Blue Shield of California Foundation Names New President

Crystal Hayling Will Lead Not-for-Profit Health Plan's Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO, October 4, 2004 – Crystal Hayling, a seasoned foundation executive and social policy innovator, is the new president of the Blue Shield of California Foundation (BSCF). She will lead the philanthropic organization's efforts to combat domestic violence, increase access to health care for the uninsured, and identify medical technologies that improve health care.

"Crystal has a proven track record on everything we are working to achieve - from violence prevention to increasing access to health care," said Ezra Davidson, MD, chairman of the Blue Shield of California Foundation. " She will bring great energy, creativity, insight and leadership to the foundation."

With 15 years of philanthropic and foundation experience, Hayling joins BSCF as it grows into one of the state's leading healthcare grantmakers. In 2003, BSCF awarded grants totaling $8 million to more than 160 organizations. This year, the foundation expects to triple that amount with disbursements of $24 million. The grants go to programs that emphasize domestic violence prevention - a Blue Shield priority since the mid-1990s - improve access to health care for the poor and uninsured, and assess the safety and efficacy of new medical technologies.

"I'm excited to be a part of an organization whose mission is so close to my own," said Hayling. "The Blue Shield of California Foundation is poised to be one of the largest health care philanthropies in California and I welcome the opportunity to continue helping the underserved in our communities."

Hayling has worked in previous leadership positions for nonprofit organizations that serve women, minorities, low-income families and children.

In the Bay Area, Hayling served as founder and director of the California HealthCare Foundation's Medi-Cal Policy Institute, a public policy think-tank dedicated to ensuring that all California children have access to health care. Under her leadership, the institute became a trusted source of information on health policy and helped to develop Health-e App, the nation's first Web-based Medicaid application, which reduced the Medi-Cal approval process from three weeks to three days.
Previously at the California Wellness Foundation in Woodland Hills, Hayling directed a $35 million grant program targeting gang violence. Her work was instrumental in redefining violence as a public health threat to youth. Earlier, as associate director of the California Self Help Center in Los Angeles, she formulated new strategies for using self help programs in poor and underserved communities, including the creation of a health promotion project for Latinos.

Hayling has also held leadership positions at the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund in San Francisco, where she directed grant-making focused on homelessness and senior care, and the Los Angeles Women's Foundation, where she directed grants funding domestic violence prevention and girls' leadership programs. For the past year, she was a senior advisor for the Marguerite Casey Foundation, a Seattle-based independent grant-making foundation dedicated to helping low-income families strengthen their voice and mobilize their communities to advocate for social justice.

Hayling - who has also lived and worked in China and Mexico - holds a B.A. from Yale University and a Masters in Management Science from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., she currently lives in San Mateo.

Blue Shield of California Foundation was formed by Blue Shield of California, a not forprofit corporation with more than 3.2 million members, 4,300 employees and 20 offices throughout California. The Blue Shield of California Foundation provides charitable contributions, conducts research and supports programs with an emphasis on domestic violence prevention, medical technology assessment and reducing the number of uninsured. For more information, visit the Blue Shield of California Web site at or the Foundation at