What We Do

Outcomes-based Philanthropy

Gary and Mary West Foundation: Making a Difference in Lowering the Cost of Healthcare to Enable Successful Aging

The 501(c)(3) private, non-operating Foundation, established in 2006 and solely funded by Gary and Mary West, provides outcomes-based funding to support initiatives that lower the cost of healthcare 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. Based in Solana Beach, California, the Foundation has awarded 534 grants totaling more than $212 million since its inception. We accept grant applications by invitation only and work to develop high-impact partnerships with nonprofits in San Diego, Omaha, and select national organizations. The Foundation is part of West Health, a family of nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations, which also includes the West Health Institute, an applied medical research organization, and the West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

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Creating and Advancing New Senior-focused Models of Care

Examples of San Diego-based grant recipients include Serving Seniors’ 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. In October 2016, the Foundation launched the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center, a state-of-the-art community dental clinic seamlessly integrated into Serving Seniors’ Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center suite of services to create a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive resource for seniors. The Foundation and the West Health Institute provided $11.8 million to UC San Diego Health to create the Gary and Mary West Senior Emergency Care Unit, a state-of-the-art facility within the Gary and Mary West Emergency Department at Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla. In May 2018, the Gary and Mary West Emergency Department received a Level 1 Gold accreditation.

Special design elements, specifically geared toward older adult patients, can be found all throughout the Senior Emergency Care Unit. Further, internationally-acclaimed local artist, Aaron Chang, was commissioned to provide photographs of San Diego landscapes that are displayed throughout the facility. Hear Aaron speak more about the therapeutic benefits of art within a medical setting by watching this video.

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Featured National Initiative: Civica Rx

Civica Rx exists in the public interest as a non-stock, non-profit corporation committed to stabilizing the supply of essential generic medications. Founded by seven leading hospital systems concerned about generic drug shortages and three philanthropic members passionate about improving healthcare, including the Gary and Mary West Foundation, Arnold Ventures and the Peterson Center on Healthcare. As of April 2019, more than 30 Health Systems have joined Civica as Governing, Founding and Partnering members, representing over 900 U.S. hospitals and equaling approximately 180,000 licensed beds or 27% of the nation’s licensed beds. Civica Rx will provide patients with greater access to more affordable drugs and better, safer care. Caregivers will be better able to focus on the delivery of great care, and not spend time searching for drugs in shortage or developing alternative therapies.

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Featured Community Grantee: Consumer Center for Health Education and Advocacy (Consumer Center)

  • The Consumer Center for Health Education and Advocacy (Consumer Center) is a program of the Legal Aid Society of San Diego that provides one-on-one counseling services to aid low-income seniors who are managing multiple physical and mental health challenges and struggling with complex health coverage issues.  The Consumer Center staff, also known as advocates, are on-site at Serving Seniors’ Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, assisting older adults with a variety of health coverage issues including insurance eligibility (i.e., Medi-Cal and Denti-Cal eligibility and application assistance), terminations or delays, service claims, and improper billing.  The Consumer Center advocates also help seniors determine eligibility for savings programs and identify ways to lower out-of-pocket deductibles. In 2018, the Consumer Center advocates saved vulnerable older adults nearly $900,000 in health coverage costs. Without this help, many seniors say they would have to choose between purchasing food or affording their medication and seeing their doctor or paying their rent.

The Consumer Center team also manages Bud and Esther’s Cyber Café, the computer lab on site at the Senior Wellness Center.  This provides seniors with the opportunity to access information and resources via the computer.  Established 20 years ago in 1999, the Consumer Center has been a funded partner of the Gary and Mary West Foundation for 10 years.

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The Gary and Mary West Foundation partners with nonprofit community organizations to provide high-quality services to low-income older adults which help them remain independent and healthy for as long as possible. We accept grant applications by invitation only and work to develop high-impact partnerships with nonprofits in San Diego, CA and Omaha, NE to support lowering the cost of healthcare and aging initiatives.

Challenge Center

The Challenge Center provides specialized physical therapy for seniors to significantly improve their mobility and independence.

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The Consumer Center for Health Education and Advocacy

The Consumer Center for Health Education and Advocacy provides entitlement assistance to low income seniors.

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The CSU Institute for Palliative Care

The CSU Institute for Palliative Care is dedicated to increasing access to and awareness of palliative care by educating current and future professionals as well as community members.

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Dental Lifeline Network

Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) is a national charitable organization whose mission is to improve the oral health of people with disabilities or who are elderly or medically fragile and have no other way to get help.

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Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center

The Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center provides seniors with high-quality, affordable oral healthcare.

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Intercultural Senior Center

ISC is a microcosm of our global society that specializes in creating a welcoming, supportive place for seniors from around the world, so they can live vibrant lives with dignity.

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Interfaith Community Services

Interfaith Community Services empowers people in need to stabilize and improve their lives through comprehensive programs, in partnership with diverse faith communities and people of compassion.

