San Diego Union-Tribune Profiles California Endowment President Robert Ross
The San Diego Union-Tribune today profiles Dr. Robert Ross, president of the California Endowment, the $3.4 billion philanthropic organization established in 1996 with some of the proceeds from Blue Cross of California's conversion to for-profit status. Since Ross, who previously headed San Diego County's Health and Human Services Agency, came on board in September 2000, the endowment has increased the number of grants it makes to the San Diego region, the Union-Tribune reports. San Diego County and Imperial County health organizations have received $28.3 million in grants since Ross assumed leadership of the foundation, compared to $22.8 million during the previous 18 months -- a roughly 24% increase. Ross said increased funding is based on the foundation's expanded San Diego office, which now has triple the number of program officers it once had. The endowment has also expanded staffing at the Fresno and Sacramento offices, Ross said. Among Ross' plans are programs to expand health care access for the uninsured and to improve "cultural competency and diversity" in health care. Ross said that he wants to "focus on supporting prevention programs rather than just providing treatment." He added, "Government is so busy trying to bail water for people in crisis; we wanted to focus our resources far more upstream" (Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.