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Kootenai Health Foundation announces new leader

| June 30, 2022 1:00 AM

Cara Nielsen will be joining the Kootenai Health Foundation as its new president, effective Monday, Aug. 1, according to an announcement by Kootenai Health and the foundation.

Nielsen is coming to Kootenai Health from the Idaho Community Foundation, where she has served as the vice president of philanthropy and impact since 2019. Prior to that, she was the executive director of development at Boise State University.

“We are extremely pleased to have Cara joining the Kootenai Health Foundation,” said Chris Meyer, partner and asset manager at Parkwood Business Properties and chairman of the Kootenai Health Foundation board of directors. “After conducting a national search, we were pleased to find a candidate who has both the needed skills and a familiarity with Idaho and our local community.”

Nielsen will be replacing Julie Holt, who is retiring after working as the Foundation’s president for the past six years.

“Northern Idaho is a special place, especially for philanthropy,” said Holt. “It has been a pleasure to be part of connecting the generous people of our community with our community-owned hospital’s mission. I am so grateful for my time with the Foundation. It is nice to hand the baton to someone I know will continue this good work with the same heart and dedication.”

The Kootenai Health Foundation is the fundraising arm for Kootenai Health, which provides comprehensive medical services to patients in North Idaho and throughout the Inland Northwest. Established in 1983, the Foundation helps support a wide range of needs that enhance patient care and access to services in North Idaho.

“The Kootenai Health Foundation and the community support it fosters have always been important, but never more so than today,” said Jon Ness, Kootenai Health CEO. “These are challenging times in health care, and we will be looking to the Foundation under Cara’s leadership to continue the good work that Julie and her team have underway.”

Nielsen holds her Bachelor of Arts in English and political science from Boise State University. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the strategic direction of philanthropic programs.

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