Skip navigation

Alexandra Quinn

Chief Executive Officer

As only the second CEO in Health Leads' history, Alex directs the organization’s growth and impact strategy. She took the helm in October 2017.

Prior to her appointment as CEO, Alexandra held several executive roles at Health Leads spanning more than a decade. In addition to pioneering efforts to enable major healthcare organizations to design and launch innovative models of care bridging health systems and communities, she has led multiple strategy planning processes and guided the implementation of key internal operations. Most recently as managing principal, Alex oversaw the organization’s unprecedented west coast expansion as well as nationwide talent acquisition, human resources and diversity, equity and inclusion functions at a time when Health Leads staff more than doubled in size.

Before joining Health Leads, Alex served as vice president of program at Peer Forward (formerly College Summit), an organization that connects students in low-income communities to college and careers by tapping a readily available resource found in every high school – influential students. During her tenure, Alex spearheaded scaling initiatives which expanded Peer Forward’s reach, connecting thousands of students each year to the peer support networks they needed to succeed. She also led the team that created and implemented professional training for educators and student leaders, along with the development of in-school management tools for principals and superintendents.

Earlier in her career, Alex served as a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Justice for former Attorney General Janet Reno. Her public service calling began when she spent a year working as an Assistant in the Office of the Cabinet Affairs as a White House intern.

Alex was born and raised in New York City, spent a lot of time growing up in rural Texas and in her work at Peer Forward spent time learning from educators across the country – from Kanawha County, West Virginia to Chicago, IL to Inglewood, CA. This place-based learning heavily influenced how she thinks about advocacy, equity and working with and for communities. Alex now calls Oakland, CA home where she lives with her partner Dorian, two sons and a hyper but loving rescue dog. When not at work she can be found running, biking, playing around and exploring the Bay Area.

Education

  • MA from Georgetown University
  • BA from Smith College

Fellowships

  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network

Board Affiliations

  • Smith College Alumnae Association

Damon Francis

Chief Clinical Officer

“I'm inspired by the virtuous cycle that gets created when we help others who also help others and that is what we get to do at Health Leads every day.”

“I’m inspired by the virtuous cycle that gets created when we help others who also help others and that is what we get to do at Health Leads every day.”

Before joining Health Leads, Damon worked most recently at the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency where he spent five years supporting all aspects of the agency’s vision for “healthy people, places, policies and systems.”

During his time there, he served as the interim director and medical director of Alameda County Health Care for the Homeless where he led the adoption and expansion of clinical models addressing the whole person, including medical, behavioral and social needs.

In that role and others, he worked to reduce health disparities affecting men of color, providing policy analysis and representing the public health department in cross-governmental initiatives and public-private partnerships related to housing, criminal justice, and clinical quality improvement.

Prior to joining Alameda County, Damon worked at the East Bay AIDS Center in Oakland where he spearheaded the development of the CRUSH project, a clinic developed specifically to increase access to sexual health services for young men of color who have sex with men.

Damon is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco. His clinical experience since residency includes inpatient and outpatient practice in public, private and academic settings, and he continues to provide urgent care at a community clinic in Oakland.

Damon lives in the Bay Area with his wife and son. He is a life-long reader and enjoys playing basketball and soccer with his son (and as many neighborhood kids as they can convince to join them at the playground). Damon has always lived in California, but still enjoys discovering new places across the state.

Education

  • Internship, residency, and chief residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital
  • MD from University of California, San Francisco
  • BA in Integrative Biology from University of California, Berkeley

Board Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • UCSF HEAL Initiative Steering Committee, Interim Chair
  • HIV Education and Prevention Project of Alameda County, Medical Director

Publications

Jennifer Valenzuela

Chief People & Equity Officer

“I love the work we’re doing and what we stand for at Health Leads, but it’s ultimately about the people. We’re a team of individuals who want to have a positive impact on the world — who enjoy and push one another to do better.”

“I love the work we’re doing and what we stand for at Health Leads, but it’s ultimately about the people. We’re a team of individuals who want to have a positive impact on the world — who enjoy and push one another to do better.”

Jennifer Valenzuela brings nearly 20 years of experience building and supporting teams in the healthcare sector to her role at Health Leads, where she oversees the organization’s People, Culture and Equity strategy.

Jenn has held several leadership roles at Health Leads overseeing clinical program implementation and integration at health systems and clinics nationwide — coaching and training of staff, establishing and promoting best practices for resource navigation, and codifying the program model using data and analytics.

Prior to Health Leads, Jennifer served as director of The Young Parents Program (YPP) at Boston Children’s Hospital, a multi-disciplinary clinic dedicated to working with teen mothers and fathers. There, Jennifer learned the strengths of her Boston community as the young families demonstrated resilience, unparalleled kindness, patience and great humor. As a licensed independent clinical social worker, Jennifer also worked in the emergency departments of Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital providing psychiatric and social crisis intervention.

Jennifer lives in the Boston area with her family, Carlos, Alexandra and Max. When not at work, Jenn loves to run with her friends and dream of being on the sandy beaches with her family, anywhere warm.

Education

  • MSW in Clinical Social Work from Boston University
  • MPH in Policy and Management from Boston University
  • BS in Sociology from Portland State University

Affiliations

  • MassHealth Delivery System & Payment Reform Implementation Council
  • BCBSMA Foundation Institute for Community Health Leadership