What We Do

Outcomes-based Philanthropy

Gary and Mary West Foundation: Making a Difference in Lowering the Cost of Healthcare and Enabling 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 and 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 518 grants totaling more than $211 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 and their flagship facility, 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 launched the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center in October 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 May 2016, 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.


PRESS RELEASE: Three National Foundations Commit $30 Million To Civica Rx, A Groundbreaking Effort To Address Shortages And High Prices Of Life-Saving Medications

To address the critical risks posed to patients from chronic shortages and rising prices of life-saving generic medications, three national foundations committed $30 million to help establish Civica Rx, a new not-for-profit generic drug company. The Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Gary and Mary West Foundation each committed $10 million, joining seven large U.S. hospital systems representing approximately 500 U.S. hospitals as governing members of Civica Rx. The formation of Civica Rx was announced September 13, 2018.

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Featured Grantee: Serving Seniors

Serving Seniors is transforming the aging experience for low income seniors in San Diego through highly successful and innovative programs that help seniors live independently for as long as possible. Since 1970, Serving Seniors has been the leading provider of programs and services for low-income seniors in San Diego County. Their innovative approach to providing wrap-around services including nutritious meals, health education, social services, case management, affordable supportive housing and lifelong learning opportunities has earned national recognition as a model for keeping seniors healthy and independent.

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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.

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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ElderHelp provides personalized services and information that help seniors remain independent and live with dignity in their own homes.

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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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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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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 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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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 non-profit organizations that collaboratively achieve high-impact outcomes in the community.

American Society on Aging

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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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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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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 Policy Center

The Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center lowers the cost of healthcare and enables seniors to successfully age on their own terms.

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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 and making successful aging a reality for seniors in our nation.


Shelley Lyford

President and Chief Executive Officer, West Health, Gary and Mary West Foundation and the 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

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

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 the 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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