By Clara Helm
MOMS Orange County announced Aug.24 that San Juan Capistrano resident Dr. Lisa Cowan and Rancho Mission Viejo resident Victor Villanueva have been appointed to the nonprofit’s governing board.
“The work of MOMS Orange County really speaks to me as someone who was born in the same circumstances as many of the MOMS’ babies,” Villanueva said in a press release.“The synergy between MOMS OC and me is very much there.”
The nonprofit is dedicated to newborn and pregnancy health and serves 2,500 low-income families annually. Since its formation 31 years ago, MOMS of Orange County has made it its mission to improve birth outcomes, maternal health and developmental indicators among infants.
Some of the services the organization provides are high-impact home visits and group classes where parents are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for pregnancy and caring for an infant.
Villanueva was first involved with the organization six months ago when his company StrikeWorks Solutions, a Southern California IT provider, was introduced to MOMS as a potential vendor.
The new board member has 10 years of experience in IT management, compliance and consulting. In his career, he has worked with companies in the finance, health care, nonprofit, manufacturing and other private sectors.
MOMS Orange County was looking to diversify its board with members who had different career backgrounds outside the medical industry, and Villanueva’s experience fit the bill. His new responsibility will be to use his IT knowledge and resources to help digitize MOMS Orange County.
“I think a big part of my responsibilities is really advising MOMS on cutting into the digital age,” said Villanueva. “So, getting out of the old legacy system, getting into electronic records. I’m really kind of bringing that technology mindset to MOMS Orange County.”
The appeal to work with MOMS Orange County, Villanueva noted, was the community the nonprofit fosters and his personal background that is similar to the people MOMS helps.
As for Dr. Cowan, she has been in partnership with MOMS for the last two years as executive director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Providence St. Joseph Hospital.
With 20 years in acute care and outpatient settings primarily in maternal-child health, Cowan has an abundance of experience to lead in an organization focused on newborn and pregnancy health.
Now as a board member, Cowan will continue to serve the community at large but in a heightened capacity.
“I’m going to be more involved in the operations of the organization to help it be successful and grow,” said Cowan. “So as a board member, I will be advising the executive team in some of the decision making to continue to support the organization.”
Cowan sees her role as a St. Joseph’s administrator as being helpful in getting the word out about MOMS Orange County, using networking opportunities to look for additional funding and resources.
As a San Juan resident, Cowan aims to help facilitate the nonprofit even further, expanding its scope in Orange County.
Villanueva agreed with the aim to expand the reach of MOMS.
“Expanding beyond our regional area is a big focus for MOMS,” said Villanueva.
One of the most meaningful aspects of serving on the board, noted Cowan, is the difference the nonprofit makes for so many parents and children.
A few weeks ago, Cowan attended a MOMS breast milk drive in Orange County where breastfeeding mothers could donate milk to the collection site for families in need. Celebrating the annual breastfeeding month in August, Cowan was excited to see so many women committed to the program.
“The difference that MOMS Orange County makes in the lives of so many families is significant,” Cowan said in a press release. “Serving on the Board will allow me to personally and professionally contribute to the great work of this amazing nonprofit organization in our community.”