Contact Us


May 7, 2015

Cecilia Laiché
The California Wellness Foundation
(818) 702-1911

New Board Chair and Vice Chair Take Helm at Cal Wellness

Elizabeth M. Gomez elected chair and M. Isabel Becerra, vice chair

Woodland Hills (CA) – The Board of Directors of The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness) has elected Elizabeth (Liz) M. Gomez as chair and M. Isabel Becerra as vice chair.

Gomez is the executive director of Sober College LLC, a private drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility for young adults. Becerra is the chief executive officer of the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers. Both will serve in their new roles through December 2016.

“Both Liz and Isabel are extremely dedicated health leaders who have been on the frontlines in promoting access, equity and advocacy for underserved communities. They bring that deep commitment to the Board,” said Cal Wellness President and CEO Judy Belk. “I’m looking forward to their leadership, wisdom and support as we work together in advancing wellness for all Californians.”   

Gomez, a member of Cal Wellness’ Board since 2005, served as Board chair from January 2009 to December 2010. In addition to serving as Sober College’s executive director, she is a consultant for youth programs across the country, providing technical assistance and expertise on the operation of nonprofit organizations; shelter, transitional living and independent living programs; and programs providing services for youth. Previously, Gomez was the executive director of Los Angeles Youth Network, a position she held for 17 years. Her full biography can be found here.

Gomez looks forward to continuing to work with the Board as chair.

“Joining the Board was an honor and privilege for me,” Gomez said. “I have always admired how Cal Wellness honors and respects the grantees, the experts in the field working with the population directly, and how they invite that expertise back to the Foundation.”

Becerra joined the Board in January 2009. She has more than 18 years of experience in program planning, operations, health policy and development activities for community health centers and private clinics in San Diego, Seattle and Orange County. In 2000, Becerra joined the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers, a consortium of safety net partners providing quality health care services for underserved communities. Throughout her career, Becerra has advocated for health care access for the uninsured and underserved. Becerra’s full biography can be found here.

“With the Advancing Wellness grantmaking program, we are getting at the root causes of the issues that our target populations deal with,” Becerra said. “I think we are going to make great strides, changes and great positive health outcomes and impacts. I’m proud to be part of the leadership team that will make that difference.”

Outgoing Board chair, Eugene (Gene) Washington, M.D., stepped down after accepting a new position as Duke University’s chancellor for health affairs and as the president and chief executive officer of the Duke University Health System in Durham, North Carolina. He served eight years on Cal Wellness’ Board and is the former dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine and former vice chancellor of health sciences at UCLA. Gomez expressed the Board’s gratitude for his contributions to Cal Wellness.

“Gene’s extraordinary leadership during our strategic planning was instrumental in guiding the Foundation to this exciting point in our philanthropic journey,” Gomez said. “We are thankful for his service to the Foundation and congratulate him on his next venture at Duke.”

To view videos of Gomez and Becerra discussing their work with Cal Wellness, please visit the Sound Bites page on our website.  

For more information about Cal Wellness’ trustees, please visit here.

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.

Cal Wellness’ Advancing Wellness grants program is designed to promote equity through advocacy and access. The grantmaking focuses on three interconnected portfolios: Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care; Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods; and Expanding Education and Employment Pathways. The program also includes the Opportunity Fund to support innovation in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.

Since its founding, Cal Wellness has awarded 7,690 grants totaling more than $912 million.


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.

The California Wellness Foundation • City National Plaza, 515 S. Flower Street, Suite 1100 • Los Angeles, CA, 90071 • Tel: (818)­ 702–1900

© 2018 The California Wellness Foundation. All Rights Reserved. Credits