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Advancing Wellness

Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care

Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods

Expanding Education and Employment Pathways

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Overview of Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care

All Californians, particularly those living in the state’s most vulnerable communities, should have access to quality health care services. In order to achieve this, our health care systems and organizations must be strong, equitable and effective.


What We Support

Padmini Parthasarathy
Program Director

Advancing Health Care Reform and the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act presents the opportunity for many additional Californians to now obtain health coverage; however, many people within underserved populations still face barriers to obtaining and utilizing quality health coverage. Cal Wellness funds community-based organizations, research and advocacy groups, and others working toward effective implementation of the ACA. By taking a multidisciplinary approach, we seek to ensure that all residents of California know about, are able to enroll in, and are able to utilize health coverage that meets their needs.

Key Strategies & Target Populations

Key Strategies

  • Culturally and linguistically appropriate health coverage education, outreach and enrollment for individuals and small businesses.
  • Efforts to help the newly insured retain and utilize health care coverage.
  • Research to build the knowledge base on the impact of the ACA in California.
  • Public policy efforts to ensure effective and equitable implementation of the ACA; coverage for people who remain uninsured, including those who are undocumented; and equitable and comprehensive coverage for women. Public policy efforts to ensure effective and equitable implementation of the ACA; coverage for people who remain uninsured, including those who are undocumented; and equitable and comprehensive coverage for women.
  • Communications activities that promote the importance of health coverage and the successes of health care reform in California.

Target Populations

  • Residents of low-income communities and underserved regions
  • People of color
  • The remaining uninsured, including those who are undocumented
  • Immigrants
  • Resilient youth
  • Formerly incarcerated adults
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities
  • Women and girls

Examples of Funded Grants

Please Note: The grants descriptions below are for reference only and offer examples of what Cal Wellness commonly funds under this grantmaking area. They should not be considered the only efforts that the Foundation will support.

  • Core operating support to improve health coverage for underserved communities through activities such as enrolling individuals into Medi-Cal, training community leaders to educate others about how to access affordable health care, and advocating for access to affordable, quality health care.
  • Funding to a university for research on health insurance “churning” among young Californians and their reasons for dropping or switching coverage, including policy recommendations on how to reduce the impact of churning on access to health care among young adults.
  • Funding for the development and advancement of a policy agenda to further implement and improve health care reform in California, including analyzing existing policy proposals and producing research on new policy options for the remaining uninsured.

Resources on This Issue


Earl Lui
Program Director

Strengthening Community Clinics and Safety-Net Partners

In low-income areas and communities of color, people’s health is disproportionately affected by inadequate access to primary care services. Community clinics operate on the front lines of health care for vulnerable populations. Cal Wellness aims to help clinics maintain and expand their services and strengthen their capacity so that all people can have access to quality health care.

Key Strategies & Target Populations

Key Strategies

  • Efforts to sustain and improve preventive and primary health care at community clinics.
  • Efforts to ensure that community clinics can meet increased demand.
  • Efforts that strengthen collaborations and partnerships among community clinics, government agencies, social service agencies and community-based organizations to address social determinants of health.
  • Efforts that strengthen and sustain clinic consortia.
  • Efforts to support clinics to become community health homes.

Target Populations

  • Newly insured through public programs or plans offered through Covered California
  • Remaining uninsured

Examples of Funded Grants

Please Note: The grants descriptions below are for reference only and offer examples of what Cal Wellness commonly funds under this grantmaking area. They should not be considered the only efforts that the Foundation will support.

  • Core operating support for a clinic to continue to provide primary medical and dental services in a diverse and underserved area of north Orange County, and to prepare to apply for designation as a federally qualified health center.
  • Funding for a large clinic system in South and Central Los Angeles to strengthen partnerships with nonprofit and public agencies and develop a mobile application to electronically link patients to case managers and community resources as a way of creating a more integrated health and social services delivery system.
  • Core operating support for a community clinic association to provide technical assistance and training for its 15 member clinics and to inform policymakers about health care issues affecting low-income and uninsured community residents and community health centers.

Resources on This Issue

Crystal D. Crawford
Program Director

Initiative Opportunity: Through an initiative, Cal Wellness will proactively support the provision of tailored prevention, primary care, health education and outreach to women of color at risk for, or living with, HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Cal Wellness is in the planning stages for this initiative, for which we anticipate involving many stakeholders.  Those interested in providing input should send an e-mail to initiatives@calwellness.org.


Jeffrey S. Kim
Program Director

Improving Oral Health Care for Low-Income Adults and Seniors

The state of oral health care in the U.S. and California exemplifies health inequity, with age and income status limiting access to quality oral health care. Medicare does not cover dental care, leaving seniors to scramble for access; Medi-Cal’s dental benefits for low-income adults is incomplete and subject to elimination; and the Affordable Care Act does not require dental care for adults to be offered as an essential health benefit. Cal Wellness seeks to address the well-documented gaps in access to, coverage for, and quality of, oral health care for low-income adults and seniors.

Key Strategies & Target Populations

Key Strategies

  • Efforts that sustain and increase the provision of oral health services.
  • Education about oral health care issues.
  • Efforts that increase the oral health care workforce.
  • Efforts to strengthen data collection and analysis.
  • Advocacy and education that informs policymakers and opinion leaders about the need to strengthen and expand quality oral health care.

Target Populations

  • Low-income adults and seniors

Examples of Funded Grants

Please Note: The grants descriptions below are for reference only and offer examples of what Cal Wellness commonly funds under this grantmaking area. They should not be considered the only efforts that the Foundation will support.

  • Core operating support to sustain comprehensive oral health services for uninsured and publically insured low-income adults and seniors, and to increase the number of patients treated by adding a dental assistant.
  • Project support to launch and grow a dental clinic for low-income seniors.
  • Project support to improve oral health services for American Indian Alaska Native adults and seniors in rural California via subcontracting and technical assistance targeting tribal dental programs.

Resources on This Issue


Crystal D. Crawford
Program Director

Increasing Diversity in the Health Professions

A workforce that mirrors the diverse population of California increases access to care and improves quality of care. Cal Wellness seeks to strengthen and develop new pathways to health care sector jobs for underrepresented minorities in the health professions.

Key Strategies & Target Populations

Key Strategies

  • Programs that encourage careers in the health professions among underrepresented minorities at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Programs that improve admission and retention rates among underrepresented minorities and women in health professions schools and training programs.
  • Programs that support underrepresented minorities and women in health care jobs through workforce development and employment retention activities.
  • Education and outreach about careers in the health professions to increase the diversity of clinicians at safety-net institutions.
  • High-quality health care workforce development and academic programs to increase the number of underrepresented minorities employed at safety-net institutions.

Target Populations

  • Underrepresented minorities
  • Women and girls

Examples of Funded Grants

Please Note: The grants descriptions below are for reference only and offer examples of what Cal Wellness commonly funds under this grantmaking area. They should not be considered the only efforts that the Foundation will support.

  • Core operating support for an innovative personalized coaching program that integrates technology into its efforts to provide academic, social and emotional support to underrepresented minority college students interested in the health professions.
  • Core operating support for a health professions pipeline program in the Central Valley that offers academic support, mentoring, financial aid counseling, internships and parental involvement programs for underrepresented minority students in middle school, high school and college.
  • Core operating support for a consortium of representatives from K-12 education, health care, pipeline programs, colleges, the public sector and policy advocacy groups to collaborate on efforts to diversify the health care workforce and provide a unified voice in advocating for policies and programs that meet the needs of underrepresented minorities pursuing careers in health care.

Resources on This Issue


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.

Mission

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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