Our State of Health

Health does not only happen in a doctor’s office—it also happens in our homes, our schools, and our communities.

Every aspect of our life impacts our health. Access to affordable, quality health coverage when you’re sick is important, but we believe that Californians need neighborhood environments that support health.

Californians need neighborhoods where children can ride bikes and play together in nearby parks, where parents can buy healthy, affordable foods at local markets, and places where everyone feels safe walking to school or work. Californians need schools with quality school food and beverages, where exercise is part of the school day, and social-emotional health is promoted, leading to improved behavior and better decision-making.

Whether you just stepped foot in California or you were born and raised here, we want your communities, and the local and statewide policies—or “rules”—that affect your life to work for everyone.

With smart grant making—which we call “change making”—good leadership, and people power, we believe we can make the state of health in California better for all.

The California Endowment’s mission is to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians.

We don’t focus on prescriptions.

We focus on fixing broken systems and outdated policies, ensuring the balance of power is with the people. We don’t focus on the individual, we focus on the larger community as an ecosystem of health. We work with citizens and elected leaders to find lasting solutions to impact the most people we possibly can.

The goal is simple: First, change the way people view health—from the notion that health happens in the doctor’s office to a belief that health happens where you live, work, learn, and play. We call this “narrative change.”

Second, integrate smart solutions in communities across the state. We do this by working with our partners and grantees to fundamentally change “the rules”—laws, policies, and systems—that impede health in our communities. Building Healthy Communities is our 10-year $1 billion-funded initiative that aims to bring health to where we live, learn, work, and play.

We’re changing the narrative around health to ensure health and justice for all.

We are a not-for-profit, statewide foundation that works to make California a healthier place for all.

We were created in 1996 when Blue Cross of California acquired the for-profit subsidiary WellPoint Health Networks. Today, with more than $3 billion in assets, The Endowment is the largest private health foundation in the state. We have a number of active and effective programs to improve health—from Building Healthy Communities at the neighborhood level to statewide awareness and engagement campaigns that impact millions of Californians.

Each and every day The California Endowment and its community partners seek ways to improve the state of health in California.

We were endowed with the funds and the mandate to ensure health and justice for all.

The 15-person Board and its committees help decide The Endowment’s grant-making priorities. All the rules around how these funds can be spent are outlined in the documents below. These documents keep us principled and The Endowment working.

ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION 

The California Endowment is a public benefit corporation. We are not for profit.

HOW WE GOVERN: CODE OF ETHICS 

Guidelines for how the Board of Directors and staff should represent us publicly.

EVERYDAY BYLAWS 

The rules for our day-to-day work.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY 

A few reminders to keep The Endowment’s work honest and wholly independent from the personal motivations of The Endowment’s Board or staff.

COMMITTEE CHARTERS 

Individual missions for each of the Board of Directors’ committees under The Endowment.

We are honored that our work has been lauded in a number of arenas.

Award for Large Private Foundation (2014)
The watchdog group, The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, honored us for our effort to ensure the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California.

Institutional Award for Philanthropic Leadership (2014)
The Association of Black Foundation Executives recognized us for significant efforts and contributions as a means for social change in Black communities.

Bravo Award (2014)
The Hispanic Public Relations Association recognized The Endowment’s #Health4All public education campaign with one of its highest honors.

Social Good Honorable Mention (2014)
PR News recognized The Endowment’s #Health4All public education campaign in the category of campaigns for “Social Good.”

Alliance of Museums’ Award in Excellence (2013)
Our “Health Happens Here” Exhibit was created in a partnership with the California Museum in Sacramento to present the diverse ways health happens in our communities. The Alliance of Museums recognized the exhibit for its content and messaging.

Wilmer Shields Rich Awards for Excellence in Communications (2013)
Our overall “Health Happens Here” Promotional Campaign received the top honor from The Council on Foundations, citing the campaign for its strategic messaging and effective public engagement.

Governor’s Award for The Foundation of the Year (2012)
For our “Health Happens Here” partnership with AmeriCorps. The statewide partnership provides youth leadership development at our Building Healthy Communities (BHC) sites and has raised $5 million federal matching funds so far.

CIFF PSA of the Year (2012)
Chicago International Film Festival awarded our “Transform” video the PSA of the Year. Narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis, the video promotes the transformation of your community and personal world to improve your quality of your life.

Led by our board of directors, President and CEO Robert K. Ross, and the foundation’s executive team, The California Endowment strives to set the standard for accountability, transparency, equity, and impact.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The California Endowment is governed by an 18-member Board of Directors from California’s leading nonprofits, health organizations, educational institutions, businesses, and industries. Our Board is diverse in ethnicity, gender, community-based experience, region, and professional expertise. It is designed to reflect a cross-section of California’s people and places.


