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Power of Us Event Honors Venice Family Clinic’s Outgoing CEO Elizabeth Benson

October 23 Celebration featured Billy Gardell, Folake Olowofoyeku, Gina Yashere and more

Venice Family Clinic, a nonprofit community health center providing comprehensive care to over 45,000 people in need from the Santa Monica Mountains through the South Bay, celebrated the collective impact of its community and paid tribute to CEO Elizabeth Benson Forer’s 28 years of visionary leadership at the Power of Us event on Sunday, Oct. 23.

The celebration included appearances by Billy Gardell, Folake Olowofoyeku and Gina Yashere, who star in “Bob Hearts Abishola.” Health care is a central theme for the series because Olowofoyeku’s character, Abishola, is a registered nurse who met Gardell’s character, Bob, after he suffered a heart attack. Yashere is also a co-creator, co-showrunner and executive producer on the series.

Prolific television producer Chuck Lorre also honored his long-time friend, Forer, during the event. For the past 20 years, Lorre has been a major donor to the Venice Family Clinic. Lorre has created and written numerous award-winning series, including “Bob Hearts Abishola,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Mom,” “The Kominsky Method,” “Young Sheldon,” “Grace Under Fire,” “Two and Half Men” and many more.

The festivities included live music, immersive entertainment and a reception catered by Wolfgang Puck. The event honored Forer, who is retiring at the end of the year, and celebrated the Power of Us, Venice Family Clinic’s fundraising initiative that demonstrates the impact a united community can have on advancing health equity

“I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish with the support of our generous donors, wonderful volunteers and dedicated staff. I am leaving this incredible organization secure in the knowledge that Venice Family Clinic is on a trajectory to accomplish even more,” said Forer. “The Power of Us speaks to our collective determination to find solutions to the challenges outlined in this powerful initiative: achieving health equity, building mental health access, controlling pandemics and epidemics, defeating homelessness, ending hunger and fighting for our children.”

The celebration offered guests the opportunity to support The Community Connection, a comprehensive model of care Venice Family Clinic launched earlier this year. The goal of The Community Connection is to deliver quality health care, mental health care and early childhood programming to children and families to ensure they have the tools to build healthy and successful lives. The Community Connection will expand across the Clinic’s sites, with a hub at the Clinic’s new building in Inglewood. The Clinic will honor donations to the “The Liz Forer Community Connection Fund” by naming “Liz’s Playground” at the Inglewood site.

The Power of Us event was presented by UCLA Health and championed by LA Care Health Plan. Other sponsors were California Community Foundation, Cedars Sinai, Health Net and Kaiser Permanente.

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