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Dec 17, 2013 | EDOT Staff

Baker Institute Scholar Named Head of Episcopal Health Foundation

Elena Marks will begin work as
's CEO in 2014

After a nationwide search, officials at The Episcopal Diocese of Texas announced today that Elena Marks has been named president and chief executive officer of the Diocese’s new Episcopal Health Foundation beginning January 13, 2014. Marks is currently a Health Policy Scholar at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and previously served as director of Health and Environmental Policy for the City of Houston from 2004 to 2009.


“I believe we have made a stellar choice in Elena Marks to help guide Episcopal Health Foundation. We are at the threshold of a great moment for the Episcopal Church in our Diocese and with this new foundation we will endeavor to serve God’s people who are in need,” said Bishop C. Andrew Doyle. “I am grateful to Linnet Deily and the board for the considered work they have done in reviewing many, very qualified candidates.“


Doyle went on to say that the board has spent its first months discerning a vision and mission for the new $1B foundation, whose grants will address many of the health needs of the underserved population throughout the 57-county diocese.


“We have many neighbors who live with preventable illness, many men, women and children who are homeless, children living in food insecure homes throughout our diocese. Our mission is to answer God’s call to us to meet their needs,” Bishop Doyle said.


"I am honored to have been chosen to lead Episcopal Health Foundation,” Marks said. “This significant gift holds the potential to transform the lives of millions of Texans by investing in the health of the communities throughout the Diocese." 


Deily, executive chair of the Foundation’s board, said: "We are delighted to welcome Elena as the president of our new Foundation. Her leadership and wealth of experience in public health issues, including access to health care for the underserved, will be invaluable to our efforts."


Marks’ experience at the Baker Institute has focused on policy in health care delivery systems, access to healthcare for low income and uninsured populations, delivery of grant-funded projects and health information technology. While on Mayor Bill White’s senior staff, she established the Hurricane Katrina clinic at the George R. Brown Convention Center, which provided 10,500 medical visits in 25 days and expanded community-based primary care clinics. Prior to joining the mayor’s staff, Marks practiced trial and appellate law and developed strategic, long range and operating plans for service lines and system centers at St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System.


Marks holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University, a law degree from The University of Texas School of Law and a Master of Public Health from The University of Texas School of Public Health.


The Episcopal Health Foundation was founded with proceeds from the sale of St. Luke's Episcopal Health System to Catholic Health Initiatives in June, 2013. Access to the Foundation’s grant processes for health initiatives will likely begin in either late 2014 or early 2015.