The Impactful Role of Renown Health Foundation's Board of Directors

By: Emily Najera

February 01, 2024

Renown Foundation Board Member Brian Cushard pictured with his family

Above: Brian Cushard (left), Renown Health Foundation Board Chair, with his family

At Renown Health Foundation, our mission is simple yet powerful – to raise funds that support Renown Health, the largest not-for-profit health system in northern Nevada. We are the driving force behind initiatives that bring state-of-the-art equipment, conduct groundbreaking research, enhance healthcare services, improve patient outcomes and contribute to the overall well-being of our community. 

Our Dedicated Board of Directors 

Our impactful work would not be possible without our Board of Directors – a fantastic team of 27 local volunteers. They bring diverse skills to the table, working together to create positive changes in healthcare for northern Nevada. Our board is at the core of our Foundation's success by guiding important decisions, sharing valuable insights and actively engaging in community relationships. 

Meet Brian Cushard – Renown Health Foundation’s Chair 

Brian Cushard took on the role of Foundation Board Chair at the beginning of 2024. Brian, who is the President of LP Insurance Services in Reno, will lead us for the next two years, bringing a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to community well-being. Since joining Renown Health Foundation’s Board in 2018, Brian has been instrumental in shaping our strategic direction. 

Brian’s Vision: Advocating for Renown Health’s Mission and Making a Difference 

We had the opportunity to sit down with Brian and explore his passion for healthcare philanthropy and the positive changes he envisions. Brian's 'why' is firmly rooted in the belief that a robust health system serves as the backbone of the community. His vision extends beyond fundraising; it's about inspiring the community by sharing remarkable stories of care and championing Renown's impactful contributions. 

Q: Why does Renown's mission matter to you, and how do you see your role making a difference? 

A: Renown's mission matters deeply to me because, without a highly functioning healthcare system, the economic structure of the community can be impacted. At LP Insurance, where I work, we see ourselves as guardians of our clients' hopes and dreams. This translates to my role on the Board as stewards for the health of others. Advocating for a highly functioning health system is crucial in supporting community members and clients alike. Surrounding ourselves with a solid network is essential. As advocates, our voices are integral in ensuring that everyone's voices are heard. 

Q: Can you share a moment that made you want to support healthcare causes? 

A: There are those stop-in-your-tracks healthcare moments that make you reassess life's priorities. I've had moments where life comes to a standstill, and what you once thought was important takes a backseat to the basics of life—getting better, one step at a time. In those vulnerable moments, you realize the importance of every person at the hospital. In desperate need, we rely on them. It's eye-opening and gives perspective on what's truly valuable in life. 

Q: Tell us about a time when you saw the positive impact of healthcare or philanthropy. How did that influence your decision to get involved? 

A: One impactful moment in philanthropy stands out — the Music and Miracles concert featuring the Beach Boys. LP Insurance was a major donor, contributing $100,000 to benefit Sophie’s Place, a music therapy room coming to Renown Children's Hospital. On the day of the event, my wife and I volunteered and saw the remarkable community support for Renown Children’s Hospital. The collective efforts that day raised over $1 million, specifically designated to establish Sophie’s Place. This experience inspired me to want to do more, as I recognized the profound positive impact that philanthropy can have on healthcare and the community. 

Note: Sophie’s Place, opening later this year, will offer vital care and healing experiences for young patients at Renown Children’s Hospital. 

Q: What positive changes do you and the current board aim to bring to the community, and how will your skills contribute to achieving these goals over the next two years?

Over the next two years, my focus is on fostering positive changes. We've put a great group together on the Foundation Board, and we want to inspire the community by sharing remarkable stories of care. The goal is to encourage our board and everyone else to spread our healing message throughout the community and to those we serve. I believe that spreading awareness about the positive initiatives of Renown will naturally lead to increased fundraising when this message reaches a broader audience. 

A heartfelt thank you to Brian for sharing his inspiring vision and commitment to Renown. 

These individuals make up the Renown Health Foundation Board of Directors:

  • Adnan "Eddy" Akbar, MD 
  • Megan Baroska 
  • Don Bernard II 
  • Michael Bloch, MD 
  • Eric Breslow 
  • Sarah Carmona Zink 
  • Max Coppes, MD 
  • Brian Cushard, Chair 
  • Chelsea Dethmers 
  • Rebecca Dickson 
  • Teresa Di Loreto 
  • Brian Erling, MD 
  • Fred Giuffrida 
  • Matt Gray 
  • Kirstin Griffin 
  • Susan Hinchman 
  • Stephanie Kruse 
  • Jimmy Lao 
  • Robert Levy, Treasurer 
  • Laif Meidell 
  • Eric Nielsen, MD 
  • Sushil Patel 
  • Alise Porto 
  • Nariman Rahimzadeh, MD 
  • Michael Richardson 
  • Michael Thomas 
  • Joe Wieczorek

Join the Good Fight 

To learn more about our Renown Health Foundation Board of Directors and current fundraising initiatives, visit Whether you're a community member, a dedicated volunteer, or someone inspired by our mission, there are various ways to get involved. Consider donating, volunteering your time, or spreading the word about the meaningful work we do.  

Contact us at 775-982-5545 or email