NewsPress Release

Leverage Network accelerates efforts to diversify healthcare boards, C-suites

CHICAGO (February 1, 2021) – The Leverage Network (TLN) has received support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to increase the number of Black executives on healthcare governing boards and in senior executive positions.

Research has shown a correlation between healthcare provider diversity and better care for disadvantaged communities. Diverse boards bring a greater awareness of and willingness to solve racial inequities in access to quality care, better housing, transportation and nutrition. Those disparities have grown more acute and much more public as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $200,000 grant, from one of the world’s largest philanthropies, will enable TLN to expand its Healthcare Board Initiative, which in four years has identified, recruited and trained dozens of Black executives for service on boards of directors of health systems, not-for-profits and technology firms. TLN also will have more resources to build relationships with more organizations seeking greater diversity at the top.

The funding will also help TLN launch a new initiative called the Emerging Leaders Program, which will provide 50 participants per year with, educational forums, networking opportunities, executive coaching and sponsorship to help close the gap in senior leadership and C-Suite positions held by Blacks in healthcare.

“The timing of the grant is especially fortuitous,” said Antoinette Hardy-Waller, a longtime health system executive and board member who founded TLN in 2014 out of frustration at the slow progress on diversity in her industry. New research conducted by her organization, to be released in the coming weeks, finds that healthcare boards are on average still mostly white and male, a decade after five national healthcare associations urged, among other changes, increased diversity in governance and leadership.

“The pandemic, combined with the Black Lives Matter movement, has brought about a historic willingness at the corporate and organizational level to change the status quo,” Hardy-Waller said. “Thanks to the Kellogg Foundation and our other sponsors, we are now well-positioned to help make that happen.”

TLN, she said, is helping organizations realize the business case for diversity and inclusion by creating an environment where the richness of diverse ideas, perspectives and experiences demonstrate value for partnering organizations and businesses.

About TLN

The Leverage Network, Inc., has become a respected national resource for the promotion and advancement of Blacks in governance and leadership roles in the healthcare and life sciences fields. TLN works with Black executives, professionals and community leaders to prepare them for board and leadership opportunities and with healthcare organizations to help them achieve goals of inclusiveness in governance and senior leadership. For more go to




Antoinette Hardy-Waller
[email protected]