 

Jane Garcia, MPH

Jane Garcia, MPH, joined The Endowment’s Board of Directors in April 2010. Garcia, an advocate for preserving community health care for all residents regardless of income or immigration status, is CEO of La Clinica de la Raza, a Federally Qualified Health Center and the largest community health care provider in the Bay Area. She was elected as Board Chair in May 2015.

Under Garcia’s leadership, La Clinica’s reach has expanded beyond Alameda County with clinics also located in Contra Costa and Solano counties. La Clinica offers a comprehensive array of services, including health, mental health, dental and vision care services to the region. With an annual operating budget of over $65 million, and 25 sites, including five school-based health centers, La Clinica also provides critical health education outreach to communities.

Both Garcia and La Clinica have been recognized for their contributions to the community. La Clinica was recently named as the organization of the year for 2010 by University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health. Garcia is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Distinguished Public Service Award from the National Medical Fellowship (2009), as well as an East Bay Leadership Award (2004). She was also inducted into the Contra Costa Commission on Women’s Hall of Fame upon receiving the Women Improving Health Care award (2004).

Her commitment to serving the needs of the diverse East Bay communities is further exemplified by her leadership role as Chairperson for the Community Health Center Network Center, Alameda Alliance for Health, and the Community Clinic Consortium. She also serves on the board of directors for the Alameda Health Consortium, and Center for Elders Independence.

 


 

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Zac Guevara

Zac Guevara, a retired investment management executive, joined The California Endowment’s board of directors in May 2012. He was elected Board Vice Chair in May 2015.

Guevara is a Chartered Financial Analyst who retired in 2009 after serving as an investment analyst, research director, board member, and executive vice president with Capital International Research, Inc. He joined Capital in 1992 as a participant in “The Associates Program” after graduating from Harvard University with an AB in government. As an investment analyst, his research coverage included the transportation, newspaper, Internet media, education, home building, and defense industries.

Guevara currently serves on the boards of Para Los Niños, I Have a Dream Foundation ‐ Los Angeles, Self Help Graphics & Art, MALDEF and the Los Angeles Education Research Institute. A resident of San Marino in Los Angeles County, Guevara currently focuses his attention on working with non‐profit organizations, personal investing, and traveling.

 


 

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Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett, a lifelong champion for civil rights for people with disabilities, joined The California Endowment’s Board of Directors in May 2013.

Bennett is the president and CEO of the international non-profit United Cerebral Palsy (UCP). He has a more than 30 year history of success in business development, strategic planning, financial management, marketing, event production, and local and national public policy, having started his career as a Peace Corps/VISTA volunteer in South Los Angeles in the aftermath of the Watts riots.

Bennett was a founding partner of Sokolov, Schwab, Bennett (1992-2001), a national consulting practice focused on health care enterprises. The firm assisted for-profit and not-for-profit business through strategic consulting by developing business strategies and directing projects in managed care, financing, regional strategy, market strategy, public policy and e-health.

In 1978, Bennett joined United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties where he served as executive director until 1986. Bennett was also the executive director of AIDS Project Los Angeles, one of the nation’s largest AIDS service providers, from 1989 to 1992.

His commitment to community is exemplified by his robust participation on a number of non-profit boards, including NISH/Ability One (2009-2012), The Arcus Foundation (2010-present), The American Association of People with Disabilities (2012-present) and Leadership 18 (2003-present).

Bennett, a resident of Palm Springs and Washington, DC, was awarded Volunteer of the Year for Peace Corps/VISTA in 1972, and was named Pepperdine University’s Alumnus of the Year in 1976.

 


 

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Walter Buster

Walter Buster, Ed.D. joined The California Endowment as a board member in July 2011.

Buster, a resident of Fresno from 1995-2013, currently resides in Woodacre, Calif. He is the founding director of the Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute at California State University, Fresno, which aims to bring the best leadership practices to all aspects of the education system in the San Joaquin Valley in order to eliminate the achievement gap and raise the performance of all learners. He also taught in the graduate programs at the university and previously at Sonoma State University and San Francisco State University.

His experience in the K-12 educational system spans nearly 40 years and seven school districts in Southern California, Northern California, and the Central Valley. In 2004, Buster served as volunteer superintendent with no pay for six months for Fresno Unified School District following the departure of the previous superintendent. He also served as superintendent for Clovis Unified School District from 1995‐2002 as well as serving as superintendent for Cotati‐Rohnert Park Unified School District (1991‐ 1995), Tamalpais Union High School District (1986‐1991), Fairfax School District (1981‐1984), which merged with San Anselmo to form the Ross Valley School District, and assistant superintendent for San Rafael City Schools from 1984‐1986. Buster began his career in education as a teacher in 1964, later as assistant principal in Southern California, and in 1977 as a principal for the San Anselmo School District in San Anselmo, California.

