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Livingston Memorial Foundation

2801 Townsgate Road, Suite 200     Westlake Village, CA 91361     (805) 418-3115

The History of the Livingston Memorial Foundation

Dr. William R. Livingston

The Livingston Memorial Foundation is named in honor of Dr. William R. Livingston, the husband of Ruth Daily Livingston. Dr. Livingston spent his boyhood in Point Hueneme and received his MD degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago (now the University of Illinois College of Medicine) in 1893. Following graduation from medical school Dr. Livingston engaged in postgraduate studies in the United States and Europe as well as clinical practice in Chicago and Tampico, Mexico. While in Chicago Dr. Livingston served on the medical staff of the Cook County Hospital and as an instructor in the College of Medicine of the University of Illinois. In 1903 Dr. Livingston returned to Ventura County establishing a practice in surgery. In 1914 Dr. Livingston was awarded a fellowship by the American College of Surgeons and traveled to Europe as part of an official delegation. While in Europe Dr. Livingston traveled to Freiberg, Germany where he studied the twilight sleep method of obstetric analgesia. Upon his return to Oxnard Dr. Livingston became one of the first physicians in southern California to offer twilight sleep analgesia leading to a busy practice in obstetrics. Dr. Livingston was a leader in the Ventura County medical community serving as the Chief of Staff of St. John’s Hospital. The following is an excerpt from the archives of St. John's Hospital: "We all feel that the name of Dr. W.R. Livingston, one of the chief benefactors of our hospital, should be written in golden characters in the Annals, instead of in these few lines. We realize that without the support of this loyal friend and head surgeon, St., John's Hospital would soon cease to exist. From the very beginning, Dr. Livingston was heart and soul in the up-building and standardization of the Sisters hospital in Oxnard. His untiring and faithful efforts on our behalf and his living example of fairness and impartial justice to all can never be forgotten by us. In our early struggles he gave wise counsel and strong encouragement, and gladly contributed financial aid (circa 1915)." In addition to his medical practice Dr. Livingston was active in agriculture owning ranches in Ventura County and Mexico.

Ruth, the daughter of E. Wright Daily and Etta Crowley Daily, wrote a holographic will in 1954. Under Ruth’s will, she directed that, following the death of her sisters, the rest of her estate would be used as she directed so that a hospital could be built near Saticoy to be named the Livingston Memorial Hospital in honor of her late husband. Dr. Charles M. Hair was the Trustee. Dr. Hair worked with Gladys Daily Coffman, Ruth’s then surviving sister, and Gladys’ attorney Ben E. Nordman, to reach an arrangement by which Gladys relinquished her life estate. There was unanimous consensus that a hospital near Saticoy was not in the best interest of the community and it was determined that instead Ruth’s estate would be used to establish the Livingston Memorial Foundation. With approval from the Court and the Attorney General for the State of California, the Livingston Memorial Foundation, whose Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State of California on May 6, 1974, was funded with the net assets of Ruth’s estate by Court Order dated January 23, 1976, that specified:

"The Foundation is to use the assets for the promotion of health in the County of Ventura, State of California."

The initial members of the Board of Directors of the Livingston Memorial Foundation were Charles M. Hair, M.D., W. Cloyce Huff, M.D., and Walter W. Hoffman. Shortly thereafter they were joined by Ben E. Nordman and James Mason, M.D.

As of March 2024, the members of the Board are: Laura K. McAvoy, Esq. (Chair of the Board, Trustee of the Gladys Daily Coffman Trust and Counsel to the Foundation), Ms. Kathleen F. Deutschman, Dr. Benjamin Pecht, Dr. John R. Walters and Jane Donlon Waters (a great granddaughter of Dr. Livingston).

By 1980 the Board had disposed of enough of the land holdings of the Foundation to make possible the commencement of a regular grant making program. Relying on its own expertise and the input from a specially convened advisory council of community leaders, the Board determined that a particular need in Ventura County was the expansion of the delivery of home health services in order to enable people to avoid either entering the hospital or prolonged stays in the hospital. After investigating various models, the Board determined to lead an effort of encouraging all of the local hospitals and the existing Visiting Nurse Association to expand their vision and relationship so that the delivery of home health care could be made county-wide and with a mission of serving all, including those who needed subsidization. With the assistance of Mr. Paul E. Woven, the retired City Manager of the City of Oxnard serving as a consultant to the Foundation Board, the Ventura Visiting Nurse Association was reorganized into the Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association and related entities including Livingston Memorial Caregivers, gaining the initial support of St. John’s Regional Medical Center, Pleasant Valley Hospital and Ventura County Medical Center and later expanding to include Community Memorial Hospital, and at various times Santa Paula Hospital, Los Robles Medical Center and Ojai Community Hospital. With the significant financial support of the Livingston Memorial Foundation, the goal of expanded home health services was reached. In honor of this extraordinary collaborative effort, the Visiting Nurse Association Board changed its name to the Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association. While the LMVNA is a totally separate and distinct organization from the Livingston Memorial Foundation, its mission to provide comprehensive home health care services to Ventura County patients regardless of their ability to pay is still supported and encouraged by the Livingston Memorial Foundation Board. The LMVNA must follow the same process as do all other qualified applicants in applying for grant funding from the Livingston Memorial Foundation.

Ms. Karen Escalante-Dalton is the Foundation's grant process consultant.

Grant Cycle

The Livingston Memorial Foundation currently operates one grant cycle per year making its grants prior to May 1 of each year. In 2024, the Foundation granted $489,280 to fifteen (15) agencies. The Livingston Memorial Foundation is a non-profit public benefit private foundation that is dedicated to the support of medical and health related services of benefit to the people of Ventura County. All of the funds were given in support of the Foundation’s Mission of carrying out the wishes of Ruth Daily Livingston, the widow of Dr. W.R. Livingston.

Grant Cycle Specifics

The deadline for receipt of interim reports for the April, 2024 grants is November 22, 2024.

Applications for the 2024/2025 Grant Cycle will be mailed in October, 2024.

The deadline for receipt of applications from applicants that have been pre-screened/approved to be on the Foundation's mailing list to receive an application is November 22, 2024.


The Foundation invites eligible agencies and institutions to apply for grant funds. Eligibility for funds is restricted to those non-profit agencies engaged in charitable programs related to health and medical welfare of the people of Ventura County. Only applications from organizations exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) are considered.

Priority of Funding

Highest priority for funding is given to programs (or projects) that provide subsidized health related activities/services to citizens of Ventura County regardless of ability to pay. Each grant application is assessed according to criteria that includes giving preferential treatment to programs or projects that offer: (1) measurable medical benefits, (2) are patient specific or (3) involve hands-on care. Additional attention is given to the support of well established programs that continue to provide positive results.

Program Limitations

Grants are generally not awarded:

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