March 8, 2002

The California Endowment Appoints a New Program Officer for San Diego and Imperial Counties

The California Endowment, the state's largest health foundation, recently appointed Olga de la Cruz-Cañon, a new program officer, to work with community-based organizations located in San Diego and Imperial counties. Ms. de la Cruz-Cañon will conduct outreach to organizations to increase their awareness of funding opportunities, review health-related grant proposals from various Southern Ca-lifornia-based community organizations, help to develop programs to assist underserved communities, and monitor foundations grants.

"I am delighted to join The California Endowment," said de la Cruz-Cañon. "I look forward to working closely with community organizations to address the health needs of the very diverse populations they serve."

Ms. de la Cruz-Cañon, who is based at The Endowment's San Diego office, most recently served as a program officer for Alliance Healthcare Foundation in San Diego. In her role as a grantmaker, she identified and successfully assisted in the funding of health programs that benefited underserved communities, including programs that focused on violence prevention, domestic violence, STD and HIV prevention, teen pregnancy prevention and mental health. In addition to her grant-making activities, she was instrumental in developing the violence prevention priority area for the foundation and worked with foundations staff and local media to develop Preventing the Pain, a television special focusing on violence among San Diego's youth and solutions to addressing the problem

Prior to that, Ms. de la Cruz-Cañon served as coordinator of the University of Utah's Alcohol and Drug Education Center where she developed and implemented alcohol and drug education programs and activities targeting over 40,000 students, staff and faculty of the university. Among her accomplishments in that capacity, she served as chair for the Utah Statewide Strategies Workshop, which planned statewide campus strategies to reduce substance abuse, and implemented The Truth, a campus substance abuse and tobacco prevention media campaign.

She also served as Prevention Programs director for Centro de la Familia de Utah in Salt Lake City. While there, she developed and implemented innovative programs for Latino youth and families with special emphasis on juvenile justice, female adolescents, teen fathers and at-risk youth and their families.

Her community commitment is exemplified by her numerous appointments including serving as a member of the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative, a network of funders interested in the prevention of HIV diseases and as a member of The San Diego Foundation's Health and Human Services Working Group. Ms. de la Cruz-Cañon received both her bachelor's degree in Sociology and Criminology and master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah.

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