His commitment to community is exemplified by his many years of board service for a variety of nonprofits, including previously serving as chair of the board of trustees for the Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation, a nonprofit whose primary purpose is to ensure that all children have access to unlimited opportunities to learn anytime and anywhere, and that they have the tools that make that possible. Buster was named Citizen of the Year in 1996 by the Clovis Chamber of Commerce and was the 1995 recipient of the Robert Alioto Award for Instructional Leadership from the California School Leadership Academy. In addition, he has published numerous articles on leadership in education journals and is co-author of the text A Practical Guide to Effective School Board Meetings. Buster is a member of the Association of California School Administrators and California School Leadership Academy.

Currently, Buster serves as a cohort mentor in the Brandman University (Chapman University) doctoral program in educational leadership, an executive coach for four California school superintendents through Pivot Learning Partners in San Francisco and a consultant for Lozano-Smith, an educational law firm.

 


 

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Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño joined The California Endowment’s board of directors in May 2015. She currently serves as the Los Angeles Bishop for the United Methodist Church (UMC), California-Pacific Conference.

Bishop Carcaño – who has expertise in theology, social justice, immigration, youth issues, advocacy and race relations – has also served as the Bishop for the UMC, Desert Southwest Conference in Phoenix, Arizona from 2004-2012. Prior to that she served as the District Superintendent, Greater Portland area for the UMC, Oregon-Idaho Conference from 2001-2004. In addition, Bishop Carcaño served as the Director of the Mexican-American Program at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas from 1996-2001 and as pastor of congregations in Texas, New Mexico and northern California, 1978-1986 and 1992-1996.

Bishop Carcaño serves on a number of nonprofit boards, including the National Plan for Hispanic and Latino Ministries, Southwest Industrial Education Fund, General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, and the UMC’s General Commission on Religion and Race, among others. She also is a member of the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders, the UMC’s Council of Bishops, and UMC’s Western College of Bishops.

A resident of Pasadena, Bishop Carcaño earned her Masters of Theology from Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology. She has been honored with the New Mexico Council of Churches Turquoise Award, Order of the Sisters of Loretto’s Mary Rhodes Award, Auburn School of Theology’s Lives of Commitment Award, and Arizona Interfaith Movement’s Golden Rule Religious Award.

 


 

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Shan Cretin

Shan Cretin, a longtime social justice and health care quality advocate, joined The Endowment’s board of directors in April 2010. In September 2010, Cretin was appointed General Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker‐led and founded organization that carries out peace, social justice, and community‐based programs throughout the world.

As General Secretary, Cretin is responsible for AFSC’s worldwide peace and justice programs in twenty‐six states and twelve countries. She previously served as Pacific Southwest Regional Director for AFSC, where she directed programs on immigrant rights, prison reform, food security, peace, and demilitarization in Southern California, Hawaii, Arizona and New Mexico.

Cretin also co‐founded the Los Angeles Chapter of the Alternatives to Violence Project, an association of community‐ and prison‐based volunteers offering experiential workshops in personal growth and creative conflict management. She has conducted conflict resolution workshops at the Chino Youth Correctional Facility and in the Los Angeles community.

A resident of Santa Monica, Cretin has lived, worked and traveled across the globe. She was a faculty mentor on a project to support Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, Jordanian and Moroccan health care workers who sought to collaborate on improving health care in the Middle East. In addition, she directed a demonstration project on rural health insurance in the People’s Republic of China. She has also served as a consultant for improving the quality of clinical care and business practice for clients in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Cretin, a graduate of MIT and Yale, has served on the faculties of Harvard, Yale, West China Medical Center, Shanghai Medical University and UCLA.

 


 

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Adrienne Y. Crowe

Adrienne Y. Crowe joined The Endowment’s board of directors in April 2010. Crowe, who is active in the nonprofit community, is a retired Bank of America executive, where she spent more than 25 years in a variety of executive roles. Most recently, Crowe was senior vice president for Bank of America’s Sacramento Regional Commercial Banking Office up until her retirement in 2000.

Crowe’s commitment to the community is exemplified by her more than 30 years of board service for a number of nonprofit organizations, including Mercy Healthcare Sacramento (1996‐1998), Valley Vision (1996‐2000), United Way (1992‐2000), Neighborhood Housing Service (1992‐1996), and the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce (1989‐1992). Crowe recently completed thirteen years of service on the board and board committees of Catholic Healthcare West. She currently serves on the boards and board committees for Mercy Housing, Inc., the Catholic Health Association of the United States, and Mechanics Bank

Crowe, a resident of the Sacramento area, is the recipient of the 1997 Black Women Achievement Award from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

 


 

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Hector Flores

Hector Flores, MD, a long-time advocate for the medically underserved, joined The California Endowment’s Board of Directors in May 2013. He co-founded and currently serves as the Medical Director of the Family Care Specialists Medical Group in East Los Angeles, which has four offices strategically located in health-professions shortage areas. In addition, Dr. Flores is the chairman of White Memorial Medical Center’s (WMMC) Department of Family Medicine.

