Common Ground Health, the region’s health research and planning organization, is pleased to announce two updates to its leadership team.
Dr. Linda Clark, a physician specializing in occupational medicine and preventive medicine and public health, has been promoted from senior health advisor to chief medical officer. Dr. Clark will provide clinical expertise and guidance to our agency's research, data and analysis efforts. Former Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Mahoney will continue working with Common Ground as a consultant.
Dina Faticone, who has helped to build Common Ground’s Healthi Kids initiative since 2012 and has become a key part of the agency's leadership team, has been promoted to chief program officer. She will oversee the agency’s health improvement programs, including community outreach, education and advocacy for children and historically underserved populations.
Common Ground Health CEO Wade Norwood said Dr. Clark and Faticone are “bright, innovative leaders who reflect not only the diversity of the community but also the diversity of skills needed to do this very complex and exciting thing called regional health planning.”
About Dr. Linda Clark
A longtime advocate for health equity and population health, Dr. Clark is replacing Dr. Thomas Mahoney, who served as chief medical officer from 2010 to 2021 and who will continue to contribute to the organization as a consultant.
“This is a critical time to be an organization like ours,” said Dr. Clark. “Not only is COVID-19 dramatically impacting public health, but it is showing the kinks in the armor that protects and undergirds it, such as economic instability and inequitable access to nutritious foods. We can look at these factors as we work on health equity for all.
“I’m thrilled to be in a position to focus even more energy on evaluating and strategizing ways to increase the presence of diverse health care professionals in our region, because that has been tied to better outcomes in concordant populations. Additionally, we can see how traditional race-based medical practices can negatively impact outcomes.”
A tireless volunteer for Common Ground Health, Dr. Clark served as a clinical advisor and as a member of the Community Technology Advisory Board prior to joining the staff. Over the past year she has ensured that COVID-19 information, testing and vaccinations have been made available to the community’s underserved residents. On the state level she served on a workgroup for the COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Task Force, charged with reducing barriers to vaccination and ensuring an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Locally, Dr. Clark spearheaded the launch of the COVID-19 Vaccine Speakers Bureau, to bust myths in communities of color disproportionately affected by the pandemic and dealing with systemic inequities in healthcare.
Wanting to help reduce health disparities in the community and increase physician workforce diversity, Dr. Clark co-founded and serves as president of the Black Physicians Network of Greater Rochester, Inc. The innovative, nonprofit organizational think tank is made up of more than 60 MDs, DOs, PhDs, and others, many with additional advanced degrees. Along with them, Dr. Clark is a role model, mentor and advocate for current medical students, helping to secure scholarship support and emergency funding, and for elementary and high school students who dream of pursuing careers in medicine.
For 18 years Dr. Clark was a member of the African American Health Coalition, an advisory-turned-advocacy group that brings together community members, leaders, and health professionals to coordinate efforts to improve health for Black people in the Finger Lakes region. During the past year she has guided this coalition, in addition to the Latino Health Coalition, as they have both expanded their advocacy efforts.
Active in community-based organizations as well as the medical community, Dr. Clark has served on the board of directors of Trillium Health, and currently serves on the board of directors of St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center, on the Committee to Eliminate Health Disparities of the Medical Society of the State of New York, and on the Monroe County Medical Society’s Quality Committee. She recently pushed for the formation of the Committee on Equity and Diversity with the Monroe County Medical Society, and serves as chair.
Dr. Clark earned her medical degree from the University of Virginia, her master’s degree in epidemiology from SUNY Buffalo and her bachelor’s degree in biology from Brown University. She is a research assistant professor in SUNY Buffalo’s Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health and Public Health and an adjunct assistant professor in Public Health Sciences at University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, has been promoted from senior health advisor to chief medical officer.
About Dina Faticone
Faticone joined Common Ground Health in 2012 as a community engagement specialist. A year later she moved to managing Healthi Kids, a grassroots community coalition advocating for policies, systems and environmental changes that nurture the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of kids from birth to age 8. Under her leadership, Healthi Kids secured a 47% increase in revenue—from $590,000 to $1.3 million—to expand the program’s reach into additional schools and neighborhoods.
In 2017 Faticone became director of community health and engagement, in which she managed Healthi Kids as well as the High Blood Pressure Collaborative, another health and wellness intervention initiative aimed at preventing chronic disease and improving population health in Monroe County and the Finger Lakes region.
“Now that I've been on the ground for so long and have a global view of the type of work everybody is doing, I’m looking forward to continuing to grow programs with a more strategic lens—to do work that's relevant to the community, based on what the community tells us is needed,” Faticone said. “Creating that synergy is really important to me and foundational to how we do our work.”
Prior to joining Common Ground Health, Faticone, an award-winning activist, spent more than 10 years working in the community development field on a broad range of issues including youth development, environmental health and sustainable development. Her work included researching the effects of climate change on small islands in Columbia and working as a field program coordinator at the World Learning, School for International Training in Botswana.
Faticone earned a master’s degree in sustainable development from Brandeis University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Le Moyne College.