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February 05, 2013

Contact: Adriana Godoy Leiss, TCWF
(818) 702-1900

The California Wellness Foundation Announces New Board Appointments

Distinguished physicians step into leadership roles on TCWF’s Board

Woodland Hills, CA – The Board of Directors of The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) today announced two new appointments: Barbara C. Staggers, M.D., M.P.H., as chair; and Eugene Washington, M.D., as vice chair.

The Foundation’s president and CEO, Diana M. Bontá, R.N., Dr.P.H., is pleased to welcome the expertise and enthusiasm of the Board’s new leadership.

“Both Barbara and Gene are accomplished leaders, whose talents and clear vision will carry the Foundation forward during this key juncture in our history,” Bontá said. She also expressed her gratitude to outgoing Board Chair David Barlow, C.P.A. “David’s steadfast governance the past two years during our executive transition has been invaluable,” she said.

Staggers is executive director of external affairs and community relations at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. She is also director of the division of Adolescent Medicine at the hospital and is co-founder of FACES for the Future, a program that prepares youth for careers in the health professions. A member of the TCWF Board since 2004 and a board-certified pediatrician and adolescent medicine subspecialist, Staggers is considered a national authority on high-risk youth, urban and minority youth, violence, and health care issues of multicultural societies.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to have this role at the Foundation at a time when California has an opportunity to expand in its ultimate investment, the health and wellness of its people,” Staggers said.

Washington is the dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine and vice chancellor of health sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Prior to joining UCLA in February 2010, he was executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he also served as professor of gynecology, epidemiology and health policy at the School of Medicine. A member of TCWF’s Board since 2008, Washington is a renowned clinical investigator and health policy scholar whose wide-ranging research has been instrumental in shaping national health policy and practice guidelines.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to work more closely with our Board and staff in achieving the mission of the Foundation,” Washington said.

The California Wellness Foundation is a private independent foundation created in 1992, with the mission of improving 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 first year of operation, the Foundation has awarded 6,919 grants totaling more than $852 million. Please visit TCWF’s website at for more information.

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  • We use our resources to advance our mission through grantmaking, investments, sharing our learning and lifting our voice.
  • We fund direct services that address the urgent needs people are facing in their communities, particularly the needs of low-income individuals, people of color, youth and residents of rural areas.
  • We recognize, encourage and strengthen leaders to be powerful agents of change.
  • We support advocacy and civic engagement so that communities can build power and create public policies that reflect their vision, will and needs.
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  • We partner with community-led organizations, philanthropic organizations, businesses, government and individuals who want to improve health and wellness for Californians.

Our Mission

To protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California by increasing access to health care, quality education, good jobs, healthy environments and safe neighborhoods.

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