Phillips Oppenheim

Executive Director, New York, NY




As a leader in community-based primary care, Betances Health Center is committed to promoting quality healthcare as a basic right for all regardless of ability to pay. Betances builds on its success addressing the healthcare needs of the less fortunate by expanding its scope of services for individuals in one of the most diverse immigrant communities.


Betances Health Center - a dynamic, growing, highly respected and effective, comprehensive, community-centered health provider - is seeking an innovative, entrepreneurial, inspirational, and passionate strategic leader committed to ensuring greater health equity for its culturally diverse community, fully valuing and embracing the power of community while exercising the business savvy to get things done regarding the enhancement and expansion of services.

Betances seeks an Executive Director who is fired up and outraged by the injustice and inequitable services that all too often strip vulnerable populations of critical access to one of the most fundamental human rights: affordable and comprehensive high-quality health care. As a social justice champion, the Executive Director must share a firm conviction that everyone, regardless of socio-economic status, deserves the highest quality healthcare available and must lead with a sense of urgency to ensure this basic right for all.

The new Executive Director will take over an organization with an extraordinary record of achievement in its 47-year history. To build upon Betances' legacy, the Executive Director will possess strategic vision, entrepreneurial acumen, and the ability to manage and guide a complex organization in the competitive and transitioning healthcare marketplace, advocating for a diverse and underserved population that would otherwise have limited or no access to basic healthcare.


Betances Health Center is a not-for-profit agency that provides access to quality, culturally competent, and Comprehensive Community-Based Primary Care, HIV/AIDS care, Oral Health/Dental Services, Nutrition Services, Podiatry Services, Reproductive Health Care, and Behavioral Health & Social Services for a culturally diverse population with a large immigrant base. Its story began in early 1970 when Paul Ramos, the founder and tireless advocate, brought affordable health care to the medically underserved population of his beloved community of the Lower East Side through a robust mobile medical unit. Through Paul's dedication and hard work, Betances found a permanent home on Henry Street in the Lower East Side, one of New York City's most diverse communities, where it has become one of the leading comprehensive primary care facilities serving poor and low-income community members. Many came to see Paul as a modern day incarnation of the agency's namesake, Ramón Emeterio Betances, a 19th-century Puerto Rican physician and poet known as "the Father of the Poor," who received a medical degree in Europe and then returned to Puerto Rico to found a hospital and defend the island against the cholera epidemic of 1856.

Since its inception, Betances has grown tremendously to address the unequal distribution of medical care, adolescent pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, inner-city poverty, and homelessness. Today, Betances offers a broad selection of services and programs for people of all ages. A new health center in Bushwick will be opened this spring, enabling Betances to expand its outreach to another community with deep healthcare needs. Their services are completely confidential. As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), designated in 2006, they do not turn anyone away. They take care of individuals and families who otherwise have little or no access to basic healthcare. Through their comprehensive medical services, outreach programs, and education programs, Betances serves nearly 5,000 individuals a year. Patients receive care regardless of immigration status, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, or ability to pay.

Betances offers a holistic approach to patient care, taking into account a person's physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Through its comprehensive approach, Betances aims to ensure that each patient receives all the care he or she needs to stay healthy. Their centers provide an array of critical health services.

Betances, from its Henry Street headquarters, has a staff of approximately 70 and an operating budget of more than $7 million. The Bushwick facility is expected to have a staff of approximately 15 providers.


The Executive Director will provide the overall leadership, management, and vision for the agency, its programs, and delivery of services. In addition to overseeing day-to-day operations and activities, the Executive Director will assume the critical role of serving as an external presence and spokesperson - expanding current funding from public and private sources, developing new sources of revenue, representing the agency's mission, purpose and values, and raising its visibility.

Working closely with and reporting to the Chair of the Board, the Executive Director will ensure that Betances is fiscally and administratively sound and that its structure, technology, program development and implementation, financial planning, and operational systems are strategically managed with realistic goals and objectives.

It is of primary importance that the Executive Director provides the commitment, credibility, and passion for Betances' mission and the growth and enhancement of its services. The Executive Director will inspire and motivate staff, Board members, and constituents, and build on the established relationships that have flourished with city, state, and federal decision makers and funders in order to serve the most vulnerable populations. The Executive Director will have the trust and confidence of an involved and active Board, so that the agency - its programs, policies, service delivery, and visibility - is enhanced and supported.



