County Supervisors Recognize Barbara Avery for Her Impact on the Community


SAN JOSE – Longtime community health advocate Barbara Avery was honored this week by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. The motion to honor Avery was made by County Supervisor Joe Simitian and was approved 5-0. The commendation recognizes Avery for her efforts to improve the health and well-being of Santa Clara County through her long-time role as Director of Community Benefit at El Camino Health’s two hospitals and within the El Camino Healthcare District.

“For so many years Barbara has been working hard and effectively to address the health needs of underserved and at-risk community members in the North County and West Valley,” said Simitian. “She is by nature a true collaborator. She will be greatly missed by her peers and colleagues for her tireless work to raise awareness of and address healthcare issues—particularly those shaped by social and economic factors. Her contributions to the organizations she partnered with will leave a lasting legacy.”

Avery, a resident of Saratoga, has dedicated her career to improving the health and well-being of her community, and has worked at El Camino Hospital for nearly 37 years. During her time there, Avery established the healthcare organizations’ Community Benefit grants and sponsorship program which donated more than $100 million to more than 150 local organizations. The program earned recognition from the Association of California Healthcare Districts as an exemplary special district program. As Simitian noted, “Barbara’s work has helped foster collaboration among organizations working to improve health and change lives.”

“Barbara has demonstrated throughout her career a deep commitment to the vulnerable and underserved,” said Jon Cowan, senior director of government relations and community partnerships for El Camino Health. “During her tenure, she led efforts to fund and partner with a wide-range of nonprofit organizations that support healthier communities within the El Camino Healthcare District and throughout the greater South Bay area, where El Camino Health serves. Barbara’s expertise, dedication and passion for this important community work will have lasting impacts for many years to come.”  

“On behalf of Ravenswood Family Health Network and the MayView Community Health Center sites, we are deeply grateful for the heartfelt support and advocacy we have received over the years working with Barbara Avery,” said Luisa Buada, CEO of Ravenswood Family Health Network. “Barbara has represented us wonderfully as a Project Officer and helped us to tell our story, to express the tremendous needs of the people we serve in the community and bring attention to them. Her contribution to the development of the MayView Community Health Center sites has been invaluable. We will deeply miss her presence and warmth. We wish her all the best in her retirement which is so well earned.”

“Barbara Avery has been a champion for community needs, driven by an inclusive vision of community and deep compassion,” said Josh Selo, Executive Director of West Valley Community Services. “In her role as the Director of Community Benefit at El Camino Health, she has directly impacted hundreds of thousands of lives, supporting access to medical care and health services, resources for low income and homeless families, and critical supports to schools. The meaningful impact Barbara has had through her work will be felt in our region for many years to come.”


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