Alma García Chosen to lead New Jersey Health Initiatives

The Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ) and Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) today announced the appointment of Alma García as program director for New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI), a signature program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The two community foundations are partners with RWJF in the co-creation and implementation of NJHI to advance a culture of health in NJ, “where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.”

In this role, García will lead strategies supporting NJHI as a place-based changemaker in New Jersey communities, building and bridging to community power, and advancing equitable policy and systems change.

“New Jersey’s health challenges highlight opportunities to advance equity in our state,” said García. “I am excited to start in this new role, and find those opportunities, to support power-building in historically marginalized communities that will lead to a healthier New Jersey for all.”

Over the past 35 years, NJHI invested $100 million in more than 300 projects and grants statewide to advance health equity and empower community-level organizations to be effective advocates.

In a strategic refresh, the new NJHI aims to understand the ecosystem of power building organizations and invest in base building organizations to tell stories, build relationships, structure teams, strategize, and act for systems change, centered on racial equity.

“We are excited to have Alma join our community foundation team to complete the co-creation process and lead the implementation that supports the community-based vision,” said Hans Dekker, President of the Community Foundation of New Jersey. “This NJHI partnership with the two community foundations is about ensuring RWJF’s philanthropic investment is leveraged by our collective community knowledge.”

Andy Fraizer, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of South Jersey said, “Alma’s experience and skills are imperative to center community leadership in the redesigned NJHI. Alma’s demeanor and professional accomplishments demonstrate key factors for future success: deep listening, relationship building, and driving results through the alignment of strategy and accountability.

“All of us at RWJF are excited to welcome Alma and look forward to her leadership in building upon NJHI’s legacy as a force for health equity, racial justice, and community advancement in our home state of New Jersey,” said Michelle Larkin, vice president, program management at RWJF.

An accomplished and inclusive leader in the nonprofit sector, García served most recently as Bilingual Regional Director for Entrepreneurship for All, a national nonprofit organization that helps under-represented individuals successfully start businesses. García was the longtime executive director of the Puerto Rican Community Center in Trenton, where she implemented an elevated standard of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) across the organization and beyond. She was also Vice President of Belonging and Strategic Learning at Raise the Future, which implements evidence-based, wraparound services that reduce the amount of time youth in foster care live without a permanent family.

About the Community Foundation of New Jersey

The Community Foundation of New Jersey has served New Jersey communities since 1979.  The Foundation hosts a variety of charitable funds and initiatives that unite human and financial resources to enhance the quality of life in New Jersey.  The Foundation’s funds granted over $100 million to communities in New Jersey and beyond.

About the Community Foundation of South Jersey

Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) helps South Jersey residents harness the power of philanthropy to transform their community and the issues they care about most. CFSJ envisions an eight-county region thriving where all neighbors aspire, succeed, participate, and give. The vision is realized as CFSJ inspires generosity, manages and deploys permanent charitable assets, and exercises collaborative leadership to create a more equitable region.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is committed to improving health and health equity in the United States. In partnership with others, we are working to develop a Culture of Health rooted in equity that provides every individual with a fair and just opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. Follow on LinkedInTwitter or Facebook.