  • History - Get to know Betances' history, mission, values, culture, and constituencies. Understand its organizational structure, finances, programs, and funding sources.
  • Leadership - Lead with an inspirational strategic vision that fully embraces the mission, while simultaneously and most critically keeping a finger on the pulse internally of day-to-day operations, services, and activities.
  • Prioritization and Commitment to Outcomes - Organize and prioritize Betances' activities to most effectively fulfill its mission. Execute its strategy with a commitment to excellence across all operations and a passion for delivering measurable outcomes, which positively impact the lives of the people it serves.
  • Programs - Know Betances' programs and appreciate whom the organization is serving, how its programs are structured and funded, how performance is measured, how money is being spent, and what it costs to ensure and deliver quality services efficiently. Ensure existing programs are consistent with Betances' goals and financially sustainable.
  • Strengthening Infrastructure and Operations - Oversee the financial status of the organization, including developing long-term and short-range financial plans, monitoring the budget, meeting regulatory requirements, and ensuring sound financial controls are in place. Ensure the delivery of high-quality services while managing for current and future growth. Set financial priorities accurately to ensure the organization is operating in a manner that supports the provision of services and the needs of the staff. Evaluate programs with an eye toward balancing fiscal realities with the organizational mission. Hold self and the organization to the highest levels of transparency, integrity, and accountability.
  • Staff - Attract, build, and lead a highly motivated, competent, culturally diverse, and multilingual team engaged in a transformation effort with a common vision, sense of purpose, and shared objectives. Manage and evaluate staff, setting benchmarks and holding them accountable. Facilitate cross-departmental collaboration and strengthen internal communication with staff throughout the agency to foster cohesiveness. Create a positive, multicultural work environment that supports consistency throughout Betances' operations.


  • Resource Development - Develop a solid understanding of Betances' funding models and strategies. Grow and broaden a sound and diversified funding base. Ensure existing government funding stream is maintained and strengthened. Grow and build a fundraising event and increase foundation grant funding. Anticipate funding trends and remain ahead of the curve.
  • Public Role and Relationship Building - Serve as a very visible spokesperson and advocate for Betances. Engage and coalesce stakeholders around the mission and provide leadership in an effort to raise profile and attract resources. Strategically position Betances with its external constituents and the media as a leader, model, and go-to organization for effectiveness providing high-quality medical services to underserved populations. Maintain and build community partnerships to improve access and maximize resources. Seek new strategic alliances to promote Betances' mission and work.


  • Board Relations - Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board based on trust and confidence, and ensure open communication about the measurement of financial, programmatic, and impact performance against stated milestones and goals. Forge relationships that will bring forth their best ideas and efforts in support of Betances' activities. Help attract and recruit diverse and inclusive Board members.
  • Strategic Planning - In concert with the Board and executive staff, develop, support, manage, and implement the strategic plan while ensuring that the budget, staff, and priorities are aligned with Betances' core mission. Incorporate the strategic plan into the organization's operating and business plan, and ensure that the strategic plan is implemented in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  • Growth - Build upon Betances' history of success and its momentum for growth. Assess opportunities and plan for prudent expansion into new markets.
  • Evaluation - Assess and evaluate the organizational structure, staff, and functions. Make changes where necessary to ensure that programs and operations are effective and that collaboration, communication, and accountability are the norm. Design solutions related to financial and clinical performance data and measure efficacy of service delivery with a clear sense of metrics.


The Executive Director should have the following experience and qualifications:

  • Proven managerial, problem-solving, and strategic planning capability and commensurate fiscal responsibilities, preferably as an executive with a public sector nonprofit agency or in the private sector, provided the individual has served as a volunteer or nonprofit board member or in other ways has experience in the government, social services, or healthcare fields; candidates with community health center experience could be a plus;
  • A true understanding of and appreciation for the power of community as an advocate and provider of essential services; familiarity with Lower East Side, Bushwick, or similar underserved communities.
  • Proven ability to interact professionally with a strong, active board and to create constructive relationships with board and staff;
  • Proven record of success relevant to fundraising and/or marketing strategies and the ability to harness financial resources by building effective relationships with government sources and other potential donors;
  • An understanding of government grants and contracts; awareness of current and ongoing changes in the political landscape and the impact of change on Betances' funding;
  • A history of communicating effectively in writing and verbally, including excellent public speaking skills for formal and extemporaneous presentations; able to represent Betances to a broad public.


The successful candidate should be:

  • A deeply committed advocate for social justice with evidenced effective leadership in addressing issues of racial, social, and economic inequities, particularly in health;
  • A catalyst and doer who is able to conceptualize and express ideas and anticipate and act on events which may create opportunities for Betances;
  • A seasoned professional who is organized, strategic, financially aware, and politically astute; able to develop and maintain, on all fronts, a sense of team spirit and common purpose, understanding that Betances is an agency created to meet the medical needs of vulnerable populations;
  • A strong, decisive leader who is able to build consensus and work collaboratively to maximize the contributions of staff;
  • Diplomatic and persuasive in order to manage a group of able professionals and Board members with strong opinions and personalities;
  • A creative problem solver and skilled negotiator who can initiate and originate rather than just respond;
  • Someone with a sense of humor and maturity in order to maintain perspective and a sense of balance;
  • College degree required; advanced degree preferred;
  • Fluency in Spanish and/or Mandarin can be a plus.

Please send applications and nominations to Paul Spivey and Susan Meade to:

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