Dr. Flores also serves as co-director of the WMMC’s Family Medicine Residency Program, which he established with five other Latino family physicians. The program provides young physicians with the training and skills to become excellent clinicians in shortage-area practices, to provide culturally responsive health services, and to achieve leadership positions in the medical community. Most of the program participants go on to practice family medicine in underserved communities statewide, and 100 percent are Board Certified Family Physicians.

Born in Mexico and a current resident of Los Angeles, Flores graduated from Stanford University and the UC Davis School of Medicine. He was a founding member of the California Latino Medical Association and currently serves on Blue Shield of California’s board of directors and is a member of the Insure the Uninsured Program’s (ITUP) advisory board. Flores also served on the Clinton Health Care Task Force and the California Task Force on Culturally and Linguistically Competent Physicians and Dentists. He was also a member of the UC Medical Student Diversity Task Force.

 


 

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Shawn Ginwright

Shawn Ginwright, a leading national expert on African American youth, youth activism, and youth development, joined The California Endowment’s Board of Directors in May 2013.

Dr. Ginwright serves as the Senior Research Associate at the Cesar Chavez Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco, CA and is also an Associate Professor of Education in the Africana Studies Department at San Francisco State University. During his tenure, he led a team to establish the first Urban Education doctoral program in the California State University system. In addition, as a Senior Researcher at the Cesar Chavez Institute for Public Policy, Ginwright established the National Research Collaborative on Youth Activism, among other activities and accomplishments.

Dr. Ginwright currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational and Environmental Design (ISEEED) in Oakland, CA. ISEEED is a research, community building, and advocacy organization that addresses the interconnected challenges of environmental sustainability, educational achievement, and workforce development. In 1989, Dr. Ginwright founded Leadership Excellence, an innovative youth development agency located in Oakland, California that trains African American youth to address pressing social and community problems. He is also the Co-Founder of Flourish Agenda, a social impact company that supports schools and community organizations with building well-being and healthy school climates.

In 2011, he was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Senior Specialist award from the State Department for his outstanding research and work with urban youth. He has advised the Ford Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and The Heinz Endowments on philanthropic strategies to support young people in urban communities. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning (CIRCLE) at the Johnathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tuffs University.

A resident of Oakland, Ginwright received his Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley. His research examines the ways in which youth in urban communities navigate through the constraints of poverty and struggle to create equality and justice in their schools and communities.

He is the author of “Hope and Healing in Urban Education, “Black Youth Rising, Activism and Radical Healing in Urban America”, “Black in School- Afrocentric Reform, Black Youth and the Promise of Hip-Hop Culture” and co-editor of” Beyond Resistance!: Youth Resistance and Community Change: New Democratic Possibilities for Practice and Policy for America’s Youth”.

He has published extensively on issues related to urban youth in journals such as Social Problems, Social Justice, Urban Review, and New Directions in Youth Development. He is a highly sought speaker to national and international audiences.

 

 


 

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Christina Kazhe

Christina Kazhe, Esq., a Native American attorney who has made significant contributions to the field of Indian law, joined The California Endowment’s board of directors in May 2012.

Kazhe founded and leads the Kazhe Law Group PC, which is dedicated to representing Native American Tribes, organizations, individuals and interests. Located in Elk Grove, California, Kazhe Law Group PC works across a range of issues, including, but not limited to, land trusts and tribal and regulatory issues at all levels of tribal government. Most significantly, Kazhe represented Wilton Rancheria in their pursuit of restoration status as a federally recognized tribe. Through her representation, Wilton Rancheria was successfully restored in 2009.

Prior to establishing her law firm, Kazhe was an associate/equity partner in the Sacramento office of the nationwide Indian law firm of Fredericks Peebles and Morgan LLP where she successfully represented Native American tribes in state and federal civil litigation, restored land determinations, Indian Child Welfare advocacy, and land into trusts applications and federal recognition. Kazhe is a member of the Navajo Nation and affiliate to the Mescalero Apache Tribe. She received her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis for which she is the chairperson of Native American Alumni Association. She has received numerous honors from UC Davis, including the 2004 Young Alumni Award. In 2010, she was named by the Sacramento Business Journal as “40 Under 40” for leadership, entrepreneurship, and community involvement.

