GRAND RAPIDS — The CEO of Catherine’s Health Center, a nonprofit health care provider for underserved patients in Kent County, plans to retire early next year.
Karen Kaashoek has volunteered or worked for Grand Rapids-based Catherine’s since 1997, serving in roles such as neighborhood health services coordinator, clinical supervisor, executive director and chief executive officer.
Kaashoek will remain with the federally qualified health center until a new CEO is hired and to help transition the organization to new leadership.
“I like to say that I grew up as Catherine’s grew, taking on more responsibility as the organization grew in complexity,” Kaashoek said in a statement. “For the past 24 years I have had the privilege to serve beside an incredible team of staff and volunteers who meet the needs of the community. I will cherish the time spent here and the many wonderful people I have met.”
Under Kaashoek’s leadership, Catherine’s attained 501(c)(3) status as a nonprofit organization, raised $1.3 million to move into an expanded facility, expanded services, started a dental clinic, and achieved national accreditation as a Patient Centered Medical Home.
Catherine’s Health Center began in 1996 as a joint venture between Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, St. Alphonsus Parish and the Creston Neighborhood Association. The center first operated in the basement of St. Alphonsus on Leonard Street until 2011, then moved around the corner to the former St. Alphonsus School on Lafayette Street. Catherine’s provides primary, behavioral health and dental care, as well as health promotion and disease prevention services.
Directors at Catherine’s have formed a search committee and will retain an executive search firm to assist in recruiting a new CEO.
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