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Our Evolution to Advancing Wellness

Reflections from Judy Belk, November 6, 2014

I see stories everywhere. In this year’s Cal Wellness Annual Report, we have tried to capture the story of our work with the cover essay, “Wellness Evolution: Experience Ignites a New Grantmaking Chapter.”  In it, we demonstrate how the Foundation’s legacy provides a springboard for our transition to the Advancing Wellness era and its theme of promoting equity through advocacy and access.  This storyline continues to evolve.

By now I hope you’ve had the opportunity to review the framework of the Advancing Wellness grants program, which launched October 1.  You will note that we continue to hold fast to our commitment to the underserved, to core operating support, and to a rock-solid belief that the best ideas come from our partners, who carry out the work on the ground every day.

I hope you’re as excited as I am about the changes we’ve made to allocate resources with a laser focus on addressing health disparities in California. Integrated throughout our work is a continued commitment to support our advocacy partners’ efforts to inform equitable and sound public policies; use our voice to spotlight unmet needs; and highlight the work of our grantees.

Cal Wellness On The Road: At the Oct. 22 Meet the Grantmaker event in Bakersfield, Cal Wellness staff introduced the components of Advancing Wellness and the new online procedure for submitting requests for funding.

There’s been a lot of excitement among the Board and staff since “launch day.” We have hosted two statewide webinar briefings and just completed our Meet the Grantmaker roadshows across California, where we visited Long Beach, San Bernardino, San Diego, Bakersfield, Sacramento, Aptos, Redding and Richmond. I participated in the Redding roadshow and it was so great to meet dedicated nonprofit leaders working to improve the lives of underserved people in the Shasta region. I continue to be inspired by the work of our community partners, who strive to level the playing field for those Californians at risk of missing out on a life of wellness.

As an organization committed to continual learning, reflection and customer service, we depend on your feedback. We encourage you to share your thoughts. Stay well.


Judy Belk
President and CEO

Our Guiding Principles

Guided by our mission, we pursue the following goals through our grantmaking:

  • To address the particular health needs of traditionally underserved populations, including low-income individuals, people of color, youth and residents of rural areas.
  • To support and strengthen nonprofit organizations that seek to improve the health of underserved populations.
  • To recognize and encourage leaders who are working to increase health and wellness within their communities.
  • To inform policymakers and opinion leaders about important wellness and health care issues.


The mission of The California Wellness Foundation is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention.

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