The generational socio-economic and environmental abuse and neglect of Imperial Valley by outside opportunists and stakeholders (including government, business and philanthropy) has resulted in widespread, chronic health and wellness issues, including asthma, “diabesity,” poverty, and a toxic environment.

Recognizing that small grants to local nonprofits in this rural region would not result in meaningful health improvement, we embarked on a collaborative and intentional strategy to transfer wealth and shift power to the local residents of Imperial Valley through what is now called the Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation (IVWF). With significant capacity-building funding and a commitment to transfer $7.5 million (10 percent of AHF’s entire endowment) with matching support, IVWF is building roots and activating local community members to envision and realize a better future for the region they call home.

Founded in 2019 as an independent and locally managed 501(c)(3) charity in Imperial County, IVWF continues to build relationships and work collaboratively across multi-sectors at the local, southern CA border region, and state levels. Thanks to the efforts of Roque Barros, inaugural Executive Director, IVWF is being seen as a trusted convener, connector and change-maker for this rural border region. Visit

2023 ivwf mission support grantees


Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation’s 2023 Mission Support funding ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 per recipient, totaling $80,000. Organizations primarily serving Imperial Valley are invited to apply for funding in the following three areas: 1) Health and Wellness, 2) Community Engagement, and 3) Nonprofit Capacity Building. Applications for 2023 funding have closed. Visit IVWF’s Mission Support page to learn more.

photo of roque barros, ivwf logo

June 4, 2021. The Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation (IVWF) announced it has hired Roque Barros, Jr. as its first executive director. Born and raised in Imperial Valley, Barros has had an exemplary career working to improve the lives of people in underserved communities. Read more.

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