The Missouri Foundation for Health has named a new president and CEO.
Robert Hughes will assume his new post on Nov. 1, taking over from founding president James Kimmey who is retiring at the end of this year.
Hughes is an Illinois native but has spent the past 20 years in New Jersey. There, he worked for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest health philanthropy in the U.S.
He says his first priority will be getting to know Missouri.
"I really want to get out and understand what the health issues are across the region," Hughes said. "And I think any subsequent decisions about where the Foundation goes will be influenced by what I learn, and the kind of feedback that I get from community leaders and health leaders across the area."
Hughes expects big changes in healthcare over the next decade, including many stemming from the Affordable Care Act.
He says the Missouri Foundation for Health has helped state agencies, community organizations and the public understand the new federal law and its implications.
"There’s a real need for accurate information," Hughes said. "The ability to turn to an independent and a trusted voice that really understands the complexity of these issues I think is a real resource for Missouri."
Hughes says that under his leadership, the Missouri Foundation for Health will continue to serve as a source of information on federal healthcare policy.