Announcing a Leadership Transition - Callen-Lorde

Announcing a Leadership Transition

Outgoing Executive Director Wendy Stark  to lead Planned Parenthood of Greater New York;

Jonathan Santos-Ramos named Interim Executive Director of Callen-Lorde

NEW YORK, NY – The Board of Directors at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center announced today that Executive Director Wendy Stark (she/her) has made the decision to resign from the organization to accept the position of President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York.

“I could not be more honored to have served at Callen-Lorde for most of the last three decades,” said Stark of her departure. “There is much work to be done in the ongoing fight for health equity and justice, and I am so proud that Callen-Lorde is on strong footing to continue its critical work.”

The Board unanimously appointed Jonathan Santos-Ramos (he/him) as Interim Executive Director and will initiate a national search for the next executive leader. In his current role, Santos-Ramos serves as Callen-Lorde’s Senior Director for Organizational Planning & Sustainability, working with the finance, clinical, and operations teams to help build a path forward for the organization’s continued growth, transformation, and stability. Wendy and Jonathan will work closely with the Board and Callen-Lorde’s staff in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition for all, especially for the many patients under the organization’s care.

Stark has worked with the organization since 1994 in numerous positions including in her current role as Executive Director since 2015, and in a previous tenure as Executive Director from 2007-2012. Under her leadership, the organization close to doubled its capacity to serve LGBTQ+ New Yorkers; commenced critical policy and advocacy work, including statewide leadership to efforts ensuring the inclusion of gender affirming care coverage by health plans; and provided critical emergency healthcare services in response to Hurricane Maria, COVID-19, and most recently, Monkeypox.

“Wendy Stark has been a truly transformative leader for Callen-Lorde and for LGBTQ+ health, and the Board extends its deepest appreciation to her for her more than 25 years of dedicated service and commitment to our patients, staff and communities,” said Lanita Ward-Jones (she/her), Chair of the Callen-Lorde Board of Directors. “Under Wendy’s leadership, Callen-Lorde has expanded care to the Bronx and Brooklyn, doubling clinical capacity, and now serving more patients in their home boroughs. She did this while strengthening financial controls for the organization and ensuring its strong foundation for this transition. We wish Wendy the absolute best in her new endeavor and look forward to the progress she will continue to make in health equity and justice.”

Ward-Jones continued, “Our Interim Executive Director Jonathan Santos-Ramos is a proven leader at Callen-Lorde with tremendous experience in nearly all areas of our organization. During his combined 14 years with us, he has held senior roles in clinical operations, education, community engagement and strategic initiatives. The Board looks forward to working closely with him and the entire leadership team over the next several months as we continue Callen-Lorde’s mission of providing sensitive, quality health care and related services targeted to New York’s LGBTQ+ communities – in all their diversity – regardless of ability to pay.”

In his current role, Santos-Ramos has been primarily responsible for the execution of the organization’s strategic plan. Working with leaders across the organization, he monitors and evaluates all service delivery, program performance metrics, and provides fiscal analysis at Callen-Lorde to ensure successful execution of organizational policy and performance goals. As a bilingual leader, Santos-Ramos provides Spanish translation guidance across the organization and is also a champion of Callen-Lorde’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, serving on the DEI Steering Committee.

Prior to re-joining Callen-Lorde in 2016, Santos-Ramos was Center Director within the Federally Qualified Health Center Community Healthcare Network, where he opened and ran a large health center site that tripled in size under his leadership and where he worked to improve network-wide services and policies. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Director of Business Systems and Strategy for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Bureau of HIV Prevention and Control, where he managed oversight of all funded contracts that provide HIV-related services throughout all five boroughs.

”I am very grateful for the Board’s confidence in me, and I am moved to be able to steward an organization that I love through this interim process at such a critical time in our community’s history, when so many are suffering and under attack, both politically and physically,” said Santos-Ramos. “I am equally grateful to Wendy, my friend and mentor, as I inherit a healthy organization, talented leadership team, and devoted staff.”

Santos-Ramos holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from CUNY’s Baruch College and a Bachelor’s degree in Gender Studies from Rutgers University.