LOS ANGELES, May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Three dedicated leaders in health education will be honored by The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) as the 2012 Champions of Health Professions Diversity for their successful efforts to improve the health and wellness of California's most underserved communities. Lawrence "Hy" Doyle of the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, provides skills and opportunities for disadvantaged students to enter and succeed in medical school. Peter Manoleas is an educator at the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley, mental health clinician in Oakland and health policy leader with a focus on ensuring access to mental health services. Angela Minniefield recently became vice president of strategic advancement at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and previously directed programs to increase the diversity of the health professions at the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development in Sacramento.
On June 12, 2012, TCWF will honor these three leaders at its tenth annual "Champions of Health Professions Diversity Award" ceremony in San Francisco. In recognition of their efforts to mentor and inspire students, increase access to higher education and better serve the health and well-being of California's underserved and disadvantaged communities, each honoree will each receive a cash award of $25,000.
"The honorees have dedicated their careers to helping California's underrepresented minority students join the health workforce and improving health access and outcomes in underserved communities," said Diana M. Bonta, TCWF president and chief executive officer. "The Foundation is proud to honor these leaders at our tenth consecutive awards ceremony and share this milestone with them."
As one of the only California foundations making grants in this area, TCWF has awarded more than $45 million to increase the diversity of the health workforce through a variety of approaches, including research, scholarship and loan repayment programs and leadership recognition. A number of factors have contributed to the Foundation's decade-long commitment to increasing California's health workforce and its diversity. Research from the Foundation confirms serious health worker shortages across the state, particularly in primary care and allied health professions, as well as a lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the health workforce.
"Ensuring a diverse health workforce requires commitment and perseverance of leaders at all levels of both our education and health care systems," said Cristina M. Regalado, TCWF vice president of programs.
Lawrence "Hy" Doyle, Ed.D.
For more than three decades, Lawrence "Hy" Doyle has used his expertise in developing student test-taking abilities and learning skills to improve opportunities for underrepresented minority students to succeed in higher education. He is currently the executive director of the Program in Medical Education (PRIME) at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). UCLA PRIME is a five-year dual-degree program which works to develop the leadership skills of medical students committed to improving healthcare in medically underserved communities. Doyle also provides guidance to disadvantaged students through UCLA's Summer Medical and Dental Program and the UCLA Hispanic Center of Excellence.
"Remarkably often, students whose numbers weren't that good, but have personal significant experience are the ones who truly relate to patients," Doyle said. "That's the goal of the PRIME program, to develop leaders for underserved and disadvantaged communities in California."
Peter Manoleas, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
As a social work clinician, educator, consultant and administrator with a focus on mental health and substance abuse issues, Peter Manoleas has dedicated his career to ensuring that underserved communities of color have access to mental health services. Since 1983, Manoleas has been a lecturer and field work consultant at the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. He also maintains a private clinical practice based in Oakland and has served for more than 25 years on the board of directors for La Clinica de La Raza, one of the largest community-based clinics in the state committed to providing culturally appropriate, high-quality care.
"To be involved in a diversified workforce, we must practice cultural humility," said Manoleas. "We cannot be experts on everyone, so we need to continue to learn from our patients."
Angela L. Minniefield, M.P.A.
Angela Minniefield worked for 20 years in state government advancing policies and programs that increase the number of underrepresented students in health professions. Minniefield recently became the vice president of strategic advancement at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. She previously held several leadership positions at the state Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, including deputy director of the Healthcare Workforce Development Division.
"Not only is increasing access to higher education imperative in developing and diversifying California's health workforce," said Minniefield, "there is also a direct relationship between one's educational background and his or her own health status."
The California Wellness Foundation is a private independent foundation created in 1992 with a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. The Foundation prioritizes eight issues for funding: diversity in the health professions, environmental health, healthy aging, mental health, teenage pregnancy prevention, violence prevention, women's health and work and health. It also responds to timely issues and special projects outside the funding priorities.
Since its founding in 1992, TCWF has awarded 6,544 grants totaling more than $815 million. Please visit TCWF's website at CalWellness.org for more information, including a newsroom section devoted to the award and the three honorees. High-resolution photos are available. Video interview clips are posted at TCWF's YouTube channel.
Note to reporters & editors:
"The" in "The California Wellness Foundation" is part of the Foundation's legal name. Please do not drop or lowercase the "T."