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2016 Sabbatical Program

Honorees

The Cal Wellness Sabbatical Program Awards were created 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. The program provides a $30,000 grant to each of the eight organizations to cover its leader’s salary during the sabbaticals, plus an additional $10,000 to each organization to cover expenses related to the professional development of managers and staff who will assume extra responsibilities during their leader’s absence.

The California Wellness Foundation is proud to honor:

HonoreePatricia Wall, Homeless Action Center

Patricia Wall went to law school to become a public defender. After some disillusioning experiences, she went to Africa, which changed her views of the world. She joined the staff at Homeless Action Center in Alameda County as the staff attorney, and a year later, she took on the role of executive director. In the 21 years that Patricia has been with Homeless Action Center in Alameda County, the agency has grown from a staff of two to 45, and from 100 Supplemental Security Income cases to more than 1,200. More…

HonoreeLaura Tancredi-Baese, Home Start, Incorporated

Laura Tancredi-Baese believes that she was born to be a social worker. She joined Home Start in 2007 as CEO. Home Start’s mission is to ensure the safety and resiliency of children by strengthening families and their communities. Its services include providing trauma-informed counseling, housing, food and case management, and Home Start applies the same values to its staff as it does to its clients. More…

HonoreeViveka Rydell, Pediatric Dental Initiative of the North Coast

The Pediatric Dental Initiative of the North Coast was founded 10 years ago by providers who became concerned with the increasing number of children staying home from school due to extreme dental pain, and who had nowhere to go for treatment. The Initiative started with one dentist. Not long afterward, Viveka Rydell was hired to lead the organization. More…

HonoreeLuisa Buada, Ravenswood Family Health Center

Luisa Buada has spent a lifetime committed to serving communities in need. She started with accompanying her high school teachers to work on a boycott with the farmworkers’ union. Luisa later went to nursing school, and when the union closed their health center, the nurses got together to create one. More…

HonoreeElizabeth “Izzy” Martin, The Sierra Fund

The Sierra Fund was founded in 2001, and Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin stepped in as CEO in 2005. Izzy is a longtime environmental justice advocate committed to solving problems and promoting equity. She was born to this work. Her family was Quaker, she grew up on a farm, and she and her siblings were raised to be in service. More…

HonoreePaula Wilson, Valley Community Healthcare

Twenty-two years ago, Paula Wilson began volunteering at Valley Community Healthcare at the urging of her friend who was a patient and a volunteer at Valley. Paula, a marketing and design professional, worked on Valley’s outdated logo, newsletters and brochures. During this time, her friend was diagnosed with AIDS, and Paula saw firsthand the compassion and essential role that Valley played for the vulnerable people in her community. Paula wanted to be part of that, and she eventually became Valley’s executive director. More…

HonoreeDebra A. Farmer, Westside Family Health Center

Debra Farmer was raised in a home where helping others was an important value. Debra spent decades working with nonprofits in a variety of capacities related to operations and finance. In 1999, she became the executive director of what was then the Women’s Health Center. Early in her tenure she broadened the scope of the clinic to address a broader population. Debra is responsible for transforming a small women’s clinic into Westside Family Health Center, an award winning federally qualified health center. More…

HonoreeCynthia Carey-Grant, Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Disease

Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases began in 1991 as just that: a group of women with HIV who came together to build a support network that would ensure that they were not alone in dealing with their needs. This year, WORLD celebrates 25 years of improving the lives and health of women, girls, families and communities through peer-based education, wellness services, advocacy and leadership development in the Bay area— particularly African American and Latina women. More…

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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