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Sabbatical Program

October 22, 2009


Contact: David Littlefield, TCWF
(818) 702-1900

Health-Sector Nonprofit Executives Receive 2009 TCWF Sabbatical Program Award

Foundation Funding Supports Eight Nonprofit Health Organizations With $35,000 Grants To Cover Chief Executives’ Paid Time Off

Los Angeles — Eight nonprofit health-sector executives are being recognized with The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) Sabbatical Program Award at a luncheon ceremony today in Los Angeles. The leadership support program—now in its seventh year—provides eight organizations with grants of $35,000 to cover salary and other expenses during their executive directors’ sabbaticals, which last a minimum of three months.

The eight executives receiving the 2009 sabbatical award are: Kim Carter of Time for Change Foundation in San Bernardino, Lynn Dorroh of Hill Country Health and Wellness Center in Round Mountain, Betty Alvarez Ham of City Impact in Oxnard, Stuart Kandell of Stagebridge in Oakland, Debra Lynn Marsteller of Project Independence in Costa Mesa, Roy A. Martin of GraceSource in Sutter, Robin Novack McCrae of Community Human Services in Monterey, and Richard A. Veloz of South Central Family Health Center in Los Angeles. Profiles of the honorees can be accessed at

“Executives responsible for nonprofit health and human service organizations in California have been working under challenging conditions for a number of years, in a climate that doesn’t appear likely to markedly improve anytime soon,” said Gary L. Yates, TCWF president and CEO. “The Foundation developed the sabbatical program to prevent burnout, promote the health of these executives and provide an opportunity to strengthen these organizations. We are pleased to recognize these eight dedicated individuals with the 2009 TCWF Sabbatical Program Award.”

The program was created to support nonprofit leaders and seeks to improve the long-term effectiveness of health-focused nonprofits by providing their executives with the rest they need to continue to direct their organizations’ missions. Each organization receives $30,000 to cover its leader’s salary during the sabbatical, plus an additional $5,000 to cover expenses related to the professional development of managers and staff who will assume extra responsibilities during their leader’s absence. Each of the 2009 sabbatical honorees has served in the nonprofit sector for at least eight years, and most have worked in their current roles as lead executives of health-focused organizations for many years without a significant break.

“A recent evaluation of TCWF’s sabbatical award demonstrated its positive impact on both the honorees and the organizations they lead,” said Sandra J. Martínez, TCWF program director. “The planned absence of an executive director gives organizations an opportunity to test systems, management teams and succession planning without going through an unexpected crisis. This experience of ‘stepping up’ to a challenge can instill new confidence, trust and appreciation.”

The California Wellness Foundation is a private, independent foundation created in 1992, with a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. The Foundation has a Responsive Grantmaking Program that prioritizes eight issues for funding: diversity in the health professions, environmental health, healthy aging, mental health, teenage pregnancy prevention, violence prevention, women’s health, and work and health. It also responds to timely issues or special projects outside the funding priorities.

TCWF is one of the state’s largest foundations. Since its founding in 1992, the Foundation has awarded 5,719 grants totaling more than $719 million. Please visit TCWF’s website at for more information.

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