California Endowment


The California Endowment is a private, statewide health foundation with a mission to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians.

"Health Happens Here" is the core of the California Endowment's work. It challenges us to think about people's health beyond the doctor's office and beyond the good vs. bad choices people make. In reality, health happens where we live, learn, work in play--in neighborhoods, schools and with prevention.

The California Endowment was established in 1996 as a result of Blue Cross of California's creation of it for-profit subsidiary, WellPoint Health Networks. Since then, it's invested in health broadly, from strengthening the safety net for families struggling with poverty to diversifying the health care workforce.

The lessons learned from early investments were the genesis for "Health Happens Here" and the 10-year, $1 billion "Building Communities" plan, in which residents in 14 places are working to transform their neighborhoods.

The California Endowment is headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, with regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno and San Diego.

Selected awards:

Governor's Award for The Foundation of the Year
State of California, 2012

Wilmer Shields Rich Awards for Excellence in Communication
Awarded to "Health Happens Here" Campaign, Council of Foundations, 2012




Robert K. Ross, M.D.

Downtown Los Angeles

Area served:
State of California

# of employees:

Nonprofit foundation (donations + earned income)







The California Endowment is creating a revolution in the way in which Californians think about health through its 10-year "Building Healthy Communities" initiative. The map indicates the 14 participating communities.