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About this Program: Funding for the RPGEH

The RPGEH began with funding from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation, The Ellison Medical Foundation, and a grant from the Community Benefit Program of Kaiser Permanente. Funding from these sources helped to establish the RPGEH, supported the survey of Kaiser Permanente members conducted in 2007, and also helped support the development of databases needed to study specific diseases.

The RPGEH has been funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), through its Pioneer Portfolio. In December 2008, RWJF awarded Kaiser Permanente $8.6 million to further develop the Research Program and add biospecimens to the biorespository portion of the program. With those funds, the RPGEH is building one of the largest population-based biobanks in the United States.

The grant has helped the RPGEH team gather, store and protect the biobank's first 200,000 samples of DNA, and build a secure database with relevant health and environmental information. The goal is to expand the biobank to 500,000 samples, offering a population-based database with enough statistical power to identify even subtle effects of environmental and genetic factors in less common health conditions such as mental health disorders or autoimmune diseases.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. The Foundation's Pioneer Portfolio supports innovative ideas and projects that may lead to important breakthroughs in health and health care. Projects in the Pioneer Portfolio are future-oriented and look beyond conventional thinking to explore solutions at the cutting edge of health and health care. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime.

Web site: www.rwjf.org

About The Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation

The Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation was formed in 1977 by F. Wayne Valley and his wife, Gladys Valley, to provide financial assistance for various charitable organizations of particular interest to them, principally in the East Bay Area of California. Since Wayne Valley's death in October 1986, and Gladys Valley's death in May 1998, the Foundation has been considered a major philanthropic institution.

Wayne Valley was the founder and majority owner of Citation Builders, a San Leandro, California developer which became one of the largest single-family homebuilders in the State. In all of Mr. Valley's business activities, he gained a reputation as a tough, honest and fair-minded businessman who insisted that each endeavor which he undertook be justified on its own merits and offered an above-average chance for success. The Valleys applied these principles to their charitable giving as well. True to the principles of its founders, the Foundation has made, and will continue to make, grants only to organizations and projects which strive for excellence and carry out their programs in a well-managed and cost-efficient manner, with clearly defined and achievable goals.

Web site: foundationcenter.org/grantmaker/wgvalley

The Ellison Medical Foundation

The Ellison Medical Foundation supports basic biomedical research on aging relevant to understanding lifespan development processes and age-related diseases and disabilities. The Foundation particularly wishes to stimulate new, creative, research that might not be funded by traditional sources or that is often under-funded in the U.S.

Web site: www.ellisonfoundation.org

Kaiser Permanente's Community Benefit Program

The mission statement of Kaiser Permanente reflects both business objectives and a long-standing philosophy of social responsibility. To contribute to the health of the communities we serve, community benefit investments are concentrated in four areas: vulnerable populations, evidence-based medicine, education, and public policy. The RPGEH is honored to use community benefit funding to conduct research that enhances the scientific evidence base.

Web site: info.kp.org/communitybenefit