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Daniella Jaimes-Colina, Ph.D.

Piedmont Health Services (PHS) has announced that Daniella Jaimes-Colina, Ph.D., will become the organization’s next chief executive officer. Dr. Jaimes-Colina, who brings a wealth of experience in public health administration and strategic planning, will be the first female to lead the organization. She will succeed current CEO Brian Toomey, MSW, who will officially step down on January 15, 2024, after 18 years with PHS.

“We thank Brian for his leadership over the last 18 years and look forward to welcoming Dr. Jaimes-Colina and to continuing our shared work,” says Dr. Margaret Helton, Chair of the UNC Department of Family Medicine.

Piedmont Health has a decades-long partnership with the UNC Department of Family Medicine and School of Medicine, focused on providing outstanding primary care and inpatient management. This partnership deepened with the establishment of the Carolina Health Net program in 2007, an Access Health Network focused on the care of the uninsured, and furthered with the establishment of the UNC Family Medicine Residency’s FQHC Track in 2013, a model program nationally. Piedmont Health also welcomes more than 100 UNC Health professional learners annually for clinical rotations – medical students, dental, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and preventive medicine, and additionally provides its Carrboro Community Health Center facility for operations of the UNC SHAC Free Clinic. The Piedmont Health Innovation Center is actively collaborating with UNC Family Medicine on HRSA and NIH grants focused on best practice training in behavioral health integration, maternal health, and the care of low English proficiency (LEP) populations and individuals with disability.

“FQHCs continue to play a critical role in our state’s health care safety net, one which has been front and center in the COVID-19 crisis and now as the state moves forward with Medicaid expansion. I think that our Carolina Health Net/Academic Health Center/FQHC partnership with Piedmont Health is a model for the nation. We have a lot to be proud of,” says Marni Gwyther Holder, MSN, RN, Director of Community Health Initiatives at the UNC Family Medicine, who began her career at Piedmont Health as an FNP in 1998 and most recently served as its Development Director before assuming her role at UNC.

Outgoing CEO Brian Toomey, MSW, provides history on historic leaders of the FQHC movement and its relationship with UNC, “Dr. John W. Hatch, DrPH, professor emeritus of the UNC Gillings School of Public Health, is considered one of the founders of the FQHC movement. He worked with Dr.  Jack Geiger, MD, to establish the Delta Health Center in Mt. Bayou, Mississippi, in 1965, proving the value of community health centers, especially in Black and rural communities. They’ve left a legacy I’ve been extremely proud to be a part of.”

Piedmont Health Services was founded by Joint Orange-Chatham Community Action, Inc. (now Central Piedmont Community Action, Inc.) in collaboration with UNC Hospital officials in 1970 to address community health disparities and healthcare access barriers. Then called Orange-Chatham Comprehensive Health Services (OCCHS), Piedmont Health was the first community health center organization in North Carolina to receive the Federal Qualified Health Center (FQHC) designation, with medical leadership provided by UNC School of Medicine faculty and its first three community health center sites staffed by UNC’s first class of nurse practitioners. The organization changed its name in the mid-1990s to reflect its expanding footprint. Piedmont Health now operates ten Joint Commission-accredited community health centers and Piedmont Health SeniorCare, a CMS-deemed Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in the UNC Health service area (see

In 2022, Piedmont Health reached more than 44,000 individuals with comprehensive, affordable, high-quality health care using a team-based care model that includes full spectrum medical and dental care, integrated behavioral health, pharmacy, and care support services, including WIC/nutrition, migrant/seasonal farmworker outreach, and eligibility assistance. Piedmont Health is now one of more than 1,400 community-governed FQHC organizations nationally (42 in NC) that serve more than 31.5 million people annually, including an estimated 1 in 5 uninsured, and 1 in 3 living in poverty (for more information on North Carolina’s FQHC organizations, see