President of the Board
Kristen Refness, MBA, CHFP, CTP
System Director, Hospital Financial Planning
Kristen Refness is the System Director of Hospital Financial Planning with Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare located in Naperville, Illinois. Kristen has an extensive background in healthcare finance where she has almost 15 years of experience in treasury and debt management, financial analysis, and budget development. In her current role, she oversees hospital and physician practice financial management totaling over $165 million in annual gross revenues.
Kristen has been an active member of the KidsMatter board since 2015, currently serving as Board President and previously as Treasurer. She also sits on the governance, finance and fundraising committees. In addition, she has chaired two KidsMatter gala fundraisers raising over $80,000 in net funding for KidsMatter programs.
In her free time, she loves to read, travel, and spend time with her husband, Scott and 7-year-old daughter, Olivia. She also enjoys visiting theme parks as an avid roller coaster rider.
Why did you join KidsMatter? What motivates you to be more involved in our community and represent KidsMatter as a board member?
I joined the KidsMatter board in 2015 because I was eager to be involved in the prevention side of the stressors and life struggles that affect our society’s adolescents. I wanted to learn how to recognize signs and triggers of unhealthy stress and anxiety so I could foster resilience in my daughter and help her grow up happy and healthy, as is KidsMatter’s mission. Working at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, I see the treatment side of the stress, anxiety, and depression affecting adolescents and adults. While I am proud of the hard work and treatment Linden Oaks provides and recognize the increasing importance of such treatment, to also be part of KidsMatter which is focused on providing equally important prevention education and tools for youth and families, offers a very fulfilling and worthwhile balance for me.