Paul Leon, RN, BSN, PHN
Health Equity Fellow
Paul Leon, RN, BSN, is a health equity fellow of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to improve America’s health through nursing.
Paul is the CEO of and National Healthcare & Housing Advisors (NHHA), and is the former CEO, President, and Founder of Illumination Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to disrupt the cycle of homelessness. Established in 2008, Illumination Foundation is a uniquely healthcare-focused homeless services provider, leading innovative healthcare and housing solutions. Paul pioneered Illumination Foundation’s Recuperative Care/Medical Respite Program to manage the discharge of homeless patients from hospitals, making it the largest provider of Recuperative Care in the United States. In 2021, Illumination Foundation was listed as one of the top ten nonprofit organizations in Orange County.
Paul serves on several advisory committees including the UC Irvine School of Nursing and the Mental Health Association of Orange County. He conducts classes for leading institutions such as the USC School of Social Work, and UCI’s School of Medicine. He 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). Recently, Paul has been named a Senior Fellow of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of the AARP Foundation, AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Paul’s innovative work has been recognized by the PIMCO Leadership Circle Award and the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. Most recently, Paul was named one of ten AARP Well-Being Champions to “recognize those championing change across America in the areas of health and well-being.” In 2019, Paul won the AARP Purpose Prize Award which honors “extraordinary people ages 50 and older who’ve dedicated their lives to serving others in creative and innovative ways.” Through the creation of NHHA, Paul’s goals are to continue to advise, research and publicize public health models in an effort to end homelessness. He is a tireless champion for the ever-growing issues of poverty, homelessness, and healthcare.