Both native Angelinos, Vincent and Michele didn’t have much in the way of material wealth when they were younger, but they never lacked a desire to give back and to seek change in their communities.
As a married couple and successful business owners, they invested their time volunteering at community events and supporting their children’s school and extracurricular activities. Their company flourished, and the couple began a fruitful partnership with AltaMed 15 years ago. In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, they established the Michele and Vincent Cortes Endowment.
“Initially, when we began working with AltaMed, we saw the amount of effort and impact that the AltaMed programs were having on the community,” said Vincent, who currently serves as Vice-Chair for the AltaMed Foundation Board of Trustees.
Access to quality health care is a matter close to their hearts. “As a child, I remember people who didn’t have much. I remember seeing people struggling, families trying to make ends meet just to survive and not being able to afford any kind of medical help, that was always put to the side,” said Michele. “AltaMed reaches out to many different facets of the family and of the community. We believe we can help the most people in helping AltaMed.”
Michele is a member of the AltaMed Women and Children’s Committee. This vital committee supports initiatives that positively impact the health and wellness of women and children to prevent families from falling into crisis. The committee’s current goal is to expand preventative care such as prenatal care, mammograms, childhood annual wellness checks, timely vaccinations, and in-clinic screenings for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), or traumatic events known to impact a person’s health over time.
“We understand that it’s very important to provide mothers with the needed resources so that their health and their family can flourish,” said Michele. “Not only are we impacting the people today, but future society.”
As well as being charitable, the Corteses are a fun and lively family. Four years ago they launched their own fundraising event for AltaMed. The Hard Hat Comedy Show has grown from amateur skits to performances featuring professional comedians. The benefit has raised nearly $300,000 with the help of local businesses both big and small.
“Everything has been so exciting for us. Being able to see our work—the fundraising and direct gifts that we made as a company and as a family—is really rewarding because you see its impact on patients and even the doctors as you see them grow, gaining opportunities that they wouldn’t get at a different institution,” said Vincent.
Michele and Vincent enjoy involving their family and friends in their philanthropic work and hope to be an example for their community. “In the short term, Michele and I are hoping that we inspire the next generation of giving within the community and among local businesses. In the long term, we’d like to see our endowment grow,” said Vincent.
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