The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg Names Dr. Kanika Tomalin as President and Chief Executive Officer

May 8, 2023News,Press Release

Extensive community input helped shape the selection of a local, seasoned leader. 

Today the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg (FHSP) announced the appointment of Dr. Kanika Tomalin as its next President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Tomalin, whose local leadership has crossed public and private sectors, was instrumental in the creation of the conversion foundation during her time as Bayfront Health Systems Vice President of Strategic Planning & Public Affairs, following the sale of the health system.  

Over the last decade, the Foundation has awarded millions of dollars to local organizations, created the Center for Health Equity and formed strategic partnerships with organizations across the community that share its goals. It works in the communities it serves to address health disparities, advance population health and achieve health equity through the advancement of racial equity.  

Dr. Tomalin will begin at the Foundation in mid June. 

“We are thrilled that Dr. Tomalin will lend her tremendous experience and expertise to  lead this organization into its next chapter,” said Dr. Donna Petersen, Chair of the Foundations Board of Trustees. “Our community faces tremendous challenges but is also poised to seize opportunities. Dr. Tomalins deep commitment, long-standing relationships and record of trajectory-shifting outcomes made her our clear choice. Her leadership will reinforce our commitment to achieve racial and health equity.”  

Dr. Tomalins appointment follows a nationwide search that included extensive community outreach to a broad cross-section of the St. Petersburg community. Feedback was received from community leaders, ranging from business and health experts to clergy and local activists. More than 175 people shared their ideas and priorities for the ideal qualifications and background of a new leader. In addition to the required executive experience, the importance of integrity, relationship building and community engagement emerged as most important. These factors shaped the nationwide search, conducted by Winner Partners, the executive search firm tasked with leading the process.  

“I am deeply committed to the mission, purpose and possibilities for the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg and I am excited to lead this talented team,” said Dr. Tomalin. “It is a continuation of my lifes work to create a healthier, more equitable community.”  

Dr. Tomalin currently serves as Eckerd Colleges Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Strategy. She previously served eight years as Deputy Mayor for the City of St. Petersburg, including four as City Administrator. Accomplishments during this time include founding the Innovation District; creation of the Healthy St. Pete initiative; helping reduce African American poverty to a record low; and guiding St. Petersburg through its pandemic response. The fifth-generation of her family to call St. Pete home, Dr. Tomalin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcast journalism from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, an MBA from the University of Miami, and a Doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University. More than two decades ago, Dr. Tomalin joined Bayfront Health System as a fundraiser and advanced through the ranks to the C-suite. As the regional vice president of external affairs, she led the creation of the joint-venture partnership that resulted in the creation of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg.  

“The Foundation for Healthy St. Petersburg plays a vital role advocating for equity in this community,” said Gwendolyn Reese, President, Florida African American Heritage Association. “Dr. Tomalin understands this vision, and we are thrilled that she will be leading this organization.”  


Media Contacts: 

Danielle Weitlauf
(727) 686-8565  

Barbara Green
Communications Manager
(727) 865-4650   

About the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg 

The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg is a private foundation formed in 2013 following the sale of the nonprofit Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. It is the steward of an endowment to support health equity in Pinellas County. The Foundation achieves health equity through racial equity by listening humbly, learning fearlessly, and leading courageously to impact systems change. In 2019, it opened the Center for Health Equity to invite people to learn, connect, and create together in order to advance racial equity and transform our communities. To learn more, visit 


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