The board of directors at Healing Hands Ministries has dismissed president and CEO Janna Gardner after 14 years leading the nonprofit. Chief Operating Officer Jason Wallace will serve as executive in charge until a new president can be hired, according to an Oct. 30 letter sent to clinic employees.
Some current and former donors, board members, employees and volunteers had been speculating for months that Gardner might be asked to resign, though insiders I spoke to preferred not to be named or quoted. They cited Gardner’s abrasive interpersonal interactions and years of high employee turnover at the clinic, among other concerns.
Board Chairman Adam Chabira spent last week phoning donors and medical partners to communicate the leadership change. In his letter, he assured doctors, nurses and others working to provide healthcare for uninsured and underinsured families that Healing Hands’ ministry would continue.
“Founded in 2006 to provide compassionate, accessible, quality care to all of its neighbors, Healing Hands Ministries will continue to serve as a beacon for the underserved,” Chabira wrote. “There would not be a Healing Hands Ministries without the faith, courage, and vision of Janna Gardner. We wish Janna love and much success in her next endeavors.”
“We also would not be here without each and every one of you and your daily efforts and dedication carrying out the mission to our dear patients,” continued Chabira. “You are the faces and embodiment of Healing Hands for which we are very grateful. Having a strong, caring, and supportive culture is a key objective that we are committed to enhance and measure.”
Gardner worked as a school nurse in Richardson ISD before creating the nonprofit. In the early days, the clinic relied on donations from Sunday school classes, community organizations and generous families committed to the mission. Today, HHM annual revenue exceeds $6 million and is comprised mostly of patient service revenue – particularly Medicaid and Medicare. More than 61,000 patient visits were provided in 2019 at HHM clinics in Vickery Meadow and on Greenville Avenue.
Note: This writer is a former board member and donor to Healing Hands Ministries. Gardner and Chabira declined to provide a comment or statement to Lake Highlands Advocate when asked Nov. 3.