Born in Salisbury, Maryland, Ellen Fisher Hoberman, the daughter of a doctor and a nurse, was exposed at an early age to the belief that health care should be a right for all and not the privilege of a few. Her parents instilled in her the conviction that everyone is entitled to quality health care regardless of their ability to pay.
Ms. Hoberman received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and moved to Washington D.C., where she was a paralegal liaison with the law firm of Arnold & Porter. In 1977, she moved to Los Angeles and worked as the assistant office manager for the law offices of Ervin Cohen & Jessup in Beverly Hills. In 1980, she became the executive director of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, and set up a low-cost and pro-bono legal referral service for those in need of legal aid.
In 1980, Ms. Hoberman started volunteering at the Los Angeles Free Clinic, now the Saban Community Clinic. In 1981, she joined the Los Angeles Free Clinic’s Board of Directors, the Operational Board, and the Friends of the Los Angeles Free Clinic, the Fundraising Board. Over the years, Ms. Hoberman’s community advocacy and fundraising activities on behalf of the Clinic have ranged from co-chairing the Clinic’s Building Fund, volunteering for the Annual Golf Tournament and holiday party events, and serving on the Clinic’s
Development and Membership Committees. As the Chair of the Friends Dinner Gala (1988–present), she has elevated the stature of this event to an annual million-dollar benefit and expanded the organization’s sphere of influence throughout the entertainment industry.
Ms. Hoberman has been recognized for her leadership and public service by the Saban Community Clinic’s 1994 Lenny Somberg Award, the 1997 Women of Larchmont Award for Community Service, and the 2007 Los Angeles County Commission for Women “Woman of the Year” for promoting access to health care for women in Los Angeles County.
Ms. Hoberman joined Jhpiego’s Advisory Board in 2010. In 2013, she and her husband, Tom, received the Elyse Bila Ouedraogo Award at the Laughter Is the Best Medicine gala for supporting health care for women and families worldwide.