Jeremy Hanson Willis to Lead JustUs Health as New CEO
Originally Published: 04/05/2019
New CEO named at completion of six-month executive search
JustUs Health’s Board of Directors announced they have hired Jeremy Hanson Willis as the new Chief Executive Officer for the agency. Jeremy officially starts leading the agency on Monday, April 8. His arrival is the culmination of a six-month national search led by Ballinger|Leafblad under the direction of a six-member panel of the JustUs Health board members and senior agency staff.
Prior to joining JustUs Health, Jeremy Hanson Willis served as the Deputy Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development for the State of Minnesota. In this role, he oversaw a team of 1,200 and a budget of $304 million to provide a variety of innovative job training and work readiness initiatives for under-served residents across the state. Before his tenure with the State of Minnesota, Jeremy held a number of roles in local government, communications and public advocacy, including serving as Chief of Staff and Communications Director to Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. He also comes to JustUs Health with a decade of legislative advocacy experience, including advancing the statewide public policy agendas of the Minnesota Smoke‐Free Coalition and the Minnesota AIDS Project.
“It was critical to JustUs Health that we recruited an executive who could represent our clients through their own lived experiences in the community,” said JustUs Health Board of Directors – Treasurer & Internal Affairs Committee Chair, Matt Piermantier. “Our unanimous recommendation to the Board of Directors is the strongest statement we could make that we found exactly that right person to lead the agency.”
JustUs Health was created in 2018 through the merger of the Minnesota AIDS Project and Rainbow Health Initiative. The agency’s work now also incorporates the education curriculum of nationally recognized Training to Serve, which joined the JustUs Health family in November 2018. The new agency’s mission is to lead the work to achieve health equity for diverse gender, sexual, and cultural communities.
The merger laid the groundwork for the launch of JustUs Behavioral Health clinic in March 2018 which offers mental, chemical and sexual health services for LGBTQ people, from communities impacted by HIV, and those facing barriers to behavioral health support. When combined with JustUs Health’s HIV prevention, care coordination, education and support services, the agency offers a continuum of comprehensive and integrated health services in a safe and supportive environment. JustUs Health’s research and advocacy initiatives also help identify and address the issues clients have faced in the broader health care system.
“I’m eager to combine my past experience at the Minnesota AIDS Project in the late 1990’s with my more recent career where I focused on building equity in communities with historic disparities,” said Jeremy Hanson Willis, JustUs Health – CEO. “Joining the innovative work of an agency with more than a 30-year history of serving the LGBTQ community and those impacted by HIV, feels like ‘coming home.’ I can’t wait to engage with clients, staff and community leaders to continue serving those who need our help the most.”
Jeremy succeeds David Fey, who has served as Interim Executive Director at JustUs Health since October 2018. During David’s time with the agency, he has provided the critical day-to-day management of ongoing operations while assisting the agency to identify and successfully address many important internal matters.