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February 23, 2009

Adriana Godoy Leiss, TCWF
(818) 702-1900

The California Wellness Foundation Announces New Board Appointments

Woodland Hills, CA – The Board of Directors of The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) today announced four new appointments: Elizabeth M. Gomez, M.S.W., chair; David S. Barlow, M.B.A, C.P.A., vice chair; and M. Isabel Becerra and Elisabeth Hallman, M.B.A., R.N., new Board members.

The Foundation’s president and CEO, Gary L. Yates, looks forward to the contributions the chair and vice chair will bring to their respective new roles.

“We are fortunate to be able to call upon Liz’s and David’s expertise and leadership, especially given the volatile economic landscape,” Yates said. He also expressed confidence in the skills and talents of the two new Board members.

“Isabel and Elisabeth will bring new perspectives and diverse experiences to our mission of improving the health of the people of California.”

Gomez, who joined the Board in 2005, is executive director and a board member of the Los Angeles Youth Network (LAYN). LAYN provides homeless, runaway and high-risk youth with shelter, food and counseling services. Prior to joining LAYN in 1989, she was assistant director of youth services for Traveler’s Aid Society of Los Angeles’ Teen Canteen. Gomez is actively involved in the leadership of numerous youth-serving, philanthropic, civic and community organizations and serves on the boards of the California Coalition for Youth and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Previously, she was a commissioner for the California State Commission on Juvenile Justice, Crime and Delinquency Prevention.

“We are aware this will be a challenging year for the Foundation,” Gomez said. “The Board will continue to work diligently to provide the leadership the Foundation needs, and to continue to promote the health of those in need in the state of California.”

Barlow, a member of the Board since 2005, is vice president of finance and administration at the Stuart Foundation, an independent family foundation dedicated to the protection, education and development of children and youth. For 12 years, he was executive director of The San Francisco Foundation Community Initiative Funds, a nonprofit corporation founded to provide fiscal sponsorship services to community groups that are not incorporated as independent, nonprofit corporations. Prior to that, he was chief financial officer for the San Francisco Foundation. Barlow was also on the board of the Foundation Consortium for California’s Children & Youth as its treasurer and chief financial officer.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to support the amazing work of the Foundation’s staff and Grantees in this new capacity,” Barlow said.

Becerra is the chief executive officer of the Coalition of Orange County Community Clinics. The Coalition represents 18 community health center organizations, some of which are federally qualified health centers (FQHC), community health centers (CHCs), FQHC look-alike health centers, and free clinics at 46 sites throughout the county that provide health care to low-income and uninsured populations. Previously, Becerra enjoyed an extensive community health center career with a focus on Section 330 FQHCs in San Diego, Seattle and Orange County, where her primary responsibilities included program planning, operations, health policy and development activities at various community health centers.

Becerra said she is honored by her appointment to the Board of a Foundation that has been a leader in providing general operating support to community health centers across the state. She appreciates the Board’s understanding of the important role that community clinics play as “high-quality, cost-effective, and culturally competent health care providers for the most vulnerable populations among us.”

Hallman is the health systems director of Enterprise Information Services at Cedars-Sinai Health Systems in Los Angeles, where she also provides oversight of Revenue Cycle and Inpatient Clinical Systems. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai in 1996, Hallman was administrator for

the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. While there, she also managed women’s and children’s services. She began her career in nursing in Philadelphia, specializing in neonatal care.

Hallman said she feels honored and privileged to be named to the Board and looks forward to the “opportunity to collaborate with my fellow Board members to help advance the health and wellness of the people of California.” She believes “the current economic environment offers a unique opportunity for us to find creative ways to improve the health of many of the underserved populations in our state.”

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 5,418 grants totaling more than $685 million. Please visit TCWF’s website at for more information.

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Our Work

  • 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.
  • We trust and invest in nonprofit organizations so that they can operate at full capacity.
  • 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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