Health-Sector Nonprofit Executives Receive 2012 TCWF Sabbatical Program Award

Foundation Funding Supports Eight Nonprofit Health Organizations With $35,000 Grants To Cover Chief Executives' Paid Time Off

By The California Wellness Foundation

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 1, 2012 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Eight nonprofit health-sector executives are being recognized with The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) Sabbatical Program Award at a luncheon ceremony today in Los Angeles. This leadership support program — now in its tenth year — provides eight organizations with grants of $35,000 each to cover salaries and other expenses during their executive directors' sabbaticals, which each last a minimum of three months.

"We are pleased to recognize these exemplary leaders who give so much of themselves to others and place the needs of their communities before their own," said Diana M. Bontá, TCWF president and CEO. "Each of the honorees has served in the nonprofit sector for at least 17 years — six of them for more than 25 — and most have worked in their current roles as lead executives of health-focused organizations for a long time without a significant break."

The eight executives receiving the 2012 sabbatical award are: Mary Lou Goeke of the United Way of Santa Cruz County in Capitola; Walter Philips of San Diego Youth Services; Sheryll Prinz-McMillan of Christian Counseling Service of the East Valley in Redlands; Luann Rocha of El Centrito Family Learning Centers in Oxnard; Martha Ryan of Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco; Ahmed Sahid of Somali Family Service of San Diego; Clarmundo Sullivan of Golden Rule Services in Sacramento; and Phill Wilson of the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles. Profiles of the honorees can be accessed at in the Leadership Recognition Program portal.

The program was created to support nonprofit leaders by giving them time and space to rejuvenate, reconnect with family and loved ones, and pursue other interests. TCWF acknowledges the sacrifices that extraordinary leaders make to ensure their organizations thrive and improve the health of their communities. Each organization receives $30,000 to cover its leader's salary during the sabbatical, plus an additional $5,000 to cover expenses related to the professional development of managers and staff who will assume extra responsibilities during their leader's absence.

"This year's honorees are an extraordinary group, dedicated to helping homeless families, new immigrants, people living with AIDS and others who struggle to access health care, mental health services and other assistance," said Sandra J. Martínez, TCWF director of public policy. "By acknowledging their leadership and supporting their organizations during the sabbaticals, the Foundation is helping to make sure this assistance will still be available in the future."

The California Wellness Foundation is a private independent foundation created in 1992 with a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. The Foundation prioritizes eight issues for funding: diversity in the health professions, environmental health, healthy aging, mental health, teenage pregnancy prevention, violence prevention, women's health, and work and health. It also responds to timely issues and special projects outside the funding priorities. Since its founding in 1992, TCWF has awarded 6,544 grants totaling more than $815 million.

SOURCE The California Wellness Foundation