Richard Smith Becomes JHF’s New Chief Relationship Officer

Richard Smith, MSW

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) has named Richard Smith, MSW, as the chief relationship officer, a new role for the organization.

Growing in popularity among forward-thinking organizations in the tech and business sectors, this role is particularly valuable after the strain and dislocation of the pandemic. By instituting this role, JHF intends to promote equity, preempt conflict, and nurture a positive, cross-collaborative culture in the workplace. This role will focus on increasing job satisfaction, morale, engagement, and retention. The chief relationship officer also can help individuals create boundaries to protect themselves from the emotional stress and negative impact that challenging workplace relationships can create, and to implement self-care practices.

Smith's familiarity with JHF and his years of experience in social work make him a perfect fit for this role. He joined JHF in October 2010 as a Program Associate for the HIV/AIDS hospital readmissions reduction project and has served as the HIV/AIDS Program Director since 2012. He earned a dual bachelor's in psychology and theater from Lock Haven University, and a master's in social work from the University of Pittsburgh. While earning his MSW, Smith interned at various local AIDS service organizations, which inspired him to want to continue working with vulnerable populations. Prior to JHF, he was a Quality Manager and Crisis Social Worker for more than four years at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

During his time leading the HIV/AIDS team, Smith has set a tone of transparency and candor, implementing open lines of communication across his team. In his new role, Smith intends to encourage the type of growth he has witnessed across the entire foundation.

"JHF is a great place to work, and I intend to advance our potential even further. My aim is to cultivate an environment where all JHF staff are more equitably supported and empowered with the tools and processes they need to succeed," Smith said.

Smith emphasized the importance of relationships in this stage of the pandemic, as employees emerge from over a year of abruptly limited connection. Smith will help JHF navigate discussions of safety and comfort, to ensure all voices are heard and honored.

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