A resident of Elk Grove, California, Kazhe served on the board of the American Indian Child Resource Center in Oakland, Calif., and currently serves on the board of the American Indian Education for the Elk Grove Unified School District. She is also a member of the California Indian Law Bar Association, Sacramento County Bar Association, Federal Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

 


 

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Kate Kendell

Kate Kendell, Esq., joined The California Endowment’s board of Directors in May 2012.

Kendell is executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy and public education. Through direct litigation and advocacy, NCLR works to change discriminatory laws and to create new laws and policies benefiting the LGBT community.

“Kate’s experience as a civil rights advocate will be critical to the foundation as we work to achieve health equity across the great state of California,” said Tessie Guillermo, board chair of The Endowment.

Kendell began her career as a corporate attorney but soon discovered a passion for civil rights advocacy that led to her being hired as the first staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Utah. While there, Kendell oversaw the legal department of ACLU of Utah, and directly litigated many high‐profile cases focusing on all aspects of civil liberties, including reproductive rights, prisoners’ rights, church/state conflicts, free speech, and the rights of LGBT individuals.

In 1994, Kendell accepted a position as the Legal Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights based in San Francisco. While there she was responsible for the strategy and vision for NCLR’s legal program and projects.

In 1996, Kendell was named NCLR’s executive director at which time she took over the day-to-day operations and oversight of all aspects of the agency’s operation, including coordination of all litigation and litigation strategy, development of strategy with regard to policy and program initiatives and primary responsibility for fund development and budgeting. She also acts as the primary spokesperson on behalf of NCLR to the media and fosters alliances among other community and advocacy organizations committed to social justice.

A resident of San Francisco, Kendell lives with her partner and their son and daughter, ages 15 and 10, respectively. Their family also includes Kendell’s daughter, age 31.

 


 

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Marta McKenzie, MPH, RD

Marta McKenzie, MPH, RD, joined The California Endowment’s board of directors in May 2015.

McKenzie, who is the former director of Health and Human Services for Shasta County (2006-2012), is currently an independent consultant working with Kemper Consulting Group and other health-related organizations where she consults on county health and human service and other behavioral health integration efforts.

Most notably, McKenzie served for 25 years with the Shasta County Public Health Department in various capacities, including Public Health Director (2000-2006), Public Health Deputy Director (1998-2000), and Public Health Administrative Services Officer (1995-1998), among other positions. She has also served as a guest lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Department of Continuing Education, Division of Nursing, and also was an instructor at Shasta College in Redding, California (1979-1984).

McKenzie – who has expertise in public health, mental health, nutrition has served on a number of boards for nonprofit organizations, including County Medical Services Program in Sacramento, California (2005-2011), Mercy Medical Center Redding Advisory Council in Redding, California (2004-2011), Shasta Regional Medical Center, Redding, California (2005-2008) and was the Founding Chair of the California WIC Association in Sacramento, California (1992-1993).

A resident of Redding, California, McKenzie earned her Master’s in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley, her Bachelors of Science in Dietetics from California State University, Chico, and her Associates degree in Nutrition Studies and General Education from Shasta College in Redding, California.


 

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Steve PonTell

Steve PonTell joined The California Endowment’s board of directors in July 2011.

PonTell is the President and Chief Executive Officer of National Community Renaissance (National CORE), one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable and senior housing. National CORE owns, operates, and/or manages nearly 9,000 units serving more than 27,000 residents in Arkansas, California, Florida, and Texas.

PonTell is a respected national voice on the affordability and availability of housing, and the need for collaborative solutions to the housing crisis. Under his leadership, CORE and its Hope through Housing Foundation have earned wide acclaim for their proven and effective approach to building and preserving affordable housing that positively impacts communities.

In 1996, PonTell founded the La Jolla Institute, a California-based nonprofit think tank that advances a better understanding of the critical elements necessary for both communities and corporations to achieve sustainable economic competitiveness. He is a nationally recognized authority on community development and creating forward-thinking organizations to maximize evolving market environments. PonTell currently serves on the Board of Governors for the National Housing Conference as well as on the Urban Land Institute’s Affordable/Workforce Housing Council. He is a member of the American Planning Association, is a past chairman of the Children’s Fund of San Bernardino County and is a past vice chairman of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board.

PonTell has a Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University in City and Regional Planning and an Executive MBA from Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Business. He is married to Victoria, a PhD in nursing, and they have three children: Erin, Michael and Grace.


 

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Robert K. Ross

Robert K. Ross, M.D., is president and chief executive officer of The California Endowment, a health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in July 2000, Dr. Ross served as director of the Health and Human Services Agency for the County of San Diego from 1993 to 2000, and Commissioner of Public Health for the City of Philadelphia from 1990 to 1993.

