Health Leads Begins New Chapter as Alexandra Quinn Takes Helm

Health Leads Begins New Chapter as Alexandra Quinn Takes Helm

Founder and longtime CEO Rebecca Onie to join Rocco Perla in forming new effort focused on policy and advocacy

Boston, Mass. – The Health Leads Board of Directors today announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer, Alexandra Quinn, to lead the national organization into its next phase of growth and impact. The news marks the beginning of an exciting chapter for Health Leads – a nonprofit social enterprise that has emerged as a leader in addressing social determinants of health within the American healthcare system. Quinn takes over as CEO this week, as former CEO and Co-Founder, Rebecca Onie, and Health Leads President, Rocco Perla, step down from their roles. Onie and Perla will launch a new initiative in 2018 to advance the social determinants of health from a policy and advocacy platform.

For more than 20 years, Health Leads has pursued a singular vision: a healthcare system that addresses all patients’ essential resource needs as a standard part of quality care. The organization’s efforts have helped to drive social determinants of health into daily conversations throughout the healthcare sector, helping to foster a rapidly-evolving movement that is changing what counts as care. Today, a growing number of leading healthcare institutions – including Boston Medical Center, Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente and University Hospitals of Cleveland – are leading the charge to realize this shared vision for a transformed healthcare system.

“Since its inception, Health Leads has stayed true to its vision of a healthcare system that truly delivers health, while adapting its approach to meet industry changes,” said Health Leads Board Chair John Mandile. “Between Alexandra’s experience leading our national strategy and her groundbreaking work in California, I have full confidence Health Leads will continue to bring forth the expertise, guidance and resources that leaders throughout the sector have come to expect.”

As Health Leads’ longest-serving senior executive, Alexandra Quinn has been instrumental in developing and executing the organization’s overall strategy, including pioneering work to enable major healthcare institutions to address social needs at scale. With nearly 20 years of government and non-profit management experience, Quinn will lead Health Leads into its next strategic plan and phase of growth.

“Over the past decade, it has been an absolute honor to work with Rebecca and support Health Leads’ growth from a small volunteer collective to a nationally-recognized hub of knowledge and expertise on effective social needs programs,” said Quinn. “Learning alongside and from our partners and patients has been incredible both personally and professionally. I couldn’t be more excited to lead this team into our third decade of inspiring partnerships and incredible impact.”

Health Leads was co-founded by Rebecca Onie in 1996 as an all-volunteer effort, and has grown into an organization with more than 100 core staff members and hundreds of advocates in cities across the U.S. Onie will leave the organization in January 2018 to pursue a new, multi-stakeholder initiative alongside Health Leads President Rocco Perla. With a focus on policy and advocacy, the effort will initiate a different, forward-thinking conversation about health and healthcare in America – including how we talk about, fund, legislate and deliver health in a just, equitable and sustainable manner.

“My two decades with Health Leads have been the privilege of a lifetime, and I am deeply grateful for those who have joined with us on the long road toward a country that embraces and acts on a broader view of health,” said Onie. “I know Health Leads will continue to play a key role in addressing the realities of patient’s lives that directly impact their health and well-being.”

Onie will continue to serve on the Health Leads Board of Directors as the organization addresses the growing market demand for tools, strategies and best practices to bridge healthcare institutions and community-based services. Health Leads plans to serve as one of several seed funders to the new initiative Onie and Perla will launch in 2018.


About Health Leads
Health Leads is a social enterprise that envisions a healthcare system that addresses all patients’ basic resource needs as a standard part of quality care. For 20 years, Health Leads has worked with leading healthcare organizations to create sustainable, high-impact and cost-effective social needs interventions that connect patients to the community-based resources they need to be healthy—from food to transportation to healthcare benefits. Health Leads is committed to sharing its tools and expertise to improve the health and well-being of patients, and to accelerating the leadership, best practices, incentives and research required to change what “counts” as healthcare. Learn more at, reach us at and follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Media Contact
Jason Stephany
Health Leads