The Fannie E. Rippel Foundation Appoints Becky Payne CEO

The Fannie E. Rippel Foundation, a nonprofit operating foundation dedicated to fostering a future of equitable health and well-being for all, has announced the appointment of Becky Payne as President and CEO, effective January 1, 2023. At that time, Alan Lieber will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Health Care Strategist. Laura Landy, who has served as the Foundation’s President and CEO since 2006, will become President Emeritus and Senior Fellow and plans to retire at the end of 2023. Under Laura’s leadership, the Foundation has increasingly become a national thought leader and advisor in working toward a more sustainable health system that ensures all people can thrive.

“With Laura’s planned retirement, our board knew we needed talented, empathetic, and experienced leaders in population health and health care to help us continue to grow, evolve, and increase our impact on the structural challenges that prevent so many Americans from attaining good health and well-being. The complementary talents and experiences brought by Becky and Alan are precisely what we hoped to find,” said Edward W. Ahart, Esq., Board Chair, The Fannie E. Rippel Foundation.

Ms. Payne, who currently serves as an Executive Vice President at Rippel, has dedicated her career to advancing systems change to address inequities and empower communities to improve their health and quality of life. Prior to joining the Foundation, she spent 20 years in a variety of leadership roles at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she was recognized for leading multiple, large-scale initiatives. She has an impressive track record of designing innovative approaches to public health that maximize impact and community benefit, including the Communities Putting Prevention to Work and the Community Transformation Grant initiatives, establishing an office to forge partnerships with the business community, and spearheading over 35 agencies and hundreds of civil society partners to develop a vision and strategy for the equitable long-term recovery and resilience of social, behavioral, and community health emerging from the pandemic.

Based in Atlanta, Ms. Payne serves on several local boards, including the Decatur Education Foundation and UNICEF Child Friendly Cities Initiative for Decatur, GA. She earned her MPH in Community Health Sciences from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and her BS in Public Policy and Health from Michigan State University.

“Becky brings impeccable credentials to this role, borne of an outstanding career focused on equity, health, and wellness at the national level. She is a highly intelligent, collaborative, and empathetic leader. We have been impressed with her in her most recent role at the Foundation and are certain she will continue to further the Foundation’s position as a leader in advancing well-being for all,” said Mr. Ahart.

“I have dedicated my career to challenging the way things have always been done so we may address inequities and unlock innovation capable of improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities across the country. With the talented team at the Foundation and our partners across the nation, I am excited to be continuing this work. Together we will rethink the systems that foster health and well-being and empower stewards to make the structural changes we need to create environments where all people can thrive. I am extremely grateful for the strong legacy that I inherit, and to the board of directors for entrusting me with leading the important work of the Foundation,” said Ms. Payne.

Mr. Lieber is a leader in health care system innovation, with a focus on improved outcomes for patients and communities. As President of Overlook Medical Center, he led the organization in becoming a top-rated regional medical center with improved clinical outcomes, strong connections to the communities it serves, and a demonstrated commitment to its workforce. Overlook has been recognized by Healthgrades as one of the top 50 hospitals in the nation for patient safety and clinical outcomes; among the Fortune 100 Best Places to Work for 14 consecutive years (as part of Atlantic Health System); and as one of the 25 most environmentally friendly hospitals in the nation by Project Greenhealth. Currently an Executive Vice President at Rippel, in his new role Mr. Lieber will serve as the COO and lead the strategic direction and outreach for the Foundation’s work to transform health systems.

Mr. Lieber has served in leadership roles on numerous boards focused on strengthening the community and businesses. He currently serves on the boards of Jewish Home Family (Long-Term Care and Home Care Service Delivery) and Barnert Temple; previously served on the boards of several hospital associations; was the chair of the Cornell University Sloan Program in Health Care Administration Alumni Association Board; and served as the chair of the Gateway Chamber of Commerce. He received BS and MBA degrees from Cornell University and served on the Cornell College of Human Ecology Dean’s advisory committee.

“Alan is a smart and thoughtful leader with deep experience forming teams, partnerships, and in strategic planning at very high levels. He is also deeply committed to and interested in public health and wellness and has been a huge asset to the Foundation. We know that in his new role he will pave a path for the Foundation to have a greater impact on well-being,” said Mr. Ahart.

“Throughout my career, I have been focused on improving the health system in service of helping communities thrive,” said Mr. Lieber. “Rippel is committed to health system transformation and working to support stewards in advancing the changes we need across systems and communities to create opportunities for all to achieve well-being. I have great admiration for the Foundation’s team and its creative approach to the significant challenges of transforming our health care sector. I am honored that the board has chosen me to help create the strategies that will move the health care system, and the people it serves, forward.”

Ms. Payne and Mr. Lieber are taking the helm as long-serving President and CEO Laura Landy transitions into retirement. Ms. Landy has led the organization for the past 16 years. She previously served as a Foundation board member from 1998 to 2006. Under Ms. Landy’s leadership, the Foundation shifted from being a small grantmaker bringing about micro-level impacts to pioneering the transformation of health and well-being across the nation.

“We are extremely grateful to Laura for her work and dedication to the Foundation. She has left an indelible mark, having positioned the Foundation as a national leader in health system transformation and launching our most important initiatives, ReThink Health and FORESIGHT. Laura is dedicated and committed to providing more equitable public health and wellness throughout our country, and as President and CEO she expanded the reach and impact of the Foundation to serve all the groups identified by our founder, Julius Rippel, some 70 years ago,” said Mr. Ahart.

Together with partners and co-investors, Rippel works across the country with individuals, philanthropic and health care organizations, corporations, and government to guide thinking and action that inspire innovative system transformation and to create conditions for shared stewardship to become a rising norm. Rippel’s flagship initiative, ReThink Health, continually explores how to achieve equitable system change in real-world settings.

About The Fannie E. Rippel Foundation

The Foundation was established in 1953 to invest in initiatives addressing cancer, heart disease, the health of women and the elderly, and the maintenance of our nation’s hospitals. In 2007, the Foundation refocused its approach to these priorities, recognizing that a commitment to broader health system change is essential to achieve real, lasting impact. Today, the Foundation is a nonprofit operating foundation with one primary strategic purpose: to be a catalyst for an equitable future for health and well-being. The Foundation believes that this goal is attainable if enough of us—individuals and organizations in all sectors—see ourselves and each other as interdependent stewards in a movement for well-being and equity.