Dr. Ross has an extensive background in health philanthropy, as a public health executive, and as a clinician. His service includes: medical director for LINK School‐Based Clinic Program, Camden, New Jersey; instructor of clinical medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and faculty member at San Diego State University’s School of Public Health. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pediatrics, served on the President’s Summit for America’s Future and as chairman of the national Boost for Kids Initiative. Dr. Ross received his undergraduate, Masters in Public Administration and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Ross was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar from 1988 to 1990, focusing on urban child health issues.

Dr. Ross has been actively involved in community and professional activities at both the regional and national level. He serves as a Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, a Board member of the California Health Benefit Exchange Board, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; Co‐Chair, Diversity in Philanthropy Coalition; Board member, USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy; and has served as a Board member of Grantmakers in Health , National Vaccine Advisory Committee, the National Marrow Donor Program, San Diego United Way and Jackie Robinson YMCA.

He has received numerous awards and honors including the 2011 Public Health Champion award from the UCLA School of Public Health, 2011 Latino Health Alliance Champion Award, 2011 California Association of Human Relations Organization Civil Rights Award, 2009 Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles Access to Justice Award, and the Council on Foundations’ 2008 Distinguished Grantmaker of the Year Award. He has also been named by Capitol Weekly as one of California’s most influential civic leaders in health policy, and he was recently named by the NonProfit Times as one of the 50 Most Influential Non‐Profit Leaders in America. In 1999 he was named by Governing Magazine as a national Public Official of the Year for his leadership in innovative health and social services delivery.

During his tenure at The California Endowment, the foundation has focused on the health needs of underserved Californians by championing the cause of health coverage for all children, reducing childhood obesity, strengthening the capacity of community health centers, improving health services for farm worker and ex‐offender populations, and strengthening the pipeline for bringing racial and ethnic diversity to the health professions. In the Los Angeles region, he has provided leadership to support the re‐opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center and the revitalization of Charles Drew University. In 2010, The California Endowment launched a 10‐year statewide commitment investing $1 billion to advance policies and forge partnerships to build healthy communities and a healthy California. Recently, he has helped bring greater philanthropic attention to the health and well‐being of young men of color across California and the nation. Dr. Ross and his wife Robin have four children, and he serves on the Vestry Board at the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

 


 

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Dr. Winston Wong

Dr. Winston Wong, a physician and leader in public health with expertise in advocacy, joined The California Endowment’s Board of Directors in May 2013.

Wong is the director for Kaiser Permanente’s Disparities Improvement and Quality Initiatives, and is also the medical director for Kaiser’s efforts in developing and cultivating community partnerships that address the needs of the underserved and the pursuit of health equity through the organization’s Community Benefit program. Wong established the systematic measurement of disparities and equitable care as part of Kaiser Permanente’s quality strategy, resulting in the development of GEMS, the company’s first virtual data warehouse capturing racial, ethnic, and other socio-economic data for 90 percent of Kaiser’s 8.6 million members. His work also spawned Kaiser’s program to identify successful practices across the regions addressing health disparities.

Prior to his service with Kaiser Permanente, Wong was a Commissioned Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service, achieving the rank of Captain, and serving in various roles in the Region IX Office of the Department of Health and Human Services. While there he was in charge of the clinical development of federally qualified health centers in a four state territory, as well as the management of California programs supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). He was also appointed HRSA’s liaison to public health programs in the Pacific Basin jurisdictions of Micronesia, American Samoa, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Guam and Saipan. Wong is the recipient of the U.S. Public Health Service’s Outstanding Service Medal in recognition of his public service.

Wong also served as medical director and a primary care physician at Asian Health Services (1986-1993) in Oakland, California, where he was responsible for the clinical care of low-income, non-English speaking Asian immigrant patients, as well as overall clinical administration and leadership of the East Bay’s largest community health center serving the needs of the region’s Asian/Pacific Islander community.

Wong is a member of Advisory Committee for both the UCLA Center for Health Equity and the Ethnic Health Institute in Berkeley, California. He is also An advisory member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine in Washington, DC, for which he serves on the Roundtable on Health Equity, Roundtable on Health Literacy, and the Board of Population Health and Public Health Practice.

 


 

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Robert K. Ross

President and Chief Executive Officer 

Robert K. Ross, M.D., is president and chief executive officer for The California Endowment, a health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in July 2000, Dr. Ross served as director of the Health and Human Services Agency for the County of San Diego from 1993 to 2000, and Commissioner of Public Health for the City of Philadelphia from 1990 to 1993.

Dr. Ross has an extensive background in health philanthropy, as a public health executive, and as a clinician. His service includes: medical director for LINK School‐Based Clinic Program, Camden, New Jersey; instructor of clinical medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and faculty member at San Diego State University’s School of Public Health. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pediatrics, served on the President’s Summit for America’s Future and as chairman of the national Boost for Kids Initiative. Dr. Ross received his undergraduate, Masters in Public Administration and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Ross was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar from 1988 to 1990, focusing on urban child health issues.

