Dr. Kendra Holmes Makes History with New Role as Affinia Healthcare President & CEO 

Dr. Kendra Holmes, President & CEO, Affinia Healthcare
Dr. Kendra Holmes, President & CEO

Dr. Kendra Holmes stepped into her new role as President & CEO for Affinia Healthcare January 1, 2023. The Affinia Healthcare Board of Directors first announced Dr. Holmes’ promotion in March 2022. The new role is also a historic one: Dr. Holmes is the first woman, and the first Black person, to be selected as the organization’s President and CEO in its 117-year history.

Dr. Holmes joined Affinia Healthcare in 2003 as a pharmacist and worked her way to the organization’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In that role, she oversaw health center operations including: radiology, laboratory, nursing services, security, WIC, maternal child, and services for unhoused citizens. She also spearheaded the health center’s most recent Joint Commission review which resulted in a Gold Award for its ambulatory care. Her previous roles also included director of pharmacy operations and directing the health center’s quality improvement and accreditation initiatives.

Dr. Holmes received her bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in pharmacy at the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis. She is also the recipient of the Community Health Centers Executive Management Fellowship from the Kansas University Medical Center.

Actively involved in the community, Dr. Holmes has received numerous honors and accolades throughout her career. She serves on the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis Board of Trustees and was a member of the 2015 St. Louis Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Class. She is the recipient of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy Distinguished African-American Alumni Award, the St. Louis American Foundation’s Excellence in Healthcare Award, St. Louis County NAACP Outstanding Healthcare Service Award, and 2022 Quality of Life Award from the St. Louis Mayor’s Office, among others.

Mr. Kimball McMullin, Affinia Healthcare Board Chair, stated, “Dr. Holmes has progressively developed an impressive resume, displaying exceptional leadership during her 19-year tenure at Affinia Healthcare. Our Board considered several well-qualified applicants for the position. Dr. Holmes’ distinguished service in our organization and throughout the region set her apart.”

Dr. Holmes is replacing Dr. Alan Freeman, who is stepping down after serving as Affinia Healthcare’s President and CEO for 16 years.

Takisha Lovelace, vice president, COO
Takisha Lovelace, VP/COO

In other administrative developments, Affinia Healthcare has selected Ms. Takisha Lovelace as its new Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Since 2020, Ms. Lovelace has served as Executive Director of Community Health Operations for a large health system in the St. Louis region. In her prior management/executive roles, she served as director of operations in a community health center organization and a university school of medicine. Ms. Lovelace has also served as an administrative officer for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

Ms. Lovelace earned her master’s degree in Management and Leadership from Webster University in St. Louis, and her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Columbia College in St. Louis. Additionally, Ms. Lovelace is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Her professional and community associations include the City of Ferguson Mayor’s Task Force, Generate Health (Patient Champion, Infant Health Action Team), and service on the Board of Directors of the Veterans Business Resource Center (VetBiz).

Ms. Sonia Deal is being promoted to Vice President of Community Health and Engagement. Ms. Deal has worked for Affinia Healthcare since 2013 and since 2020, she has served as its Assistant Vice President of Clinical Integration. She has been a registered nurse since 1999, and a nurse manager/executive for more than 20 years.

sonia deal, vp
Sonia Deal, Vice President

Ms. Deal earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Nursing from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. She is a Community Health Center Executive Fellow (CHCEF), and a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator. Additionally, Deal has served in the United States Army Reserves since 1995, rising to rank of captain. She is active in various community and professional organizations, including Sigma Theta Tau International (the Honor Society of Nursing), the Missouri League for Nursing, the American Heart Association, and the American Diabetes Association.

“The quality of professional knowledge, experience, and commitment to community displayed by Ms. Deal and Ms. Lovelace are truly impressive,” Dr. Holmes said. “I look forward to working alongside these skilled professionals as we continue to advance the mission of Affinia Healthcare.”

Affinia Healthcare, the former Grace Hill Neighborhood Health Centers, is a nonprofit community health center that has served the St. Louis region since 1906.