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Meals on Wheels San Diego County

Meals on Wheels San Diego County’s mission is to support the independence and well-being of seniors

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Merrymakers

Merrymakers provides the music that brings back memories and the moments that remind us just how good life can be.

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Outlook Nebraska, Inc.

The mission of Outlook Nebraska, Inc. is to enhance the quality of life of the blind and visually impaired.

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Project Houseworks

Project Houseworks serves, low-income, elderly homeowners with free home repairs that allow them to age in a safe & healthy home.

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The San Diego Foundation (TSDF)

The San Diego Foundation (TSDF) is a non-profit community foundation working to improve the quality of life in our region through effective philanthropy.

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San Diego Regional Economic Development Foundation

Funding to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Foundation supports the work of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) in its development of San Diego: Life. Changing., a brand campaign aimed to increase the region’s economic vitality by attracting and retaining STEAM talent and investment to the region. San Diego: Life. Changing. is communicating San Diego’s unique position in the global market, lifestyle offerings, and highlights the research achievements of the region and San Diego as a hub for successful aging research.

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San Diego Seniors Community Foundation

Our mission is to transition the senior community of San Diego from the potential of vulnerability to one of vitality, through the power of philanthropy.

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Serving Seniors

The Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center in downtown San Diego is not your typical senior center.

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Volunteers Assisting Seniors

VAS utilizes a network of trained volunteers to help seniors in Omaha navigate the complicated health insurance landscape.

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The Gary and Mary West Foundation develops partnerships with nonprofit organizations that collaboratively achieve high-impact outcomes and provide advocacy, education, and resources to support lowering the cost of healthcare and aging initiatives. We accept grant applications by invitation only.

American Society on Aging

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Civica Rx

Civica Rx exists in the public interest as a non-stock, non-profit corporation committed to stabilizing supply of essential generic medications. Founded by seven leading hospital systems concerned about generic drug shortages and three philanthropic members passionate about improving healthcare, including the Gary and Mary West Foundation, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, and the Peterson Center on Healthcare.

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Icahn School of Medicine At Mount Sinai

The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) provides the essential tools, training, technical assistance, and metrics to build and sustain palliative care in all health care settings.

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Meals on Wheels America

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger.

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National Academy of Sciences

Founded in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is one of three academies that make up the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) in the United States. Operating under the 1863 Congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academies are private, nonprofit institutions that work outside of government to provide objective advice on matters of science, technology, and health. The mission of the NAM is to improve health for all by advancing science, accelerating health equity, and providing independent, authoritative, and trusted advice nationally and globally. The NAM is currently working to produce a Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity which will be a comprehensive report assessing the challenges presented by global aging and demonstrating through evidence-based recommendations how these challenges can be translated into opportunities for societies globally.

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University of California, San Francisco

Tideswell at UCSF focuses on one of the greatest needs in healthcare today – improving the quality of care for older adults with chronic conditions and functional limitations living in our communities.

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University of Rochester

The University of Rochester, in collaboration with West Health, is hosting the 5th annual d.health Summit, a national forum for health and technology leaders, entrepreneurs, senior care advocates and policymakers to exchange ideas, create new relationships, and foster disruptive technological and process innovations to improve the lives of the nation’s aging population.

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West Health Institute

The Gary and Mary West Health Institute is dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to enable seniors to successfully age in place.

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West Health Policy Center

The Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center is dedicated to lowering the cost of healthcare to enable seniors to successfully age in place.

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Guided by founders Gary and Mary West, the Gary and Mary West Foundation is led by a diverse group of experts in their field focused on lowering the cost of healthcare to make successful aging a reality for our nation’s seniors.

Leadership

Shelley Lyford

President and Chief Executive Officer, West Health,
Gary and Mary West Foundation, and West Health Institute;
Board Director, Gary and Mary West Foundation

Timothy A. Lash, MBA

Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President, West Health
President, West Health Policy Center

Zia Agha, MD

Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President

Vyan Nguyen, MD

Program Officer

Brenda Schmitthenner, MPA

Program Officer, Successful Aging

John Little, M.S.

Director of Finance and Operations

Board of Directors

Gary West

Co-Chair & Founder, Gary and Mary West Foundation
Chairman & Founder, West Health Insitute
Chairman, West Health Policy Center

Mary West

Co-Chair & Founder, Gary and Mary West Foundation

Shelley Lyford

President and Chief Executive Officer, West Health,
Gary and Mary West Foundation, and West Health Institute;
Board Director, Gary and Mary West Foundation

Marc Harper

Board Director

Foundation Staff

Lindsay Goldsmith, CPA

Senior Accountant

Lexy Harshman

Operations Manager

Rozlyn Eicker

Office Assistant

 

The Gary and Mary West Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant requests or proposals.

Gary and Mary West Foundation

Solana Beach, CA

Phone: 858.369.3160

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