Minnesota Community Care, the state’s largest federally qualified health center, announced the appointment of two new directors to its senior leadership team, each with deep experience working and advocating for the health and well-being of communities disproportionately impacted by social, structural, and political determinants of health.
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Cindy Nelson Kaigama joins Minnesota Community Care as Director of Innovation and Learning (Photo: Business Wire)
“Our leadership team is stronger for the addition of these key leaders,” says Reuben Moore, CEO of Minnesota Community Care. “Cindy Kaigama and Rubén Vázquez each bring critical experience and expertise to our work of strengthening the well-being of our communities through health care for all.”
Cindy Nelson Kaigama will serve as Director of Innovation and Learning, and Rubén Vázquez Ruiz as Director of Equity and Inclusion.
Kaigama is a champion of health and education equity with more than 20 years of experience as an educator, health and human services leader, and social entrepreneur. Previously, she served as Regional Health Systems Director for the Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota and North Dakota, and as Multicultural Initiatives Director at the American Heart Association for the state of Minnesota. Kaigama has served as Adjunct Instructor at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Health and Human Services graduate program, on the African Immigrant Memory Loss Advisory Board and University of Minnesota’s Council on Aging Advisory Board, and as volunteer Diversity Chair for the Board of American College of Healthcare Executives, Minnesota Chapter. She is also the founder of Healing Virtue, LLC, a social enterprise focused on improving health outcomes of girls and women of African descent.
Kaigama holds a master’s degree in Human Development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in Family Studies from Western Michigan University. In 2017, she was recognized with the Wellness Advocate award by Minnesota Business Magazine.
Rubén Vázquez Ruiz was motivated to work with underserved populations in part by his own experience as an immigrant from Mexico City more than 40 years ago. His experience in education, community engagement, and racial and social justice includes leadership roles in the Office of Student, Family, and Community Engagement in Minneapolis Public Schools, TakeAction Minnesota, and the Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity for the City of St. Paul. Most recently Vázquez served as VP of Racial Justice and Public Policy at YWCA Minneapolis where his team hosted YWCA’s annual It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race™ event and introduced phase 2 of this work: It’s Time to Act!™. Vázquez currently serves on the Board of Directors for OutFront Minnesota.
Vázquez holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Hamline University, a certificate in Global Arbitration from Queen Mary University, London England, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Metropolitan State University in St Paul.
“Cindy and Rubén make us a stronger and more engaged organization at a time when our services are more needed than ever by the communities we serve,” says Moore.
About Minnesota Community Care
Minnesota Community Care was founded in 1969 with a simple purpose – to meet the health needs of the underserved. As the largest federally qualified health center in the state, Minnesota Community Care provides affordable, high-quality, accessible clinical care and public health services to patients regardless of income, insurance, or immigration status. Minnesota Community Care provides primary care services to over 38,000 patients each year across 16 clinical locations, and reaches an additional 30,000 beneficiaries annually with mobile health, public health, and outreach services.
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Paige Anderson Bowen
Minnesota Community Care