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Axis Community Health CEO Announces Retirement

Photo credit: Chuck Deckert

Axis Community Health will be bidding farewell to the leader who has guided the non-profit organization through more than a decade of change and the COVID-19 health crisis. Sue Compton, Chief Executive Officer, has announced her retirement in June.

It has been my honor to lead a team of exceptional healthcare professionals… – Sue Compton

Axis is the sole provider of care for low-income and uninsured Tri-Valley residents. At the beginning of Ms. Compton’s tenure in 2007, Axis had two locations and offered primary care medicine, mental health counseling and a WIC nutrition program. Axis has since more than doubled its service capacity in response to the growing need for affordable care in the Tri-Valley. It now operates five sites and has added many other services, including dental care, acupuncture and chiropractic services. Axis Bridge, an innovative mental health urgent care program began in 2021 with the support of all three Tri-Valley cities and Alameda County. Under Ms. Compton’s direction, the organization increased in size from 70 employees to nearly 200, and from an annual operating budget of $7M to $31M.

“It has been my honor to lead a team of exceptional healthcare professionals who are passionate about providing high quality care for Tri-Valley residents who face barriers to care,” said Ms. Compton. “With the support of a devoted board of directors and the entire Axis team, I am proud of the many services we offer in our community and of the impact we have on the lives of more than 15,000 Tri-Valley residents. Although it is going to be very hard to say goodbye, the Axis team is primed to continue on its trajectory of success and I am confident that the organization will thrive in the coming years.”

Axis serves 15,000 local residents, and 1 in 13 Tri-Valley residents depend on the organization for care. In 2021, Axis provided more than 100,000 service visits. Axis has been on the frontlines in responding to the COVID-19 health crisis, administering more than 20,000 COVID tests and more than 22,000 COVID vaccinations at its clinic sites, at local schools and community locations.

The organization has received numerous quality awards, including being recognized as one of the nation’s top community health centers by the US Bureau of Primary Care. Closer to home, in 2021 Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan named Axis Non-Profit of the Year. The Rotarian Foundation of Livermore similarly honored Axis in 2021, in recognition of Axis’s tremendous work in the Tri-Valley in response to COVID.

Ms. Compton began her career in public health nursing in the rural south and urban Milwaukee. She has a BSN from Duke University and an MHS in health administration from the University of San Francisco. After serving in management at Children’s Hospital of Northern California, she joined the Axis staff in the 1980s. In addition to serving as Axis’s CEO, Ms. Compton is the Board Chair for the Alameda Health Consortium and serves on the board of directors of the Community Health Center Network.

“It is impossible to overstate Sue Compton’s accomplishments at Axis,” said James Paxson, Chair of the Axis Board of Directors. “The board brought Sue on as Axis’ CEO in 2007 without hesitation. Her long tenure at Axis and deep knowledge of the organization were exceptional. With that came a deep passion for Axis’ mission, deep caring for the people Axis serves, as well as commitment to Axis’ staff and the delivery of quality health care. Sue has overseen a four-fold increase in Axis’ service capacity and established Axis as a key Tri-Valley institution for years to come. This enviable legacy belongs to someone who could not be more committed and or more caring in her work. She will be greatly missed.” The Board of Directors is conducting a search for the organization’s next CEO.

You can learn more about Axis HERE.