Constance Palmer was recently named Interim President and CEO of Outreach Community Health Centers. Palmer has almost 30 years’ experience in non-profit management, and has been a leader in the community and strong voice of action for children and youth in Southeastern Wisconsin.
Palmer began her career in banking, but quickly realized that it didn’t satisfy her interest in having a positive impact on the lives of Milwaukee families. She left that field in 1987 to take a position as Program Director at Milwaukee’s Institute for Child and Family Development, where she was an adoption recruiter and trained parents to be advocates for their children. After a brief stint at the Children Outing Association, she joined the management team at My Home, Your Home, an organization serving children and families involved in the foster care system. At My Home, Your Home, Palmer rose through the ranks to serve as CEO for ten years before assuming her position at Outreach.
As Interim CEO, Palmer will serve as chief spokesperson for the organization and oversee the operations of all clinics and community-based programs to ensure continued compliance with all Federal, state and local requirements and service agreements. Palmer states that she wants to focus her energy on building relationships with area leaders and on highlighting for others the organization’s historic mission and broad scope of services. Known locally for many years as Healthcare for the Homeless, Outreach Community Health Centers currently operates two primary care and one behavioral health clinic, offers specialized case management programs for those challenged by chronic mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder, and sponsors services for the homeless population that range from Street Outreach to Rapid Re-housing. Palmer will oversee a budget of over $14M annually.
Palmer has served on the Board of Directors for the African American Alliance for Children and Families, where she worked to strengthen agencies serving primarily African American families. She has also served on the boards of the Capitol West Academy and the Wisconsin Association of Family and Children Agencies, and on the Charitable Trust Committee for Professional Dimensions. Palmer’s leadership skills and commitment to families in Milwaukee led to the receipt of the Black Excellence Award from the Milwaukee Times in 2009 and the Black Women’s Network Award in 2010. In 2011, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation recognized her impact by bestowing upon her the Doug Jansson Emerging Leadership Award.
Born in Alabama, Palmer grew up in Milwaukee. She has two adult children and four grandchildren. Palmer holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Human Services from Springfield College.