Gary and Mary West
WESTliving is a portfolio company of West Partners, LLC, an organization that invests in private companies with an ultimate goal of funding Gary and Mary West’s philanthropic legacy and mission of enabling successful aging for our nation’s seniors. WESTliving’s hospitality-focused approach to senior living is, in part, rooted in Gary’s and Mary’s entrepreneurial philosophy of gauging one’s business success based upon what it has delivered to its customers.
Creating a Lasting Legacy of Improved Healthcare for Seniors
More than 30 years ago, entrepreneurs Gary and Mary West founded West Corporation, a technology-driven communications company based in Omaha, Nebraska and grew it to 30,000 employees. After retiring, the Wests turned their passion and energy to philanthropic initiatives dedicated to making a significant, lasting impact on others, specifically low-income seniors. Based on their personal experience working with this vulnerable population, Gary and Mary know first-hand the hard choices seniors are forced to make every single day – choices they shouldn’t have to – such as paying their rent or buying their medicine. These individuals lack access to affordable, high-quality healthcare.
As successful entrepreneurs, the Wests have started a number of new businesses and pioneering philanthropic initiatives dedicated to improving the lives of seniors. In addition to creating WESTliving and the West Family of Companies, Gary and Mary established West Health, three nonprofit organizations, all with a singular mission of enabling seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence.
The Gary and Mary West Foundation was created in 2006 and is only one of six private, non-operating foundations in the country solely focused on aging. In 2016, the Foundation celebrated its 10-year anniversary of making a difference for vulnerable seniors. Since its inception, it has awarded more than 400 grants to 181 aging-related nonprofit organizations in San Diego, Omaha and across the country totaling more than $175 million, making it one of the nation’s leaders in philanthropy for seniors.
Examples of San Diego-based grant recipients include Serving Seniors and its flagship facility, the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, a community-based care model providing low-income seniors with two meals a day and access to more than 25 nonprofit organizations and support services. The Foundation also opened the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center in mid-2016. It is a state-of-the-art, independent community dental clinic co-located at the Senior Wellness Center and seamlessly integrated into Serving Seniors’ suite of wellness, social and community support services to create a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive resource for older adults.
In 2009, Gary and Mary created the West Health Institute, a nonprofit applied medical research organization in San Diego. In 2012, they launched the nonpartisan, nonprofit West Health Policy Center in Washington D.C. Through a combination of applied research, policy and community initiatives and outcomes-based philanthropy, West Health is actively working with a wide range of collaborators and grantees who share their mission to implement new models of care appropriate for enabling seniors to successfully age in place and gather the data necessary to validate and support their adoption across the country.