Rachelle Reyes Wenger began serving as Chair of the NETWORK Lobby Board of Directors in 2020, after co-chairing its Development Committee. She is wife, mom, daughter, sister, and companion to family’s 12 year old German Shepherd. As an immigrant from the Philippines, the journey to discover the meaningfulness of home and family continues to expand. Love of Earth and humankind at the core of what calls her to a vocation in advocacy.
Ms. Wenger is the System Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy Engagement for CommonSpirit Health, one of the largest, private, not-for-profit healthcare systems in the nation with 140 hospitals across 21 states. She is primarily responsible for advancing the organization’s Public Policy & Advocacy Priorities at the local, state, national, and international arenas. She manages policy issues core to CommonSpirit Health’s commitment to its foundational priorities focused on social and environmental determinants of health. Her portfolio includes: health equity, economic and racial justice, immigration, housing and homelessness, climate change and the environment, food security. She serves on various hospital and community boards and committees. Through strong collaborations and speaking platforms, Ms. Wenger has worked to successfully provide the healthcare voice in support of landmark legislation and strategic initiatives while inspiring community and industry engagement to raise their voices in solidarity on common ground issues. Her work with CommonSpirit has led her to NETWORK and has enjoyed the many years of collaboration.
Ms. Wenger received her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, and her master’s degree in Public Administration at California State University, Northridge.
What calls you to NETWORK? Where do you find inspiration in this work?
While work has led me to the organization, this broader sense of calling to live in/through/out faith is what keeps me engaged in NETWORK. Raised as a Catholic, I’m learning that faith is not one to take for granted. It’s an invitation to be in relationship with creation, discover the meaningfulness of connection and common good, seek justice and proclaim the “Amen!” With where the world is today, the reality of systemic and structural racism continues and is heartbreaking. This time calls for leadership and prophetic voices, if we are to lift up humanity and live in faith-full-ness. I’m inspired by NETWORK’s commitment and the Sister Spirit that enlivens action.
What do you like to do outside of NETWORK?
This question comes at a time when we’re still making our way through a pandemic. I enjoy traveling and can’t wait to do more of that. I continue to love the visual, literary and culinary arts. I’ve surprised myself of late how gardening has awakened joy and peace. Even with tired Zoom eyes, I’m invigorated when looking out the window I see the butterflies, hummingbirds, and bunnies delight in the plants and flowers that were once in my hands.
Location: Los Angeles