Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), a community health system serving Cambridge, Somerville and Boston’s metro-north communities, has named Doug Kress as its new chief community officer. He most recently served as the director of health and human services for the City of Somerville (Mass.).
At CHA, Mr. Kress will build partnerships with community-based nonprofit groups, local governments, and state and regional agencies to advance the health system’s clinical, research, and policy initiatives. He will oversee CHA’s Department of Community Health Improvement, which leads efforts to improve access and health status outcomes in the communities we serve, and link its resources to strategic priorities. He will also strengthen lines of communication throughout all of CHA’s communities to identify potential collaborations and develop community-based programs that respond to the needs of its patients and local residents.
Mr. Kress comes to CHA with more than 20 years of experience in municipal leadership, policy development, and community organizing. He has a proven track record in developing multi-sector collaborations, building public/private partnerships, navigating local regulations, and employing data analysis to drive results and engage communities.
During his tenure with the City of Somerville, Mr. Kress successfully reorganized and expanded the Department of Health and Human Services, overseeing areas including public and school health, prevention, emergency preparedness, the Council on Aging, and veterans’ services. Managing a staff of 65, he developed and implemented the department’s policies, goals, objectives, and performance measures, including the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce, performance management, employee relations and engagement, and oversight of grant, local, state, and federal funding opportunities. He also expanded the department’s focus to better emphasize behavioral health, equity, accessibility, and community engagement.
Prior to that position, Mr. Kress held several public administrator roles in Minnesota, including director of development services for the City of Minneapolis and policy aide for a Minneapolis City Council member. He holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota and a master’s in public policy from Tufts University.
“Doug is an experienced and driven leader who deeply understands our organization and shares our commitment to improve the health of our communities, and we are thrilled he is joining our team,” said CHA’s CEO Assaad Sayah, MD.