Dr. Ross has been actively involved in community and professional activities at both the regional and national level. He serves as a Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, a Board member of the California Health Benefit Exchange Board, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; Co‐Chair, Diversity in Philanthropy Coalition; Board member, USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy; and has served as a Board member of Grantmakers in Health , National Vaccine Advisory Committee, the National Marrow Donor Program, San Diego United Way and Jackie Robinson YMCA.

He has received numerous awards and honors including the 2011 Public Health Champion award from the UCLA School of Public Health, 2011 Latino Health Alliance Champion Award, 2011 California Association of Human Relations Organization Civil Rights Award, 2009 Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles Access to Justice Award, and the Council on Foundations’ 2008 Distinguished Grantmaker of the Year Award. He has also been named by Capitol Weekly as one of California’s most influential civic leaders in health policy, and he was recently named by the NonProfit Times as one of the 50 Most Influential Non‐Profit Leaders in America. In 1999 he was named by Governing Magazine as a national Public Official of the Year for his leadership in innovative health and social services delivery.

During his tenure at The California Endowment, the foundation has focused on the health needs of underserved Californians by championing the cause of health coverage for all children, reducing childhood obesity, strengthening the capacity of community health centers, improving health services for farm worker and ex‐offender populations, and strengthening the pipeline for bringing racial and ethnic diversity to the health professions. In the Los Angeles region, he has provided leadership to support the re‐opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center and the revitalization of Charles Drew University. In 2010, The California Endowment launched a 10‐year statewide commitment investing $1 billion to advance policies and forge partnerships to build healthy communities and a healthy California. Recently, he has helped bring greater philanthropic attention to the health and well‐being of young men of color across California and the nation. Dr. Ross and his wife Robin have four children, and he serves on the Vestry Board at the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

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Martha Jimenez

Executive Vice President/Counsel

Martha Jimenez joined The California Endowment as Executive Vice President/Counsel in October 2014. Her responsibilities include serving as chief advisor to The Endowment’s President and CEO on legal and governance matters, organizational and operational effectiveness and strategy, as well as directing the Foundation’s Human Relations and Administrative Grant-Making functions.

Prior to joining The Endowment, Jimenez was Senior Counsel for Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, and previously served in that office as the Director of Legal and Health Programs and Senior Health Deputy. As Senior Counsel, she was responsible for providing guidance and recommendations on legal strategy, policy development, and risk management issues.

Prior to her service with Supervisor Molina, Jimenez served as Vice President for Policy and Development for Fair Trade USA where she advocated for “fair trade” practices to support farmers in developing countries by working with U.S.-based business. She also served at the Rockefeller Foundation, The California Endowment, Public Advocates, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.

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Anthony Iton

Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities

Anthony Iton, M.D., J.D., MPH is Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities at The California Endowment. In the fall of 2009, Dr. Iton began to oversee the organization’s 10-Year, multimillion-dollar statewide commitment to advance policies and forge partnerships to build healthy communities and a healthy California.

Dr. Iton served for seven years as the Alameda County Public Health Department Director and Health Officer where he oversaw a budget of $112 million with a focus on preventing communicable disease outbreaks, reducing the burden of chronic disease and obesity. He has worked as an HIV disability rights attorney at the Berkeley Community Law Center, a health care policy analyst with Consumers Union West Coast Regional Office, and as a physician and advocate for the homeless at the San Francisco Public Health Department.

Dr. Iton’s primary focus includes health of disadvantaged populations and the contributions of race, class, wealth, education, geography, and employment to health status. His awards include the Champion of Children Award from the United Way and the National Association of City and County Health Officials Award of Excellence for the use of information technology in public health. In February 2010, Dr. Iton was recognized by the California Legislative Black Caucus with the Black History Month Legends Award and presented on the floor of the California State Assembly with a resolution memorializing his life’s work and achievements.

Iton serves on the board of directors of the Public Health Institute, the Public Health Trust, the Prevention Institute, and Jobs For The Future.

Dr. Iton received his medical degree at Johns Hopkins Medical School and subsequently trained in internal medicine and preventive medicine at New York Hospital, Yale, and Berkeley and is board certified in both specialties. Dr. Iton also holds a law degree and a Master’s of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley and is a member of the California Bar.

Prior to his appointment at The Endowment, Iton served since 2003 as both the director and County Health Officer for the Alameda County Public Health Department. In that role, he oversaw the creation of an innovative public health practice designed to eliminate health disparities by tackling the root causes of poor health that limit quality of life and lifespan in many of California’s low‐income communities.

