As a Public Health Nurse with the County of Orange Health Care Agency, Paul Leon spearheaded a unique program to bring health access and wrap around services to the underserved homeless population in Orange County. He was instrumental in the conception and development of the Comprehensive Health Assessment Team for the homeless (CHAT-H) and the Mobile Unit Teams (MUT) which bring targeted services to the underserved at the individual, family, community and systems levels of practice. On a national level, Paul served as a speaker and consultant for pioneering innovative funding methods for recuperative care with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) across the country and in Puerto Rico.
Paul is the CEO & Founder of the Illumination Foundation (IF), a grassroots non-profit organization whose mission is to disrupt the cycle of homelessness. The Illumination Foundation provides stable housing and wrap-around services to homeless families through their programs. Paul also pioneered IF’s Recuperative Care Program, now the country’s largest program, to manage the discharge of homeless patients from hospitals. Paul has been recognized for the foundation’s work with the PIMCO Leadership Circle Award and the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. Most recently, Paul was named one of ten AARP Well-Being Champions from across the country. This award was launched by AARP Public Policy Institute to “recognize those championing change across America in the areas of health and well-being.”
In addition to serving on several advisory committees for organizations including the UC Irvine School of Nursing and the Mental Health Association of Orange County, Paul continues to work as an advocate for the ever-growing issues of poverty, homelessness, and healthcare. He consistently strives to shed light on these issues by mentoring and conducting classes for students at Cal-State Long Beach, Cal-State Fullerton, Biola University, Concordia University, USC School of Social Work, and UCI’s School of Medicine. He also consults with CHOC’s Residency Program and the Kaiser Family Resident Program and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC). His goals are to continue to research and publicize public health models in an effort to end homelessness.