In heartfelt recognition of her extraordinary contributions to improving the health and healthcare of residents of Northern Virginia through visionary grantmaking and a tireless commitment to health equity, AFC extends its warmest congratulations to Pat Mathews, President & CEO of Northern Virginia Health Foundation (NVHF), as she embarks on a well-deserved retirement.
Since taking the helm of NVHF in 2005, shortly after its inception, Pat has forged an enduring partnership between the Foundation and AFC. She consistently encouraged AFC to embrace innovation, guided us to explore uncharted territories, and provided unwavering support as we sought fresh avenues to enhance the overall health of our community.
Several years ago, Pat guided the Foundation to embark on a groundbreaking research initiative that revealed stark disparities in health outcomes and a +17-year life expectancy gap in many adjacent census tracts in the community. The ripple effect of this invaluable work is still reverberating today, influencing local government policy, and catalyzing a profound shift in the dialogue surrounding health equity, particularly emphasizing the role of race.
More recently, Pat played a pivotal role in inspiring AFC and our local health safety-net partners to place a renewed emphasis on the impact of community conditions—social determinants of health (SDOH)—on the well-being of our patients. Today, addressing SDOH needs and advocating for improvements in the conditions that shape our community’s health landscape are integral facets of AFC’s daily mission.
Under Pat’s astute, imaginative, and strategic stewardship of NVHF, our neighbors enduring low incomes and lacking health insurance have found a tireless champion dedicated to fortifying the local health safety-net. As we bid farewell to this remarkable leader, we celebrate Pat for a legacy that has led to a healthier and more equitable community for all.