Leonard Schaeffer, the former chief executive of WellPoint Health Networks Inc., is giving $25 million to a USC health policy center that already bears his name.

The Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, which he first endowed in 2009, will use the funds to expand its research, especially how to control rising health care costs.

“The endowment of the USC Schaeffer Center promises continuing efforts to find answers to today's most pressing health care challenges,” said R. Pete Vanderveen, dean of the USC School of Pharmacy, where the center is housed.

Schaeffer took over the nonprofit Blue Cross of California in 1986 and converted it into the for-profit WellPoint Health Networks. He later led the merger of the Thousand Oaks company with Anthem Inc. in 2004 before stepping down.

The merged company, based in Indianapolis, took on the name WellPoint Inc., but retains its California Blue Cross subsidiary in Thousand Oaks.

Schaeffer sits as the chair of USC Price School of Public Policy serves on the boards of Amgen Inc. and Harvard Medical School.

Bailey Brewer