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Daniel Zingale

Senior Vice President, Healthy California

Daniel Zingale joined The California Endowment as Senior Vice President in January 2009. Zingale leads The Endowment’s Healthy California team – the policy and statewide communications arm of the foundation. He spearheaded the ‘Asegurate’ campaign to enroll Latinos in Obamacare, and the ‘Health Happens Here’ campaign to challenge conventional assumptions about health and advance health justice and equity in under-served communities.

Prior to joining The Endowment, Zingale served as chief of staff to Maria Shriver and senior adviser to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, where he was an architect of Schwarzenegger’s pioneering health reform plan to enact an individual mandate and expanded health coverage for millions of uninsured Californians.

Zingale was cabinet secretary for California Governor Gray Davis, where he negotiated California’s landmark domestic partners law granting same-sex couples in California all of the state’s rights and responsibilities afforded married couples and paving the way for marriage equality. As founding director of the California Department of Managed Health Care, Zingale was the first ‘HMO Czar’ in the nation.

Zingale is a long-time champion of the rights of farmworkers, including a term on the California Agriculture Labor Relations Board from 2003-2005. In the 1990s, he served as Executive Director of the Washington, DC based AIDS Action and political director of the Human Rights Campaign.

Zingale earned his BA from UC Berkeley and Masters of Arts in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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Marion Standish

Vice President, Enterprise Programs

Marion Standish joined The California Endowment with an extensive legal and philanthropic background.

As Vice President, Enterprise Programs, she is responsible for managing resources that will support collaboration and alignment across all TCE Departments to achieve TCE’s mission and Building Health Communities goals and outcomes. Standish leads multiple philanthropic partnerships, provides strategic guidance to Impact Investing activities, and works closely with TCE’s Chief Learning Officer to achieve organizational goals.

Standish serves as lead officer for the Endowment with the Partnership For A Healthier America, The First Lady’s Let’s Move Initiative, California’s Let’s Get Healthy effort and the National Convergence Partnership.

Previously, Standish was Senior Advisor to the President of The California Endowment and the Director of Community Health where she oversaw multiple grant-making initiatives focused on transforming communities to reduce inequities and improving health. She played a key role in developing and implementing for many TCE signature initiatives, including the Partnership For the Public’s Health, Community Action To Fight Asthma and Healthy Eating Active Communities.

Before joining The Endowment, Standish was founder and director of California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA), a statewide nutrition and health research and advocacy organization focusing on access to nutritious food for low-income families. Before launching CFPA, she served as director of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, a statewide advocacy organization focusing on health, education and labor issues facing farmworkers and the rural poor. She began her career as a staff attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance, a federally funded legal services program.

Standish received her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, and both her M.A. and undergraduate degrees from New York University.

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Dan De Leon

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Dan DeLeon joined The California Endowment in May 2008 as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of The Endowment’s financial information and technology operations, including accounting, tax compliance, planning and analysis, audit, information systems and infrastructures.

Prior to his appointment at The Endowment, DeLeon was the Los Angeles regional vice president of Finance for Time Warner Cable, where he was responsible for the financial operations of the largest corporate division serving 2 million customers in Southern California with voice, video and data. While there, he integrated the financial and information technology functions of Time Warner, Comcast and Adelphia.

In 2009, DeLeon was named CFO of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Among his other positions of note, DeLeon served as the vice president of Finance, Western Division, for Charter Communications, a $900 million multiple system operator of cable television and internet services; vice president and chief financial officer for Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. (formerly AT&T Broadband); controller for Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc.; and controller for Merisel, Inc., a $5 billion international computer hardware and software distributor.

DeLeon, a resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, earned his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Southern California (USC).

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Ruth Wernig

Chief Investment Officer

Ruth Wernig was appointed Chief Investment Officer of The California Endowment in April 2010. She is responsible for managing the $3.3 billion endowment and overseeing a staff of 7.

Previously, Wernig was treasurer of the University of Southern California from 2004-2010. She was responsible for overseeing the investment management of the university’s endowment, working capital, pension and life income assets of $3.5 billion. She worked closely with the investment committee of the Board of Trustees to develop an overall investment strategy for the endowment and prepared quarterly reports on endowment performance to the finance committee of the Board of Trustees. In addition, she chaired the university’s Retirement Oversight Committee.

Wernig came to USC in 1994 as a treasury associate and later served as associate treasurer. Before joining USC in 1994, Wernig worked in the Treasurer’s Office at RAND and at State Street Bank. She is a member of the CFA Institute and the Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysts. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst. She serves on the City of Hope Investment Committee, the Commonfund Capital Advisory Committee and the Independent Sector Investment Committee.

Wernig received her bachelor’s degree in economics from Brown University and her master’s degree from Boston University.

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