Khalia Collier Joins the Foundation Board
Friday, August 05, 2022
When Khalia Collier, owner and general manager of the St. Louis Surge women’s professional basketball team, was asked to consider joining the board of The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital she saw it as a natural fit.
“I believe the intersection of sports and health go hand in hand,” says Khalia, who is also a commissioner of the Global Women’s Basketball Association. “As an athlete my entire life, I've spent enough time with doctors to really understand what it means to be treated like a pro, even when you're not. And I think that’s the level of care BJC HealthCare exhibits.”
Khalia’s experience with health care dates back to her childhood and her first surgery at age seven. Later, as an athlete in high school and college, she suffered injuries that required medical attention.
“I had great doctors, particularly within BJC. And then both of my siblings were born at BJC hospitals. So, it's always been kind of a family affair through which we got to know the nurses and the doctors and the individuals who are really the heroes.”
Another connection to BJC was made in 2011, when Khalia, who was only 23 at the time, purchased the Surge.
“It was really important to me when I took ownership of the Surge to find a great medical staff and they’ve all been BJC partners,” she says. “Not only are they our team doctors, but they're also my personal friends. That’s something I really appreciate. It's one thing for doctors to do their job, but it's another for them to treat you like a human being and to show empathy while doing so.”
Khalia also feels a bond to the Foundation because of her role as vice president of community relations for St. Louis CITY SC, the professional soccer club. In that position, she works to unify communities through the power of sport. That mission, she says, fits in with the Foundation’s efforts to promote health care equity through community grants.
“I’m incredibly passionate about having a direct impact on the disparities in health care within the St. Louis region and bringing attention to women’s health issues, particularly among women of color,” she says. “Those are among the priorities of the Foundation and of BJC as a whole. So, I felt like the timing for me to be on the board was imperative. The community is everyone's team and we can't afford for anyone to sit on the sidelines.”