Congratulations, Gary, on your remarkable legacy in California. You helped steer the pioneering vision that violence is preventable—and a matter of wellness. Your willingness to insist that what others deemed impossible is, in fact, do-able has been transformational for foundations and communities. Your focus on building leaders through the VPI Fellowship continues to benefit us all, and your recognition of leadership through the Peace Prize has been inspirational across the State and Nation.
Further, your vision of community wellness and prevention lives on in communities throughout the State and is embodied in organizations like ours. Under your stewardship, The California Wellness Foundation has played a significant role in our success. You granted our first foundation grant and this core support was part of what enabled us to establish ourselves as a focal point for prevention in California and beyond.
Established in 1997, Prevention Institute builds prevention and equity into key policies and actions to ensure that the places where all people live, work, play and learn foster health and safety. Long before people were thinking about the relationship between health reform and prevention, a TCWF grant enabled us to look at this relationship. Building on TCWF investments, we went on to develop the first models that account for how community prevention saves money as well as lives. We helped make the case for the inclusion of prevention and wellness funding in the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act and the Affordable Care Act, which generated unprecedented new resources for communities to implement quality prevention efforts. TCWF support for our violence prevention work with UNITY (Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth) has contributed to invaluable tools in the field such as the UNITY RoadMap, The UNITY Policy Platform, A Guidebook to Strategy Evaluation, and Moving From Them To Us: Challenges in Reframing Violence Among Youth and enabled us to work directly with communities throughout California.
While you will surely be missed, the lasting impact and imprint of your work will continue on. Thank you!