March of Dimes names Dr. Elizabeth Cherot its new President and Chief Executive Officer

July 10, 2023

Welcomes 5 New Leaders Within Healthcare, Business Sectors to its National Board of Trustees

Arlington, VA, July 10, 2023 – The March of Dimes National Board of Trustees today announced the appointment of Dr. Elizabeth Cherot as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 17. As March of Dimes’ first physician leader, Dr. Cherot will be responsible for the development and implementation of a strategic vision to address the country’s maternal and infant health crisis, while increasing awareness and engagement in its work among key stakeholders.

Dr. Cherot previously led the nonprofit’s Office of Maternal and Child Health Impact, providing strategic guidance and clinical expertise across the organization to improve health outcomes for moms and babies through programs, education and advocacy. As President and CEO, Dr. Cherot will also foster an organizational culture of collaboration, innovation and strategic growth with a commitment to best practices in diversity, equity and inclusion.

“As a physician and mother of two children, it’s simply unacceptable that our country is among the most dangerous places to give birth among high income countries today,” said Dr. Cherot.  “Families are facing poor health outcomes and grave disparities, which makes our work at March of Dimes more important than ever before. I’m committed to changing the course of this crisis and look forward to working with our partners and supporters to ensure every mom and baby has the best possible start.”

Dr. Cherot is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and brings more than two decades of experience managing numerous maternal and infant health initiatives.  Prior to March of Dimes, Cherot served as the Chief Medical Officer for Axia Women’s Health, one of the largest fully integrated Women’s Health Care Groups in the United States where she oversaw over 2,500 colleagues, 500 providers, and 200 patient care center locations across five states.  Dr. Cherot holds a medical degree from The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry along with an Executive Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Johns Hopkins University. 

“Today, too many babies are born too sick and too soon and too many moms are facing health risks and death that we know are largely preventable,” said National Board of Trustees Chair Sharon Mills Higgins. “Dr. Cherot’s clinical background, coupled with her track record in driving innovation and her commitment to nurturing a diverse leadership staff and inclusive organizational culture, makes her the clear choice to lead our organization forward. As a practicing OBGYN, she’s keenly aware of the issues people are facing before, during, and after pregnancy, and is focused on ensuring we’re conducting cutting-edge research and providing the best programs, education and resources to support the needs of families across the nation.”

Mills Higgins also thanked Karen Walker Johnson for serving as interim President and CEO since January. 

The Board of Trustees also welcomed five new members into its ranks.  The new trustees serving four-years terms are:

Andrew (Andy) J. Dahle, CPA, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He served the last 24 years of his 38-year career as a Partner at PwC. He has been a March of Dimes Chicago volunteer for 15 years and is a member of March of Dimes’ Roosevelt Society. In 2020, was inducted into the Institute of Internal Auditors American Hall of Distinguished Audit Professionals. Dahle was elected as Board Treasurer and Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee.

Ellen Kelsay is President and CEO of Business Group on Health, which is the largest nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to representing large employers' perspectives on health, well-being and workforce strategy issues. Ellen has testified before the U.S. Congress and was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare of 2022. Kelsay hosts the Business Group on Health podcast and has authored articles in Harvard Business Review, Modern Healthcare and other outlets. Kelsay was elected as Vice Chair of the Board’s Development and Marketing Committee.

Austin Pittman is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Suvida Healthcare, a neighborhood-centric, senior-focused primary care organization. Pittman launched Suvida after holding several national executive roles across the healthcare ecosystem.  He previously served as CEO of OptumCare, a $27 billion UnitedHealth Group company that provides information and technology-enabled health care services.  He also served as CEO at United HealthCare Community & State, where he led one of the largest Medicaid platforms in the country.

Tim Spilker is the Chief Executive Officer of UnitedHealthcare Community & State, which serves nearly 8.1 million Medicaid members, including more than 3.2 million children. UnitedHealthcare is a division of UnitedHealth Group which is a diversified health and well-being company with a mission to help people live healthier lives and help make the health system work better for everyone. Spilker previously served as CEO of the East Region, where he was responsible for the organization’s Medicaid business strategy and operations in 12 eastern markets. Spilker was elected as Vice Chair of the Board’s Finance, Audit and Risk Committee.

Sandy Torchia is Vice Chair, Talent and Culture, for KPMG’s talent strategy, positioning the firm to attract, develop and retain the best people. As a member of the firm’s Management Committee, Torchia works with KPMG’s leadership team to develop and implement initiatives that advance the firm’s growth strategy. Her areas of focus include fostering a supportive, inclusive, and values-based culture and work environment. Torchia has been recognized by the Hispanic Information Technology Executive Council (HITEC) as one of the Top 100 most influential and notable Hispanic professionals in the technology industry.

Additionally, National Board of Trustees Vice Chair, Dr. Phyllis Dennery, was elected as Mission Advancement Committee Chair. 


March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every family can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 85-year legacy, we support every pregnant person and every family. To learn more about March of Dimes, please visit