2023 Is So Full Of Possibility -- Frances Padilla Says Farewell

2023 is so full of possibility!! My time with Universal has drawn to a close.  As we think about the year ahead, we all look forward to welcoming a new leader.  That will be soon, so please stay tuned for the big announcement!  In the meantime, Lynne Ide, my colleague and friend of 16 years has graciously stepped in as Acting President.  As always, we can count on Lynne! Don’t hesitate to reach out to her if you need anything.

My 18 years with Universal have been a highlight of my 42-year career.  This feisty little foundation has proven that with determination and resolve, it is possible to fight for social change and to succeed at it!  The term “universal health care” was just an idea back in 2000 when the foundation was first incorporated.  So many wondered if it was a pipe dream.  But over its past 2 decades the boards and staffs of this visionary organization, and its many partners have believed in the mission.  And here we are, still aspiring to achieve health justice, but much further along than we were at the outset. 

The work continues because the struggle for equity, affordability, and true access to health care requires unwavering commitment. Now that Universal is in its third decade is a good time for trying out new approaches, infusing new ideas, engaging new people in that commitment.  We know that in our country health care is not a true right and it will never be without the power of the people demanding health, racial and social justice.  There is much racial healing needed to achieve health justice. In the words of the late member of Congress John Lewis, “get into good trouble, necessary trouble” for justice and racial equity. Universal has been getting into good and necessary trouble since its birth. I’m pleased to leave it in full adulthood, ready to continue the fight.

~Frances G. Padilla