Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation Announces New Board Members, Grant Program Officer

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members to its Board of Directors and also welcome a new senior staff member of the grantmaking team.

The new board members are South End resident Zamawa Arenas, founder and CEO of marketing consultancy Flowetik, and Dr. Kiame Mahaniah, CEO of Lynn Community Health Center.

Arenas is a skillful marketing strategist and entrepreneur who guides public health and health care organizations to engage with stakeholders and consumers for greater impact.  In leading Flowetik, she actively collaborates in the Greater Boston business and nonprofit communities, partnering with clients to advance equity and drive change in health care, education and economic development.

Across more than two decades, Arenas’ work has connected her with the Boston Public Health Commission, Hunger to Health Collaboratory, Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers and RIZE Massachusetts, among other organizations.

Arenas is a five-time Emmy award winner who has been inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers and recognized as a “Hispanic on the Move” by a leading business publication.  She is the recipient of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Pinnacle Award honoring women for their outstanding contributions in the workplace and to enhancing the region’s quality of life.  She earned a master’s degree in in broadcast administration from Boston University.

“I am honored by the opportunity to join such a talented and diverse group of individuals who are dedicated to the Foundation’s important mission,” Arenas said.  “Even with all of the progress in broadening access to care as a direct result of the Foundation’s leadership, there is still more work to be done to improve health care access and coverage for all residents of the Commonwealth.”

Dr. Mahaniah is an experienced family physician and health care leader.  He has served as CEO of Lynn Community Health Center since 2017, rising from the role of chief medical officer focused on quality care and the patient experience in the community health setting.  He began his career as a staff physician at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, before becoming the chief medical officer of North Shore Community Health.

Born in Philadelphia, Dr. Mahaniah draws inspiration from his childhood divided between the conflict-challenged African country of Congo and his education in Switzerland.  He is passionate about ending health disparities and his clinical interests include teaching and integrating opioid addiction treatment into primary care.

After graduating from Haverford College, he earned his Doctor of Medicine degree at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia as a National Health Service Corps scholar, and graduated from the Family Medicine Residency program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  Among other honors, he was named the Massachusetts Academy of Family Medicine Physician of the Year in 2012-13.

“I am thrilled to join the Foundation’s board and bring my perspective as a physician and community health leader to its important work, particularly in the focus areas of addressing racial inequities in health and pursuing social in health care,” said Dr. Mahaniah.  “As leaders in our society, we have a responsibility to recognize and address any structural gaps that persist as disparities in access to quality, affordable health care.”

Reena Singh recently joined the Foundation as Senior Program Officer.  Singh oversees grant programs designed to expand access to health care for racially, ethnically, economically and socially marginalized communities Massachusetts.  In 2021, the Foundation’s grantmaking activity totaled nearly $4 million and included the launch of the Racial Justice in Health program to support grassroots nonprofit community organizations led by people of color.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Singh served as the director of campaign planning and communications at Voices for Healthy Kids, an initiative of the American Heart Association.  She previously provided coaching and technical assistance while working for Community Catalyst, a national nonprofit advocacy organization based in Boston.

Singh holds a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Columbia University, where she received the Harvey Picker Prize for Public Service.  She also participated in the Boston University Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership.

“Reena has tremendous experience advancing advocacy campaigns and collaborating with health justice organizations,” said Audrey Shelto, President and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.  “Her focus on policy initiatives involving coverage, access and equity makes her an ideal addition to our team and will help propel the Foundation’s mission through her role supporting our major grantmaking programs.”

The mission of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation is to ensure equitable access to health care for all those in the Commonwealth who are economically, racially, culturally or socially marginalized.  The Foundation was established in 2001 with an initial endowment from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.  It operates separately from the company and is governed by its own Board of Directors.  For more information, visit www.bluecrossmafoundation.org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.