more about Heather

Heather Bernikoff is a long-time community volunteer and served on the Foundation Board from 2010-2014 as the Giving Committee Chair. She rejoined the board in June of 2022 as Treasurer and was elected President in October 2022.  Heather received a BA in Psychology with a Pre-med emphasis from Humboldt State University (now Cal Poly Humboldt) and an MS in Health Education with a community health emphasis from the University of Wyoming, Laramie. In addition to her positions as a program officer and program director for several foundations, Heather has worked in a variety of healthcare settings in Contra Costa, Alameda, and Mariposa Counties as well as in statewide roles. Most recently, she was the Administrative Director for the California Small Counties Collaborative Whole Person Care Program. 

Heather is passionate about the environment and healthcare, especially access to clean air, clean water, and quality health services for rural communities. She aided Mariposa County Health and Human Services and the Mariposa County Unified School District in designing and securing funding for a school-based mobile health clinic, designed and led the well water education program for the Integrated Regional Watershed Management Outreach and Education Committee, and recently partnered with the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation and Resource Conservation District in securing a 5-year grant for their pollinator habitat program. In addition to her professional career, Heather has served as Chair on the Humboldt State University Advancement Foundation Board, as a grant reviewer for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, as Mariposa County District 3 Planning Commissioner, and in 2021, she received a gubernatorial appointment to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy Board. Heather is an enrolled member of the Yaqui Tribal Community in Southern California and provides capacity-building support to Indigenous communities.