West Health’s Shelley Lyford Appointed to California’s Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Advisory Committee

SAN DIEGO – Aug. 15, 2019 –  Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of nonprofit, nonpartisan West Health and a commissioner on the California Commission on Aging, has been appointed to California’s Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Advisory Committee, a group of civic leaders that will help guide how California addresses the health and human services and social support needs of its fast-growing senior population, which is expected to rise by four million over the next 10 years. Currently, more than 5.1 million seniors live in the Golden State.

“For seniors, their families and caregivers in California, there is no more important work than the creation and implementation of a smart, effective and bold Master Plan for Aging,” said Lyford. “Seniors currently face significant challenges in accessing high-quality and affordable healthcare, dental care, supportive services, housing and transportation. The Master Plan will help ensure we holistically address these issues and better enable all Californians to age with dignity and independence. Our goal is for California to be a model for the nation when it comes to aging in America.”

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee includes a diverse group of community leaders, healthcare providers, employers, academic researchers and aging advocates that will advise the Cabinet Workgroup on Aging in the development of the Master Plan. California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced the establishment of the Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Advisory Committee today, and appointed Lyford to the group earlier this week.

In June, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order calling for the completion of the Master Plan for Aging by October 1, 2020 and mandated the formation of the advisory committee. According to the executive order, the Master Plan will “serve as a blueprint for state government, local government, private sector and philanthropy to implement strategies and partnerships that promote healthy aging and prepare the state for the coming demographic changes.”

In 2018, under Lyford’s leadership, West Health partnered with The SCAN Foundation, on the successful We Stand With Seniors public awareness and education campaign, an initiative that led to a pledge from then-candidate Newsom, that if elected governor, he would commit to developing a Master Plan for Aging in California.

Lyford, who has been with West Health since 2006, oversees the Gary and Mary West Foundation and West Health Institute in San Diego, and the West Health Policy Center in Washington, DC, which together as West Health are focused on lowering healthcare costs to enable successful aging for seniors in California and across the nation.

Under her stewardship, the Gary and Mary West Foundation has awarded 535 grants totaling more than $212 million for healthcare research and social services focused on seniors and their caregivers. Lyford led West Health’s development of several innovative models of senior healthcare, including the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center for low-income seniors in 2016, the Gary and Mary West Senior Emergency Department at UC San Diego Health in 2019, and the recently-opened Gary and Mary West PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), a non-profit located in San Marcos, California, providing integrated, comprehensive medical and support services to seniors with chronic care needs.

Lyford also serves as vice chair of the board of directors for Civica Rx, a not-for-profit generic pharmaceutical company created to help address drug shortages and the high prices of lifesaving medications.

About West Health
Solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary West, West Health is a family of nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations including the Gary and Mary West Foundation and Gary and Mary West Health Institute in San Diego, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C. West Health is dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to enable 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. Learn more at westhealth.org and follow @westhealth.

Tim Ingersoll
Director of Communications, West Health


Click to visit We Stand With Seniors website to learn more.