Lark Galloway-Gilliam, executive director of the Community Health Councils, passed away recently following complications from a long-fought illness. She was 61.

Galloway-Gilliam was more than a colleague—she was a loving sister, mother, aunt, friend, and mentor, noted the council board of directors and staff.

Wrote the board of directors: “her successes were our successes; her struggles were our struggles. She fought and faced her illness with courage and hope.

While we mourn the loss of a wonderful woman, we also celebrate Lark’s remarkable life and her work in advancing the cause of health equity, which serve as examples to people everywhere who are dedicated to improving the lives of others.

“Lark was a hero who fought for the underserved not only in Los Angeles and California, but across this country. She served as an innovative thinker in the public administration and non-profit sectors for more than 25 years, founding Los Angeles-based Community Health Councils Inc. in 1992..

As executive director, Galloway-Gilliam grew Community Health Councils into an influential advocacy organization that led efforts to eliminate disparities in health by expanding coverage, improving access to quality healthcare in underserved communities, increasing access to healthy and affordable foods, and improving the environment in areas with inadequate resources for healthy and active living.”

Galloway-Gilliam received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and a master’s in public administration at USC. She was the chair of the National REACH Coalition, a member of the Advancing the Movement Advisory Committee, and a former Durfee Foundation Sabbatical Awardee. She also dedicated her life to social justice.

“The entire CHC board and staff are steadfast in their commitment to preserving and expanding upon Lark’s legacy and passion. CHC will continue to build upon Lark’s legacy by effectively advocating for and serving South Los Angeles and other vulnerable communities for decades to come.”

A public memorial will be held to celebrate Lark’s life and to recognize her endless contributions to our community. More details about this expected January special event will be soon and will appear on chc-inc.org.