Our Visionaries: Setting the stage for a healthier lifestyle

September 2, 2020

In honor of National Recovery Month, we’d like to recognize people whose personal stories and work, continue to raise awareness and increase understanding of mental and substance use disorders. These leaders have influenced how Venice Family Clinic approaches the care it provides its patients.

These pioneers are on our list of 50 Visionaries, people who have had a positive impact on the health of our patients and our community. They continue to inspire us, and so we honor them as part of our 50th anniversary celebration.

Heather Edney
Heather Edney was an early advocate for the health and well-being of people who use drugs and an early board member of Common Ground, which is now Venice Family Clinic’s HIV prevention and treatment program. She was instrumental in crafting a unified definition of harm reduction, a philosophy that aims to keep people safe by meeting them where they are in their recovery.

susan burtonSusan Burton
Susan Burton is the founder of A New Way of Life, which helps women who have been incarcerated to overcome the complex challenges of reentry into society. When she struggled with her own addiction, Burton received behavioral health counseling at Venice Family Clinic. Through her advocacy, she has brought attention to the trauma experienced by those in prison and to the positive role counseling and community support have in helping people transition out of prison.

Father Greg Boyle
Father Greg Boyle is a Jesuit priest and founder of Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit and ever-expanding social enterprise that provides job training, counseling and critical services to thousands of former gang members and high-risk youth each year. Father Boyle has inspired doctors from the Clinic to volunteer to perform tattoo removal on former gang members, helping them move forward in their lives.

Karen Lamp
Dr. Karen Lamp was the driving force behind many important programs at Venice Family Clinic, including its Briskin Women’s Health program and SUMMIT, its substance use treatment program, the latter of which has been replicated in community health centers across the nation. She also helped open the door for the Clinic to provide health services to young adults experiencing homelessness at Safe Place for Youth.