It is time to catch up on “people news” at foundations: who has a new job where, and who has been appointed to a foundation board. Also, Karen Davis and Dick Jackson were honored for their work—each by a different philanthropy. And a foundation staffer was named to the Institute of Medicine.

Lucia Corral Peña has been named the program officer for the Blue Shield of California Foundation’s program called Blue Shield Against Violence. She is managing its portfolio of grants focused on ending domestic violence in California. Before coming to the foundation, she was principal of Corral Peña Consulting, “where she worked with foundations and nonprofit clients to design and implement programs and strategies to address the needs of diverse populations,” the foundation says on its website. Corral Peña’s previous work includes being program director for the California Wellness Foundation’s Work and Health priority area, which promotes the health of low-income workers. She coauthored a peer-reviewed, Health Affairs GrantWatch article in 2002 titled “The California Wellness Foundation’s Grant Making in Work and Health.”

Speaking of the California Wellness Foundation, I read that Crystal D. Crawford has been appointed program director for two of its priority areas: diversity in the health professions and women’s health. She was previously CEO of the California Black Women’s Health Project. She holds a law degree from New York University School of Law and has also worked as an associate at corporate law firms.

Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund since 1995, received the Health Care Leadership Award from the United Hospital Fund “for her pioneering leadership in health care—locally, nationally, and internationally” and for her “productive career guided by the philosophy that all Americans should have access to the highest-quality health care,” according to an October 1 press release. Davis was one of three honorees at the United Hospital Fund’s annual gala held at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. Davis will be retiring at the end of the year, as GrantWatch previously reported. She is the author of a 2005 peer-reviewed, Health Affairs GrantWatch paper, “Toward a High-Performance Health System: The Commonwealth Fund’s New Commission.”  

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) announced this week that Christopher (“Chris”) J. Elias, who heads up the Global Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, had been elected to institute membership. The IOM is “both an honorific membership organization and an advisory organization,” according to an October 15 press release. Being elected to the IOM “is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.” Elias was previously president and CEO of PATH, an international nonprofit organization, according to a bio on the Gates Foundation’s website. He has a medical degree and is also a former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar.

The president of Stanford University, John Hennessy, has been appointed to the board of trustees of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. A “pioneer in computer architecture,” he has held positions including dean of the School of Engineering at Stanford, according to a foundation press release. Both the Moore Foundation and Stanford are located in Palo Alto, California. (Read my recent blog post on the Moore Foundation’s recently launched Patient Care Program.)

In September, Teresa Heinz and the Heinz Family Foundation announced that Richard (“Dick”) J. Jackson was among the five winners of the eighteenth annual Heinz Awards. Jackson, who is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Fielding School of Public Health, won in the category of Environment. He received an unrestricted cash prize of $250,000. A pediatrician and public health physician, Jackson “has sparked a national conversation about the relationship between the physical design of communities and rising health risks, such as respiratory ailments and obesity,” according to a press release. He aims to “safeguard the health of children,” whom he believes “are most at risk from poorly designed built environments.” Jackson is a former director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has named Orin Levine director of vaccine delivery, within the foundation’s Global Development Program. Levine previously was a professor of international health and executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University. Read a recent post by Levine on the Gates Foundation’s Impatient Optimists blog; Gettysburg College, his alma mater, originally published this content. Levine coauthored an article in the June 2011 issue of Health Affairs, a thematic issue on “Strategies for the ‘Decade of Vaccines’”; the title of the article is “During the ‘Decade of Vaccines,’ the Lives of 6.4 Million Children Valued at $231 Billion Could Be Saved.” He was also the journal’s advisor for that issue.

As of September 1, Deborah A. Phillips is the new president of the Foundation for Child Development, a national funder located in New York City. Previously, Phillips was a professor of psychology and an affiliated faculty member at Georgetown University’s Georgetown Public Policy Institute, where she also codirected the Center for Research on Children in the United States. Phillips succeeded Ruby Takanishi, who had led the foundation since 1996. Among the foundation’s accomplishments under Takanishi’s tenure was the development of the Child Well-Being Index, “America’s report card on how children are faring,” said a foundation press release.