Rosemary Veniegas, California Community Foundation

TITLE: Program Officer, Health Care

FUNDING AREAS: Community health care facilities, advocacy, and regional health care programs and alliances

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

IP TAKE: Veniegas has an academic background, so a key here is to have researched-backed solutions to health-care issues.

PROFILE: Rosemary Veniegas joined the California Community Foundation (CCF) team in 2012 as the group's healthcare program officer, helping to expand quality health care for L.A.'s low-income communities.

In the country's second-largest city, access to quality health care is a common problem, and high costs often deter low-income families from seeking preventive care. The results, according to the foundation, are that many low-income adults and children don't seek health care until an emergency arises.

To address these problems, CCF uses three main funding criteria: supporting community health care facilities, providing funds for advocacy efforts to expand access, and building regional healthcare networks. It's a complex issue with many different complex solutions, but Veniegas certainly has the background to lead the foundation's health care program.

Prior to joining CCF, Veniegas—who has a PhD in psychology from ULCA—was an assistant research psychologist in the UCLA Department of Family Medicine. Her work there looked into evidence-based programs in community and public health settings. The buzzword for fundraisers is "evidence-based." And while this concept has always been a funding guideline for the foundation, with Veniegas's background it's likely that, moving forward, the importance of evidence will continue to play a prominent role. (We've been hearing a lot about evidence and measuring success lately in the philanthropy universe.)

Although Veniegas has been with the foundation for only a relatively brief period, she's already making an impact in Los Angeles County. One grant given during her tenure is $300,000 to Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital. This grant, one of the largest recent gifts from the program, will support the hospital's mission of serving a diverse community, with a specific impact on providing services to children, regardless of whether or not their families can pay.

CCF's grants are also pouring into Los Angeles county health care facilities. Four grants of $100,000 went to two health centers and two clinics. There are a couple of things fundraisers should know about the funding of community facilities: Clinics, hospitals, or health care centers must serve "a well-defined neighborhood, local population, or constituency," and the majority of decision makers in the organization should be from that community.