January 14, 2012
Contact: Denise Lamott 415-381-8793

GLIDE Health Services Director Patricia Dennehy Along With Four Other Californians Honored By The James Irvine Foundation For Breaking Through On Significant State Issues In 2012

The Foundation’s Leadership Awards Provide $125,000 to Each Recipient for Applying Effective, Innovative Approaches to Difficult Problems

Elected Officials to Honor Recipients at Sacramento Event

San Francisco — GLIDE Health Services Director Patricia Dennehy and four other Californians will receive the 2012 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards today for applying proven, innovative approaches to some of the state’s most difficult problems. Now in its seventh year, the Awards aim to uncover and spotlight breakthrough solutions that have the potential to better the lives of more Californians if policymakers and others expand and replicate these approaches.

The recipients, described below, each receive $125,000 in organizational support. In addition to recognition by legislators at the State Capitol today, recipients will receive their Awards from elected and appointment officials at an event at Sacramento’s Sheraton Grand Hotel.

Patricia Dennehy, GLIDE Healh Services, San Francisco State Senator Bill Emmerson (R-37th District)
Christa Gannon, Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Milpitas Secretary Matthew Cate, California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation
Carolyn Laub, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, San Francisco Tom Tolakson, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Craig McNamara, Center for Land Based Learning, Winters A.G. Kawamura, former California Secretary of Food and Agriculture
Olis Simmons, Youth UpRising, Oakland State Senator Curren Price (D-26th District)


“We are proud of the hard work and determination of GLIDE Health Services Director Pat Dennehy,” said GLIDE Founder and Minister of Liberation, Reverend Cecil Williams. “Under her direction, GLIDE Health Services is able to provide unconditional healthcare and critical services to the neediest folks in the Bay Area, which lets them know that someone cares and helps them stay healthy and able to focus on improving other aspects of their lives.”

“I am so honored to be recognized by the James Irvine Foundation,” said Patricia Dennehy. “With healthcare reform, we are hopeful that we will see the GLIDE Health Services model replicated across the state of California. We feel we have much to offer.”

For more information on this year’s recipients — including videos, longer summaries and photographs — visit:
Nominations for the 2013 awards — which include $125,000, plus assistance in sharing program models with policymakers and others — are open until March 30, 2012. Submit nominations at:

The recipients of the 2012 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards are:

Patricia Dennehy, GLIDE Health Services, San Francisco
GLIDE Health Services, a nurse-run clinic and part of San Francisco’s safety net, is offering a solution to a major dilemma. Within two years, if federal health reforms proceed as expected, some 7 million uninsured Californians will acquire coverage and seek providers. But with an increasing shortage of primary care physicians, many patients will not find the care they need. Under the direction of Dennehy, GLIDE Health Services shows how nurses can fill that gap. Each year the nurse practitioners — nurses with advanced training and degrees — treat 3,200 patients in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, which has high rates of poverty, joblessness, homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse. Despite these hardships, the clinic’s results compare favorably with those of mainstream doctors — and save money. A 2010 study in the Journal of Pediatric Healthcare found that nurse-run clinics save money by reducing visits to the emergency room, where many low-income and uninsured individuals seek care. Nurse practitioners also typically offer comprehensive care at a lower cost than physicians because of salary differences. At GLIDE Health Services, patients receive primary, urgent and preventive care, and mental health treatment. Expanding the reach of nurse-run clinics broadly, beyond the safety net, could reap substantial savings while also helping to meet the higher demand for care that is expected with health reform.


Christa Gannon, Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Milpitas
Gannon is reducing juvenile crime and saving taxpayer dollars through an innovative program that every year leads hundreds of at-risk, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth back into school and toward a positive future.
Carolyn Laub, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, San Francisco
At a time when tens of thousands of California students are being bullied because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, Laub empowers youth with the tools and leadership skills they need to create safe campus environments.
Craig McNamara, Center for Land-Based Learning, Winters
On hundreds of farms and ranches across California, McNamara is introducing a new generation to agriculture by providing hands-on training to aspiring farmers and thousands of school-age students.
Olis Simmons, Youth UpRising, Oakland
In the heart of one of California’s most poverty-stricken urban areas, Simmons directs a comprehensive “youth transformation center” providing thousands of youth each year with leadership training, job services and educational support.

Located at Ellis and Taylor in the Tenderloin, one of San Francisco's harshest urban environments, GLIDE is an oasis that has served the poor and disenfranchised for more than 45 years. GLIDE is unconditional in its love, support and commitment to the community it serves – providing a range of holistic services from serving over one million free meals a year, to proving affordable housing, free or low-cost state-of-the-art healthcare along with dozens of other programs that help to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization.  With an unwavering commitment grounded in spirituality and emotional understanding, GLIDE is a leading organization for social justice – inspiring the larger community to celebrate humanity through compassion, generosity and acceptance.  For more information, visit

Glide Health Services (GHS), a full-service health clinic in partnership with Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and University of California San Francisco, School of Nursing, provides nearly 14,000 health services to 3,200 people a year who might otherwise go without health care of any kind. Focusing on the poor and homeless, GHS offers a full range of traditional health care services for youth and adults, as well as mental health, substance abuse recovery programs, integrated behavioral health and non-Western medicine. Specific programs focus on testing and prevention of HIV/AIDS and treatment of diabetes.

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. The Foundation’s grantmaking focuses on three program areas: Arts, California Democracy and Youth. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided over $1 billion in grants to more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With about $1.5 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $65 million in 2011 for the people of California.


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