Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation Announces 2020 Mission Support Grantees

El Centro, CA. May 8, 2020.  The Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation (IVWF) has awarded Mission Support grants to seven nonprofits that are elevating health and wellness for those in need in Imperial County. 2020 Mission Support funding ranged from $5,000 to $25,000 per recipient, totaling $85,000.

The Mission Support program is based on the belief that trusting those closest to our constituents, and providing core operating support for great organizations, will best further IVWF’s mission for the most vulnerable. (Mission Support is an annual funding program and separate from the emergency Imperial County COVID-19 Response Fund that was recently announced.)

In alignment with the Imperial County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), IVWF’s Mission Support funding was awarded to 501(c)3 non-profits in Imperial County that serve the most vulnerable populations relative to these priority action areas:

Healthy Eating and Active Living
Impact Targets: healthy eating, food security, and active living

Community Prevention Linked with High Quality Healthcare
Impact Targets: asthma management, early and adequate prenatal care, and diabetes management

Healthy and Safe Communities and Living Environments
Impact Targets: prescription drug abuse, dementia, and air quality

“This year’s pool of applicants is all doing good work for our community, making our granting decisions difficult,” stated Dr. Helina Hoyt, Board Trustee and Program Chair, Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation. “While we couldn’t fund all of them, we are grateful for their dedication to our community and hope they will apply again.”

2020 Mission Support Grantees

Boys and Girls Clubs of Imperial County  $5,000

Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego  $10,000

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Imperial County  $20,000

Fit and Healthy Center  $10,000

El Centro Police Athletic League  $5,000

Imperial Valley Food Bank  $25,000

Proactive-Health, Inc.  $10,000

About Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation. Recognizing a need for more local funding to support promising health initiatives, a group of Imperial Valley civic leaders joined forces to create the Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation (IVWF). IVWF is a tax-exempt public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code formed to advance the health and wellness of vulnerable populations in Imperial County. The San Diego-based Alliance Healthcare Foundation, nationally recognized for its innovative health and wellness initiatives, has offered a $7.5 million matching grant to endow IVWF and has provided other direct funding to support start-up operations and initial grant making. Wholly independent from Alliance Healthcare Foundation and locally governed by its own board of trustees, the new Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation is raising an additional $17.5 million through a national capital campaign to create a $25 million endowment that will fund local programs and activities in perpetuity. Visit

IVWF has identified three crucial areas for action in alignment with the Imperial County’s Community Health Assessment & Community Health Improvement Plan:

Health – Healthy Eating, Active Living

  • Consumption of affordable, accessible, and nutritious foods
  • Engagement in affordable opportunities for physical activity
  • Achieving and maintaining healthy weight levels

Prevention – Linked with High Quality Healthcare

  • Asthma detection, management, and education
  • Prenatal Care – early and adequate
  • Diabetes detection, management, and education

Safety – Communities and Living Environments

  • Improving air quality
  • Drug abuse prevention
  • Linking family members, caregivers, and persons living with dementia across systems of care and support

IVWF Board of Trustees (12/17/2019)

  • Cathy Kennerson, Chair of the Board; Chief Strategic Officer, El Centro Regional Medical Center
  • Anne Irigoyen, Vice Chair; Chief Operating Officer, Ametza, LLC
  • Tim Kelley, Secretary; President & CEO, Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp
  • Alex Cardenas, Executive Director, CASA Imperial County
  • Sara Griffen, Executive Director, Imperial Valley Food Bank
  • Jeff Hester, Retired Banker
  • Jaime Honold, President, Burgers & Beer Restaurants
  • Dr. Helina Hoyt, Nursing Program Coordinator, School of Nursing, SDSU Imperial Valley
  • Stephen Jaime, Clinical Nurse Specialist of Diabetes Education, El Centro Regional Medical Center
  • Jose Landeros, Vice President, David H. West Insurance
  • Dennis Morita, Attorney, Morita Law
  • Allen Tyler, Manager, Gallagher Insurance
  • Victor Jaime, Interim CEO, Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation

AHF Media contact:
Karen Winston, Communications Director, Alliance Healthcare Foundation
P 858-348-6472 E

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