Raquel Mazon Jeffers

Co-Director

Raquel Mazon Jeffers is a strategic leader focused on creating more human-centered, equitable health care systems at the state and national level. Fundamental to her work is the belief that empowered communities are healthy communities. She is Co Director of the Community Health Acceleration Partnership (CHAP).

Raquel is a passionate advocate for Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice. Her work in this area formally began in 1996, when she received a highly competitive Ford Foundation Fellowship in the Human Development and Reproductive Health Unit. She provided technical assistance to a $4 million United States funding initiative entitled Sistersong: Women of Color Reproductive Health Project. Sistersong was a leader in reproductive justice, and Raquel became activated by the gross disparities of a historic system that not only denied but alienated basic human rights.

Following this appointment, Raquel worked for 12 years with the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services—including five years as the Director for the Division of Addiction Services before assuming the role of Deputy Director, where she observed that the behavioral health treatment system only served 10% of the total need.

People who did receive treatment arrived there after major catastrophic life events. They were arrested, separated from their children, homeless, unemployed, and on cash assistance. In addition, although there is an over representation of Black and Brown people suffering from addiction, very few were attending treatment programs and their outcomes were worse than then their white counterparts. Racial disparities were coupled with gender biases that pit the needs of mothers and children against one another.

Informed by these stark observations, Raquel led New Jersey’s community-based system of care, providing operational and policy direction. With a nearly billion dollar budget, she transitioned the system of care to a managed behavioral healthcare approach; changed the internal culture to foster strategic thinking, innovation, and a shared sense of mission; spearheaded the merger of the Divisions of Mental Health and Addiction Services to better address individuals with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders; developed best-in-class practices around transparency and accountability for stewardship of public resources; and spoke locally and nationally as a subject matter expert and official state representative. The systems and policies she enacted for New Jersey became a national model.

These experiences, along with ten years of leadership at The Nicholson Foundation focused on improving the health and well being of under-resourced New Jersey populations, led Raquel to her current role at CHAP. CHAP’s mission is to support the emergence of a community health system that is holistic, relational, person-centered, and community-driven.

Together with her CHAP colleagues and partners, Raquel is changing the role of philanthropy, carving out new spaces for donors to listen, putting the decision-making power in the hands of community members, and ensuring that investments facilitate sustainable, positive community health change.

Our Team

Jhenielle Reynolds
Program Manager
Jeffrey C. Walker
Co-Chair
Wendy McWeeny
Co-Director
English Sall
Co-Chair
Austin Hearst
Co-Chair
Raquel Mazon Jeffers
Co-Director