The Deaconess Foundation Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that lifelong St. Louis health and racial justice advocate Bethany Johnson-Javois, MSW, has been unanimously selected to serve as the next president and CEO of Deaconess Foundation. Her appointment follows a rigorous and thoughtful search led by the Deaconess Executive Search Committee, appointed by the Deaconess Board of Trustees. Johnson-Javois is currently Chief Executive Officer of St. Louis Integrated Health Network (IHN) and will join Deaconess in her new role starting October 18, 2021. Cheryl D.S. Walker, Esq. will continue to serve as interim President and CEO of the Foundation, a role she assumed in October 2020.
“Bethany brings deep immersion and experience in healthcare and racial justice, an abiding commitment to serving the people of the St. Louis region, and a unique ability to gather and apply community input to make informed, impactful decisions,” said Rudy Nickens, Chair, Board of Trustees at the Deaconess Foundation. “Bethany’s career has been one of progressive responsibility and leadership, often in the face of complex and challenging environments. There is no doubt that she is the right person for the job.”
Johnson-Javois was a member of the Deaconess Foundation Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2018, serving on both the Grants & Program and Policy & Advocacy Committees. During her service, she was instrumental in guiding the Foundation’s commitment to community capacity building and providing citizens with the resources needed to shift public policy and change systems to advance child well-being in St. Louis. She also served as co-chair of the Deaconess’ Community Advisory Board during her tenure; her efforts in this role helped to amplify the voices of affected communities which then informed the Foundation’s approach to promoting child well-being as a priority for the St. Louis region. Given her integral engagement with Deaconess over the years, Johnson-Javois is richly familiar with and dedicated to fully realizing Deaconess’ mission and vision. In the spirit of its faith heritage, the mission of Deaconess Foundation is the improved health of the Metropolitan St. Louis community and its people. The Foundation envisions a community that values the health and well-being of all children, and gives priority attention to the most vulnerable and knows this community only thrives if the allocation of power and distribution of resources, benefits, opportunities and burdens are not predictable by, nor predicated on race.