Partnership for Better Health Welcomes Carol Thornton as Executive Director

The Partnership for Better Health welcomes Carol Thornton, MPA, as Executive Director. With a proven track record in leadership and a passion for our organization’s mission, Carol brings a wealth of experience to this role. Carol has been serving as the Interim Executive Director since the departure of Becca Raley in January 2024, and as Director of Grants and Public Policy since 2018.

“Thanks, in part, to the leadership of our previous executive director, the Partnership began the year as a resilient and high-functioning organization with exceptional and thoughtful staff that have tremendous influence on the quality of life in this region,” shares Board Chair Trish Niemitz. “We are confident we have found in Carol a worthy successor, with the ability to lead, sustain, and grow the capacity of the Foundation.”

Mark Price, Board Member and Chair of the Search Committee said, “we conducted a national search, reviewing more than a hundred resumes, and interviewed an exceptional group of applicants from local and national organizations. In that good company, Carol stood out for her recent work revising the Foundation’s grantmaking framework to be more flexible, equitable and inclusive. We are genuinely excited to see where Carol’s vision takes the Partnership, and confident in her ability to further our mission.”

As Executive Director, Carol will lead strategic initiatives, drive organizational growth, and foster collaboration while continuing the mission of the foundation to champion and invest in ideas, initiatives, and collaborations to advance equity and improve the health of the people and communities in our region.

“I am honored to accept the position of Executive Director. I look forward to working closely with our talented staff team, grantees, stakeholders, and community partners to advance our mission and make a positive impact on community health,” said Thornton.

Carol’s commitment to public service is evident in her previous roles, including her 11 years at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, where she oversaw statewide injury prevention activities in collaboration with local health departments and community-based organizations.

Her dedication to community service extends to her volunteer work for almost 15 years with the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, where she has been recognized with the Appreciation Pin for her role leading the Cumberland Valley Service Unit and the Heart of PA Pin for her service to the local council.

With a strong educational background, including a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from La Salle University and a Master of Public Administration from Penn State University, Thornton strives to be a connector for impact and a capacity builder for the greater Carlisle area so that everyone can achieve their highest potential for health.

A search for the next Director of Grants and Public Policy will begin this summer. Click here to learn more about grants through the Partnership for Better Health.