Health Foundation Welcomes Two New Staff Members to Advance Vision of Health Equity

Health Foundation Welcomes Two New Staff Members to Advance Vision of Health Equity

For Immediate Release
October 13, 2023
Contact: Kerry Jones Waring |

BUFFALO AND SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – The Health Foundation for Western & Central New York is pleased to announce the appointment of two new staff members who will play key roles in advancing the organization’s vision of health equity.

Ann Marie Sava will join the Health Foundation team as Director of Finance & Administration. In this role, Sava will provide support, oversight, and implementation of financial, investment, and administrative activities to ensure the Health Foundation’s continued effectiveness in the distribution of funds to grantee programs and projects.

Sava has four decades of experience in financial leadership roles for outstanding western New York organizations such as the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, DeGraff Memorial Hospital, Medical Management Services, and most recently, the Health Foundation’s community partners at Population Health Collaborative, where she served as Director of Finance & Operations since 2010. She brings vast expertise in managing accounting and budget oversight, audit processes, fiscal policies, and much more. Sava has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Canisius University. She resides in Kenmore, NY.

Gwen Baggs Ito has been named Storytelling and Advocacy Content Specialist. In this role, she will create, edit, and distribute compelling content that tells the story of the Health Foundation’s impact with grantee partners and influences systemic change through blog posts, email communications, web content, advocacy campaigns, reports, social media, and more. This content will play an integral part in helping the Health Foundation team reach key audiences, including grassroots nonprofit organizations across western and central New York.

Ito is a highly experienced writer and copyeditor who has served at notable western New York organizations including Buffalo Seminary, Canisius University, Crowley Webb, and Anthology/CampusLabs. She has written for publications such as Buffalo Spree and WNY Heritage Magazine, as well as many freelance clients. She received her bachelor’s degree from Yale University and her master’s degree from the University at Buffalo. Ito resides in Buffalo, NY.

“Our team is our greatest resource as we pursue our organizational vision of racial and socioeconomic health equity. Each member of our staff serves as a valuable, hands-on partner in this work, and Ms. Sava and Ms. Ito will both play pivotal roles in our overall goals,” said Nora OBrien-Suric, PhD, President, Health Foundation for Western and Central New York. “We are thankful for Ms. Sava’s extensive knowledge of the unique financial needs of nonprofit organizations and the mission-focused approach that she will bring to our team and grantee partners. Ms. Ito’s gift of storytelling and passion for health care advocacy will go far in strengthening our ability to lift the voices of our community and inspire big-picture change.


The Health Foundation for Western & Central New York is an independent private foundation that advocates for continuous improvement in health and health care for the people and communities of Western and Central New York. The Health Foundation’s vision is a healthy central and western New York where racial and socioeconomic equity are prioritized so all people can reach their full potential and achieve equitable health outcomes. For more information, please visit