California’s Master Plan for Aging

Big Challenges Require Bold Solutions

How we respond to the needs of our rapidly growing population of seniors will shape our future and define us as a state. That’s why the Gary and Mary West Foundation is working with state government, community leaders, aging advocates, nonprofits and healthcare providers to develop and implement California’s first-ever Master Plan for Aging – a bold investment in California’s future and the lives of seniors.

The Master Plan for Aging is an important opportunity to rethink how to deliver senior-appropriate care within our healthcare system.

For the first time in history, California will have a Master Plan for Aging that will serve as a 10-year blueprint to implement comprehensive strategies and partnerships that promote healthy aging and better coordinate programs and health and human services that serve older adults, families and caregivers. The Master Plan for Aging is key to building a more inclusive, age- and disability-friendly California.

Learn How it All Began

The Time is Now

The clock is ticking. When Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order in June 2019 calling for the creation of California’s Master Plan for Aging he set Oct. 1, 2020 as the deadline for its completion. Learn more about the state’s goals for the Master Plan for Aging.

view the plan goals

Master Plan for Aging Goals

The Gary and Mary West Foundation, an outcomes-based philanthropy with deep roots in California is actively involved in the development of the Master Plan for Aging and the stakes couldn’t be higher. It’s critical to California’s future and to ensuring everyone in our state has access to the affordable high-quality healthcare and supportive services they need to age in place with independence, quality of life and dignity.

We will focus on the health and well-being of seniors, something the Gary and Mary West Foundation and West Health have been addressing in California and across the nation for more than a decade.


Goal 1

and Supports

We will live where we choose as we age and have the help we and our families need to do so.


Goal 2

Livable Communities
and Purpose

Californians will have access to the help we need to live in the homes and communities we choose as we age.


Goal 3

Health and

We will live in communities and have access to services and care that optimize health and quality of life.


Goal 4

Economic Security
and Safety

We will have economic security and be safe from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and natural disasters and emergencies throughout our lives.

West Health’s Top 5 Priorities for Healthcare in the Master Plan for Aging

We are laser-focused on the healthcare components of the Master Plan for Aging and believe the plan should include provisions to establish, expand or fuel healthcare policies and practices and models of care that improve the lives of seniors and their families.

Expanding Geriatric Emergency Care

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Increasing Availability of Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

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Improving Oral Healthcare for Seniors

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Addressing the high cost of Healthcare

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Expanding Palliative Care Options

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Then candidate, Gavin Newsom, signs a pledge committing to developing California’s first Master Plan for Aging at Serving Seniors’ Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center in San Diego, CA.

How it All Began

Recognizing what was at stake for seniors in California, West Health partnered with The SCAN Foundation in 2018 on the grassroots "We Stand With Seniors" public awareness and education campaign, a nonpartisan initiative that led to a pledge from then-candidate Gavin Newsom to develop a Master Plan for Aging in California that would comprehensively address the current and future needs of our state’s senior population.

Governor Newsom made good on his pledge and in June 2019 signed an executive order calling for the development of California’s first Master Plan for Aging by Oct. 1, 2020. But the state can’t do it alone and called upon philanthropies, community leaders, policy makers, advocates and healthcare providers in what has become a historic public-private partnership. That partnership has grown to include other foundation partners including Archstone Foundation, Metta Fund, Rosalind and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, and San Diego Foundation who join us and The SCAN Foundation in providing expertise and funding support for the development of the Master Plan for Aging.

In 2019, West Health President and CEO Shelley Lyford was named a member of the Master Plan’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee, a diverse group of state leaders responsible for guiding the development of policy and program recommendations for the Master Plan for Aging. Lyford was also appointed to the California Commission on Aging.

West Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Zia Agha, MD is on the Master Plan for Aging Research Subcommittee and Gary and Mary West Foundation Program Officer Brenda Schmitthenner coordinates our involvement with the Master Plan for Aging and serves as liaison to the state and other partners.

Shelley Lyford

President and CEO, Gary and Mary West Foundation

Member of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee

Zia Agha, MD

Chief Medical Officer, West Health

Member of the Master Plan for Aging Research Subcommittee

Brenda Schmitthenner, MPA

Program Officer, Successful Aging, Gary and Mary West Foundation

Liason for the California Master Plan for Aging

Our goal is to make California’s Master Plan for Aging a model for the nation.

Learn More About The Foundation

Together we can provide a bright future for our seniors in California

More than 5.1 million seniors live in California, a number expected to grow to 8.6 million by 2030.



Seniors living in California



Fastest growing population group


In less than two decades, older adults are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. By 2035, people age 65 and over are expected to number 77 million, while children under age 18 will number 76.5 million.


Starting in 2030, when all boomers will be older than 65, older adults will make up 21 percent of the population, up from 15 percent today.

Seniors face significant challenges in accessing high-quality and affordable healthcare, dental care, supportive services, housing and transportation. A rising and diverse population will put even more strain on the state’s fragile system of care, which is largely fragmented, poorly coordinated and not designed or sufficiently resourced to meet the specific needs of older adults.

"California’s Master Plan for Aging can be a shining example of how senior-specific healthcare combined with smart policy can improve lives of older adults and support families and communities."

Shelley Lyford

President and CEO, Gary and Mary West Foundation

Member of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee

Californians are encouraged to share their own vision and insights. Recommendations and comments can be submitted either online through or through public forums and events.

Make your voice heard and get engaged with the Master Plan here at Together we EngAGE