We are delighted to have Anne Morrison Rousseau join us as a member of the Healthcare Foundation’s Board of Directors. Anne stepped onto the Board in June, bringing her experience, acumen, and a strong desire to support her adopted home of Sonoma County to the work of advancing health equity.
A native Californian who moved to the Bay Area from Southern California in 2009, Anne is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law and the Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer, General Counsel and Secretary of Essex Property Trust. She and her husband Chris had been coming up to northern Sonoma County with family and friends for years, marrying in Healdsburg in 2015 and continuing their love affair with the region by investing in a place of their own on Dry Creek Road in 2019.
“And then the pandemic hit,” recounts Anne in a recent conversation. “We have twins, a boy and a girl. They’re now almost six. We found real solace up in this area during Covid, where the kids could run around. My husband and I were working remotely at this point. We finally looked at each other and said, ‘Why are we doing this only on weekends?’ So here we are.”
Anne met Healthcare Foundation Board Chair Courtney Cochran as a fellow parent with kids at the same daycare her twins attended. “We connected over kids and career and also philanthropic desires,” recalls Anne.
Eager to deepen their roots in Sonoma County through community service, Anne and her husband were soon attending Healthcare Foundation events and hearing directly from those working on the frontlines of the local health safety net.
“Among all the friends we made in the community, everyone spoke so highly of the Healthcare Foundation’s mission,” says Anne. “And then attending the events, hearing from the recipients of the grants, and seeing the drive to provide health equity and mental health services to the underserved in our community, all this really drew me in.”
“[The Mental Health Talent Pipeline scholarship program] struck me from the first as something that needed to be kept going and supported, and I’m humbled to be in a position to help ensure that it is.”Anne Morrison Rousseau, Board Member
As a new Board member, Anne considers herself “still in the learning phase,” but she points to the Mental Health Talent Pipeline, as well as the grant support and coordination the Foundation provided through the recent pandemic, as aspects of the crucial role she sees the Foundation playing.
“Actually putting boots on the ground to connect underserved community members with culturally competent mental health professionals, that to me is an amazing mission,” says Anne.
“At the same time, doing so by providing [Mental Health Talent Pipeline scholarships] to get folks that professional education means overcoming a significant barrier for hard-working, capable students who would not otherwise be able to afford school,” she adds. “That struck me from the first as something that needed to be kept going and supported, and I’m humbled to be in a position to help ensure that it is.”
“It’s wonderful to be part of an organization that’s been here for so long with such a good reputation,” says Anne. “My hope is to continue to build on that as things change and grow locally. Whatever the future holds, I want to help us move forward.”