Then candidate, Gavin Newsom, signs a pledge committing to developing California’s first Master Plan for Aging at Serving Seniors’ Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center in San Diego, CA.

How it All Began

Recognizing what was at stake for seniors in California, West Health partnered with The SCAN Foundation in 2018 on the grassroots "We Stand With Seniors" public awareness and education campaign, a nonpartisan initiative that led to a pledge from then-candidate Gavin Newsom to develop a Master Plan for Aging in California that would comprehensively address the current and future needs of our state’s senior population.

Governor Newsom made good on his campaign pledge and signed an executive order in June 2019 calling for the development of California’s first Master Plan for Aging. Philanthropies, community leaders, policy makers, advocates and healthcare providers came together for what has become a historic public-private partnership that led to the development of the Master Plan, which launched in January 2021. The partnership began with three foundations and has grown to seven. Combined, the foundations have contributed nearly $3 million to create, implement and advance the Master Plan for Aging. Foundation partners include the Gary and Mary West Foundation, The SCAN Foundation, Archstone Foundation, Metta Fund, Rosalind and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, San Diego Foundation, and The Smith Charitable Trust.

During the plan’s development, West Health President and CEO Shelley Lyford served as a member of the Master Plan’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee, a diverse group of state leaders responsible for guiding the development of policy and program recommendations for the Master Plan for Aging. Lyford was also appointed to the California Commission on Aging.

West Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Zia Agha, MD is on the Master Plan for Aging Research Subcommittee and Gary and Mary West Foundation Program Officer Brenda Schmitthenner coordinates our involvement with the Master Plan for Aging and serves as liaison to the state and other partners. 

Shelley Lyford

President and CEO, Gary and Mary West Foundation

Member of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee

Zia Agha, MD

Chief Medical Officer, West Health

Member of the Master Plan for Aging Research Subcommittee

Brenda Schmitthenner, MPA

Program Officer, Successful Aging, Gary and Mary West Foundation

Liaison for the California Master Plan for Aging

Amy Herr, MHS, PMP

Director of Health Policy, West Health Policy Center

Liaison for Master Plan for Aging Learning Collaborative