Kelly Bruno is an experienced social service and health care executive, with 20 years of service in the non-profit sector. Currently the President and CEO for National Health Foundation (NHF), a 501(c)3 community-based nonprofit, Ms. Bruno leads a team of motivated professionals to address community needs by developing and implementing innovative, systemic solutions to gaps in the healthcare delivery system. In the last few years, the organization has narrowed its focus to address the health issues of underserved communities, with a priority on their social determinants of health and transition experiences in the healthcare system.
Prior to her role as CEO, Ms. Bruno served as the Chief Operating Officer for three years and Vice President of Programs for five years. In those positions, she was responsible for designing and implementing programs that focus on healthcare system delivery change and insuring the uninsured population. One of her most significant contributions was leading the effort to develop a program in response to hospitals’ inappropriate discharge to the street of homeless patients. Beginning in 2007, Ms. Bruno guided a collaborative effort with the County of Los Angeles, public and private hospitals, and other local organizations to double the number of recuperative care beds available to homeless patients discharged from hospitals needing aftercare. Even more, Ms. Bruno was instrumental in creating fiscal sustainability for the program, funding 100% of the operations through contractual relationships with hospitals. NHF’s Recuperative Care Program continues today, fully self-sustaining, at two sites in Los Angeles County and third in development in Ventura County. NHF serves more than 750 clients each year and has estimated cost-avoidance for hospitals of more than $38 million dollars since its inception. In 2014, NHF received a James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for its work on this project.
In addition to her role in the Recuperative Care Program, Ms. Bruno also oversees programs such as:
- The Patient Safety First program, a collaborative partnership involving over 180 hospitals statewide that is increasing healthcare quality, saving lives, and reducing costs by millions of dollars each year;
- A BUILD Health Challenge project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Advisory Board and deBeaumont Foundation. This project is based on NHF’s NHF Health Academy program, established at Jefferson High School in South L.A., through which students learn about healthy nutrition practices and work on team projects that improve the health of people at their school and in the surrounding community; and
- A series of teen pregnancy and parenting programs, which are offered at seven local high schools to assist young women in adapting to the challenges of motherhood and in planning for personal and career growth, and which engages young fathers in their responsibilities for pregnancy and parenthood.
Ms. Bruno has led NHF’s budget, fund development and strategic planning efforts for several years, in addition to program development and evaluation projects. Her work at NHF has given her experience in a variety of health-related topics, such as palliative care (a topic for which she has been published in peer-reviewed journals), to housing the homeless, to hospital- and community-based chronic disease prevention and management programs. These experiences have prepared her for even greater contributions to the healthcare community, particularly as the sector moves toward greater collaboration and emphasizes systemic solutions.
Prior to joining NHF, Ms. Bruno was Vice President at ONEgeneration; a national model of intergenerational shared-site programming that joins adult daycare for frail seniors with childcare for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years. In addition to managing the operations for these licensed and accredited programs, Ms. Bruno collaborated with researchers at both Penn State University and Virginia Tech to conduct, publish and present research studies confirming the benefits of this program for young children and persons with memory disorders. Under Ms. Bruno’s administration, this intergenerational program garnered national attention, receiving coverage on “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show.” Over the course of her 10 years at ONEgeneration, Ms. Bruno promoted the adoption of and was a staunch advocate for intergenerational programs. She has consulted across the country for universities, researchers, advocate organizations and services providers on the design, implementation and evaluation of such programs. Furthermore, she has published articles in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, Journal of Applied Gerontology, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, and Activities Directors’ Quarterly, and been an invited presenter at numerous conferences across the country.
Providing a unique foundation for her career was Ms. Bruno’s early experiences as a nursing home administrator and medical social worker. These positions gave her insight into the care continuum for elderly and chronically ill patients, an appreciation for the complexity of the funding streams for these programs, and a sincere appreciation for the work conducted by direct service providers in collaboration with patients and families. Ms. Bruno remains committed to her roots in social work and holds close her experiences, indicating the significant impact they have on her motivations for continuing to work in this field.
In addition to her career in the nonprofit industry, Ms. Bruno has committed much of her personal time to serving on volunteer boards for other nonprofit organizations such as Tierra del Sol Foundation, Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project, Accredited Home Health Foundation and Santa Clarita Valley Domestic Violence Center.
Ms. Bruno attended Azusa Pacific University, where she earned a BA in social work, and California State University, Long Beach, where she earned a Master in Social Work (MSW) degree. In August of 2014, Bruno completed Stanford University’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders, a selective residential program designed to further the professional development of leaders in the nonprofit sector.