It’s hard to believe summer is nearly behind us. Everyone at Cal Wellness has been working hard to prepare for the launch of the next phase of our grants program. Over the past few weeks, I’ve also been hitting the road more and have had the pleasure of meeting many of you — grantees, community leaders, policymakers and fellow funders. I want to share some of the highlights of the things I’ve been seeing and doing.
Last week, I was at the state Capitol to moderate a panel about the 2014 California Wellness Foundation/Field Health Policy Survey. This year’s poll, the eighth in an annual series of Field surveys funded by Cal Wellness, shows the largest margin of support for the Affordable Care Act: 56 percent of California voters say they're satisfied with the way the health care system is working in the state. This is compared to 50 percent when we first asked that question back in 2010. The poll also indicates that more Californians are now insured and able to access health care. A big thanks to my fellow panelists California Secretary of Health and Human Services Diana Dooley, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee, Daniel Weintraub, editor of the California Health Report, and Mark DiCamillo, senior vice president of Field Research Corporation. Check out the findings: Increase in California Voter Support for Affordable Care Act (Part 1); and Over One in Three Voters Under Age 65 Personally Visited the Covered California Website (Part 2).
Like many across the nation, we have been closely following the heartbreaking refugee crisis unfolding at the U.S.-Mexico border as an increasing number of children have been fleeing violence in Central America and crossing the border, unaccompanied by adults. Cal Wellness has made several grants to support the health and wellness of the migrant children and joined the Our Children Relief Fund, created by the California Community Foundation, to assist nonprofit organizations that are impacted by the crisis. We are also studying how we can best respond to the long-term needs of the children and their families. Please visit the CalWellness.org Newsroom for more information.
Also on weighing on our minds are the troubling images and news from Ferguson, Missouri, where teenager Michael Brown was laid to rest on Monday. The disproportionate impact of gun violence on communities of color and all young people in underserved regions is simply not acceptable. Cal Wellness stands with the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color in raising the national conversation about keeping our communities safe, healthy and free of violence. Please visit our website for resources and lessons learned on Cal Wellness’ 20-plus years of preventing violence.
At the beginning of August, I was honored to give the keynote at the CalNonprofits Policy Convention in Los Angeles where I also had the opportunity to engage with nonprofit leaders from across the state. I was thrilled to be part of the exchange of ideas – the energy was palpable. I was especially impressed by the excellent statewide report, “Causes Count,” which covers the sector’s scope and economic impact in California. I encourage you to read it.
The launch of the next phase of our grantmaking is just around the corner! Thank you for your patience and understanding as we took time to engage in an extensive strategic planning process. We are working as fast as we can to reach out to key partners to make sure the transition is smooth. For the latest about the next phase of our grantmaking, please visit here. In the coming weeks, we’ll be announcing information about regional meetings and webinars about the next phase of our grants program. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up for the Foundation's mailing list.
# # #
Guided by our mission, we pursue the following goals through our grantmaking: