Bernard “Bernie” Briskin, a prominent businessman and a dedicated philanthropist who cared deeply for the low-income patients that Venice Family Clinic serves, passed away on February 29 at the age of 95. Until his retirement in 2014, he was the President and CEO of the Arden Group, which owned Gelson’s Markets, Mayfair Markets and other well-known businesses in Southern California. Bernie was a longtime member of the Clinic’s Advisory Board.
Bernie and his wife, Judy, were passionate about helping others, especially people who are among most vulnerable in our community. They believed that everyone should have access to quality health care and generously funded multiple programs over the years that have allowed Venice Family Clinic to expand its reach and launch innovative programs.
Venice Family Clinic’s site at 622 Rose Avenue bears the Briskin name in recognition of their longstanding commitment to our community. Their legacy also includes the Judy and Bernard Briskin Women’s Health Program, which has allowed Venice Family Clinic to provide comprehensive care that addresses the broad spectrum of women’s health and wellbeing.
In 2017, recognizing the ongoing challenges that people experiencing homelessness face in Los Angeles, they also helped to establish the Judy and Bernard Briskin Malibu/Pacific Palisades Homeless Project. Through this project — a multi-disciplinary team of medical professionals from Venice Family Clinic and social workers from partner homeless service agency, The People Concern — we have helped hundreds of people get desperately needed health care, along with connections to housing and case management.
“I was fortunate to have Bernie as my friend and my advisor,” said Elizabeth Benson Forer, Venice Family Clinic’s chief executive officer and executive director. “His sharp business acumen combined with his deep compassion for serving people in need motivated us daily. I will miss him and will always be grateful for the legacy he has left in our community.”
In honor of its 50th anniversary, Venice Family Clinic recently named Bernie and Judy Briskin to its list of 50 Visionaries who have inspired the Clinic and had an impact on the community we serve.