Gary & Mary West

Founders

Gary and Mary West are successful entrepreneurs and pioneering philanthropists with a commitment to making a significant positive impact in the lives of our nation’s seniors. They understand, firsthand, many of the brutal challenges of aging and know that most low-income seniors do not have the resources to do so successfully.

The couple’s leadership began with West Corporation, a technology-driven communications company they founded in 1986 in Omaha, Nebraska that grew to more than 30,000 employees. The West’s energy, enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit led them to develop several local businesses and philanthropic organizations, reflecting their true patriotism, integrity and persevering Midwestern values.

Fueled by the Wests’ extraordinary commitment to our nation’s seniors and positively transforming healthcare delivery for all Americans, they formed the Gary and Mary West Foundation in 2006. The 501(c)(3) private, non-operating foundation provides outcomes-based funding to support successful aging initiatives throughout the country with collaborators that include leading academic institutions and senior-focused nonprofit organizations.

To date, the Foundation has awarded 400 grants totaling more than $181 million.  Examples of San Diego-based grant recipients include Serving Seniors and the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, a unique community-based care model providing low-income seniors two meals a day and access to more than 30 nonprofit organizations and support services. The Foundation will also launch the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center in mid-2016, a state-of-the-art community dental clinic seamlessly integrated into Serving Seniors’ suite of clinical and non-clinical services provided at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center to create a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive resource for seniors.

In 2009, Gary and Mary created the West Health Institute; a nonprofit applied medical research organization in San Diego. In 2012, they launched the nonpartisan West Health Policy Center in Washington D.C. Through a combination of applied research, policy and community initiatives and outcomes-based funding, the West Health Institute, West Health Policy Center and the Gary and Mary West Foundation are committed to creating and advancing sustainable high-quality healthcare delivery models that improve care, at a lower cost, for seniors and their families.

Today, these organizations are actively working with a wide range of collaborators and grantees who share our mission of enabling seniors to successfully age in place, with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. You can find West Health’s “Hope for Successful Aging” video here, which highlights the importance of its collective work to address the many challenges faced every day by seniors across the country.