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Blue Shield of California Foundation Launches Fellowships

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Senior fellows will explore social movements, data strategies for community health

At a pivotal time in its shift to a new strategic direction, Blue Shield of California Foundation has engaged two new senior fellows, marking the launch of a new fellowship program that will bring fresh perspectives to the complex problems facing California’s communities.

The first two fellows, who begin one-year terms in November, will explore ways to build social movements and identify community-based data strategies to support the Foundation’s new strategic direction to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence.

“This is an exciting moment in our Foundation’s history. We have identified and are beginning to address the root causes of poor health through solutions that are driven by social movements and informed by evidence and data,” said Peter Long, PhD., Foundation president and CEO, “Our first two fellows bring deep and diverse experiences to these issues and will apply their unique perspectives to help us create a healthier California.”

The Foundation’s strategic direction addresses the root causes of poor health and domestic violence by partnering with underresourced communities to build lasting and equitable solutions. The Fellows’ work will support efforts to increase community capacity, equity, and good health.

The new fellows are Jacqueline del Castillo (left), a Stanford-educated researcher who, as a doctoral candidate at the Imperial College of London, teaches design thinking, human-centered design, and movement-building, and Jen Lewis-Walden (right), who holds two master’s degrees from Yale and is a Culture of Health Leader with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Del Castillo will explore and investigate how the Foundation can support social movements to increase community capacity. “Foundations cannot control or tell social movements what to do,” del Castillo said, “But they can nurture movements by providing resources, assembling networks and connecting people to amplify their efforts."

Lewis-Walden, whose graduate degrees are in environmental management and international relations, will help the Foundation explore innovative uses of data.  “What we measure indicates what we value,” said Lewis-Walden. “Data can be enormously influential in demonstrating and articulating value from many points of view. A data strategy that prioritizes the perspectives of diverse communities can support leadership on a local level to engage, sustain, and improve health outcomes.”

Learn more about the fellowship program here.

About Blue Shield of California Foundation

Blue Shield of California Foundation is one of the state's largest and most trusted grantmaking organizations. Our mission is to build lasting and equitable solutions that make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence. For more information, visit:

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