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Growing Dollars for Prevention: A California Wellness Trust

Thursday, February 13, 2020 -
1:30pm to 3:30pm PST
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street, Suite 360 | San Francisco, CA 94105
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This event has been postponed. We will update registrants once we confirm a future date. 

What's the smartest way to fundamentally reshape the health and well-being of Californians, and create more equitable opportunities for everyone in our state to thrive? Create a California Wellness Trust that will invest in building healthier communities with access to healthy food, physical activity, safe neighborhoods and clean water, while saving billions in healthcare costs for families and taxpayers. 

Wellness Trusts in other states have proven the power of sustained investment to scale-up effective prevention programs and fund community-led innovations, resulting in significant improvements in community health. The California Alliance for Prevention Funding, a coalition of 20 statewide organizations, has developed a proposal with concrete steps for making a California Wellness Trust a reality.

Join us to:

  • Learn about the California Wellness Trust proposal and potential revenue streams, including recent developments with statewide sugary beverage tax initiatives
  • Provide feedback on the proposal and strategies to move it forward in the capitol
  • Discuss how a CA Wellness Trust could complement current philanthropic investments


Claudia Cochado, Program Manager, Cultiva la Salud

Claudia G. Corchado is the Program Manager for Cultiva La Salud; an obesity prevention initiative and a grantee of the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities Initiative for the past fourteen years.  In this role Ms. Corchado has built and trained almost 550 grass roots community leaders (primarily non-English speaking residents) through a twelve-month Powerful People curriculum. Through these trainings’ residents begin to understand local, state and federal government and how their decisions impact their health. Through this leadership program, residents are empowered to work with their local schools, government and state representatives to improve their environments. She has worked with many different communities in the Central Valley addressing issues such as safe, clean, cold drinking water at schools, improving community parks, decreasing crime in communities of color so children can go outside and play, community improvement plans that make public areas more walkable and bikeable, safe routes to school so children can also walk or bike safely to school, ensure parents are part of Local Control Funding Formula process at their child’s school and she also opens school gymnasiums so hundreds of low income residents can have access to safe/organized physical activity opportunities.   

Janaya Nichols, Director of Programs and Partnerships, Well Being Trust

Janaya oversees Well Being Trust’s grantmaking strategy, including seeding new initiatives and building institutional partnerships in the philanthropic space. To this work she brings a blend of experience around policy, healthcare delivery systems and grantmaking practice. Janaya has more than 10 years of experience developing programs and supporting systems change efforts in the areas of maternal child health, HIV, trauma-informed care, homelessness, community advocacy, and population health. Prior to Well Being Trust, Janaya worked for entities such as Dignity Health, The House of Commons of the United Kingdom, and most recently First 5 LA. She holds a Masters of Science degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In addition to her work at WBT, Janaya is passionate about the well-being of women and girls and personally supports charities and nonprofits around domestic violence, girls in STEAM and youth action.

Tracey Rattray, Executive Director, CA Alliance for Prevention Funding

Tracey Rattray, MPH, MSW is the Executive Director of the California Alliance for Prevention Funding, working with partners to advocate for creation of a State Wellness Trust that will provide sustained, dedicated funding for chronic disease and injury prevention.  Previously she was the Director of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention at Contra Costa Health Services, leading nationally recognized programs focused on tobacco prevention, nutrition, physical activity, youth development, and promotion of a healthy built environment. Her passion is the intersection of health and social justice, and her earlier work experience focused on a range of issues including domestic violence, early childhood mental health, and international maternal and child health.

Richard Thomason, Director of Policy, Blue Shield of CA Foundation

Richard Thomason serves as director of policy at Blue Shield of California Foundation, where he leads the development of transformative initiatives that leverage public policy to achieve the Foundation’s mission. Richard joined the Foundation in 2009 as a program officer and has led the Foundation’s efforts to expand health coverage, improve access to care for vulnerable populations, and strengthen safety net healthcare systems. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was the policy director for SEIU - United Healthcare Workers West, where he was deeply involved in the full range of healthcare reform and healthcare system issues facing SEIU and its membership. Previously, he spent eight years as professional staff to the California Assembly in roles related to health and fiscal policy. In addition to his work in the California legislature, Richard has also worked as a community relations representative for Kaiser Permanente and as legislative staff to U.S. Senator Bill Bradley.

Lynn Silver, Co-Chair, CA Alliance for Prevention Funding

Dr. Lynn Silver, a pediatrician and public health advocate, is Senior Advisor at the Public Health Institute (PHI) and Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco. She founded and co-chairs the California Alliance for Prevention Funding. She focuses on policies to prevent noncommunicable disease, its risk factors and inequitable impact. Silver was Assistant Health Commissioner of New York City under Mayor Bloomberg, leading innovative policy work such as the nation’s first trans-fat ban, calorie labeling law and the National Salt Reduction Initiative, and supported innovative tobacco control policies and programs. She served as Health Officer for Sonoma County, California. At PHI, she has worked on the Berkeley coalition that led the nation’s first successful soda tax effort, which is now funding public health and nutrition in that city and has collaborated on soda tax campaigns in other cities, states and countries. More recently she began the Getting It Right from the Start project to promote public health oriented regulation of legalized marijuana and capture of marijuana taxation review for prevention and health equity.  Silver received her MD and MPH degrees and pediatric training from Johns Hopkins University, and was previously a visiting scholar of international heath at the Karolinska Institute. She has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization, World Bank, Low Income Investment Fund, private foundations, counties and hospitals and is on the Board of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. She was the recipient of the Unsung Heroes of Public Health Wavemaker award.

Paul Simon, Chief Science Officer, LA County Department of Public Health

Dr. Paul Simon is the Chief Science Officer at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Dr. Simon received his MD from the University of Michigan’s School of Medicine and his MPH in Epidemiology from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He is board certified in pediatrics and preventive medicine. He completed a two-year fellowship in field epidemiology with the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS Program) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and then served as a Medical Epidemiologist in CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, assigned to the Los Angeles County HIV Epidemiology Program from 1992-1998. He joined the County of Los Angeles in 1998 as the Director of the Office of Health Assessment and Epidemiology and then served as the Director of the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention before assuming his current position in 2016. 

Janedra Sykes, Partner, Arboreta Group

Janedra is a partner in the Arboreta Group, who serve nonprofits, government, and small businesses. Arboreta is passionate about supporting organizations that are having an impact in reducing health disparities. Formal partners of the County of San Diego’s Live Well initiative they have provided technical assistance to nonprofits in the areas of policy, systems, and environment change, civic engagement, and community-based participatory action research. She has a master’s degree in Leadership and Nonprofit Management from the University of San Diego.

Shirin Vakharia, Director Health & Aging, Marin Community Foundation

Shirin Vakharia currently serves as a program director for Health and Aging at the Marin Community Foundation in Novato, California. In this role she oversees a $2.7 million portfolio and is responsible for grantmaking strategy for four initiatives. Prior to joining the foundation, Ms. Vakharia worked for Napa County Health and Human Services Agency as the Prevention Coordinator. In this role she planned and oversaw county and provider operated substance abuse prevention, tobacco control, HIV and mental health programs. She has a Masters of Arts in Community Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati.


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