Megan Murphy appointed Executive Director of Superior Health Foundation

Megan Murphy, a leader in healthcare philanthropy, has been named executive director of the Superior Health Foundation (SHF). She brings extensive knowledge of the non-profit and philanthropic sector to this role, including more than 15 years of experience at small non-profits, a university-based research and learning center, a nonprofit health system and a state-wide health foundation.  

The Superior Health Foundation is a health-centered, grant-giving organization serving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It provides funding to address equipment, health education and program needs to support nonprofit organizations across the Upper Peninsula for the health benefit of all the region’s residents.

“The Superior Health Foundation is a special organization, and the impact our grants have in rural communities is profound,” said Sara Giles, President of the SHF board of directors. “Megan has an incredible vision and strategy to extend the foundation’s reach to all areas of the Upper Peninsula. Her creativity, drive and familiarity with the U.P. will help her succeed for years to come.”

Most recently, Murphy has been Director for Community Health and Capacity Building at the Michigan Health Endowment Fund where she spearheaded the development of a $6.5 million grantmaking and nonprofit support program, an initiative that builds the capacity of small nonprofits and collaboratives to improve the health of the communities they serve.

She joined the Michigan Health Endowment Fund as grants manager in 2016 and transitioned to a program officer for the Health Fund’s Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle program in 2018, where she worked to improve access to healthy foods, food security, and nutrition and wellness education in Michigan. Prior to joining the Health Fund, she held several roles within the nonprofit sector in Grand Rapids, focused on health, philanthropy, program development and community engagement.

“As someone who grew up in the U.P. and spent several years working on health issues in the region at a distance, this is like a homecoming for me,” Murphy said. “The Superior Health Foundation is an innovative grant-making organization that focuses exclusively on the health of U.P. residents. I look forward to bringing my experience as a statewide funder to lead the Foundation into this new chapter.”

Murphy earned a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and international relations from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Public Administration from Western Michigan University. She was raised in Ironwood and currently resides in Pinckney, Mich. 

Murphy will assume her responsibilities as Executive Director of Superior Health Foundation on April 1.

She succeeds Jim LaJoie, who has served as the foundation’s executive director since Sept. 1, 2012. His retirement is effective in May.   

Superior Health Foundation engaged Kittleman & Associates to conduct a search for its Executive Director.  Kittleman & Associates is a national executive search firm that specializes in the recruitment of CEOs for tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, public charities and philanthropic organizations. Kittleman recruits leaders for the entire nonprofit sector, including foundations, healthcare, human services and advocacy organizations. For more information, visit

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