Seeking Experienced Professionals to Make a Difference

Encore Fellows program launches in Central Valley

Community clinics and health centers in the Central Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area are looking for experienced professionals to join them in a new program that puts their expertise to work for a good cause: helping the clinics more efficiently care for thousands of the Valley’s needy.

The California HealthCare Foundation and the Civic Ventures Encore Fellowships Network are launching “Encore Fellows in California Community Clinics” this summer to help bolster clinic and consortia operations, which each year collectively care for more than 770,000 patients, three-quarters of whom live at or below the federal poverty level.

The program will pair up to 18 former corporate professionals with clinics in the Central Valley and greater SF Bay Area. Member clinics will gain needed expertise in financial management, operations, information technology, and planning. The fellows, experienced professionals at or near retirement, are able to use the experience gained in their former roles to make a difference, earn a stipend, and learn more about transitioning to work in the nonprofit sector.

The California HealthCare Foundation is supporting the program with a $500,000 grant.

“Clinics are in great need of help with strategic planning and finding ways to improve the efficiency of clinical staff and to integrate electronic health records,” said Melissa Schoen, senior program officer at the Foundation. “There is a tremendous opportunity for the Encore Fellows to make an immediate impact in the lives of thousands of people who use these clinics daily.”

Community clinics and health centers provide access to a range of vital medical services to residents in California’s Central Valley. In addition to facing a shortage of physicians, particularly specialists, Central Valley residents suffer from a higher incidence of serious health problems, including diabetes and asthma.

Encore Fellows are slated to begin working in area clinics in July 2011. They will likely work half-time for 12 months. Those interested in becoming an Encore Fellow are encouraged to complete an online application at
With initial funding from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Encore Fellows program was launched in the Silicon Valley in 2009 with a group of ten retired corporate executives and professionals, most from Hewlett-Packard. Now just two years later, the program is expanding to the Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, and several other cities throughout the United States.

The program appeals to accomplished professionals ready for a change of focus, says Gina Cassinelli, a 2009 Encore Fellow, who served with Citizen Schools in Redwood City. “You get to a point in your life where you have to feel like what you’re doing matters,” Cassinelli said. “I wanted to delve into a nonprofit and use the skills I had acquired over 20 years.”

About Civic Ventures and The Encore Fellowships Network

Civic Ventures, a San Francisco-based think tank on boomers, work and social purpose, is the innovative force behind the original 2009 Silicon Valley Encore Fellows program and has now created a new social venture called The Encore Fellowships Network. The EFN is a rapidly growing community of independent organizations and individuals with a common interest in the Encore Fellows mission of bringing significant new talent to the task of solving social issues. For more information, go to

About the California Health Care Foundation

The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.