-time President and CEO Frances Sheehan, who left last year to run an non-profit in Delaware County.

According to an announcement, Tuesday, from the organization, Briggs is seen as an experienced leader in the field of public health with roots in the Philadelphia area. She has devoted her entire career to advancing health equity and empowering vulnerable families and youth to live healthier lives. The statement said that Briggs is highly skilled in working with communities to solve complex problems through multi-sectoral strategic partnerships, community engagement, health promotion and education, and disease management interventions. She comes to the foundation with significant expertise in building the capacity of nonprofit organizations and in building multi-sector partnerships between health providers, policymakers and community members.

“After an extensive formal search process, led by a committee of the Board and with consulting support from Criterion Search Group, Inc., our Board believes that Vanessa’s skills and expertise will complement the incredible talents of the foundation’s current staff and volunteers,” said Dawn James, Board Chair. “We are looking forward to providing our donors, grantees, and community partners with several opportunities to meet her in-person over the coming months.”

As President and CEO, Briggs will guide the overall organizational vision, strategic direction, operating and fiscal policies to ensure successful fulfillment of BHF’s mission with governance from the Board, and input from the staff. She will continue to strengthen the

Brandywine Health Foundation’s well established reputation through increased visibility and by further building, maintaining and nurturing our network of donors, grantees, and community partners so critical to the mission of the foundation and our work in the greater Coatesville area.

“I am honored and excited by this opportunity to lead the Brandywine Health Foundation as it continues its commitment to create vibrant healthy communities in Greater Coatesville,” Briggs said. “For more than twenty years, my career has focused on developing strategic alliances and partnerships with diverse stakeholders who are unilaterally dedicated to solving complex community health, economic and social problems. It will now be my privilege to return to Southeastern PA and use that experience as I work with donors, grantees and partners to build a healthier future in our growing community.”

Prior to joining Brandywine Health Foundation, she served as Vice President, Community Health, at Holy Cross Health in Silver Springs, Maryland. Before joining Holy Cross Health, Vanessa held the position of Executive Director for the Health Promotion Council, an affiliate of Public Health Management Corporation. In her fifteen years at the Health Promotion Council, she grew the organization’s budget three-fold during her tenure while developing and leading several large-scale regional and national childhood obesity, nutrition and health equity initiatives. Briggs began her career in senior dining and clinical nutrition services to improve the quality of life for older adults for Marriott Sodexho Health.

Briggs is a Registered Dietitian and holds a Master’s in Business Administration, with a concentration in Health Administration, from Eastern University in Saint Davids, Pennsylvania. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Dietetics from Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey.

The Brandywine Health Foundation has distributed over $16 million in grants and scholarships since its inception in 2001. Signature projects include bringing ChesPenn Health Services and other needed health services to Coatesville, building the Brandywine Health & Housing Center, the first major development in the City of Coatesville in over three decades, and launching the Coatesville Youth Initiative, the Youth Mental Health First Aid Program, and the new Greening Coatesville Initiative. Signature events include the Brandywine Strawberry Festival with over 25,000 visitors each year, and the Garden Party, which over 500 supporters attend each spring. Together the two events contribute over $200,000 to health-related causes in the community.

To learn more about the Brandywine Health Foundation and its commitment to health equity, healthy youth, and a healthy community, visit or contact Jill Whitcomb at 610-380-9080 x103.

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