San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leaders

Summer 2018

President's Message


The last three months have been quite active for our SOHL chapter as we have produced a consistent stream of quality programs for the community that support both the educational and professional development goals of our chapter, while also providing quality networking opportunities for our members.

Demonstrating our ongoing support and involvement with the San Diego university community, many of our senior leaders volunteered for a “mock interview” program at SDSU as we helped prepare over 20 graduate students for the rigors of the real-world interviewing process.

Additionally, SOHL has fully subscribed its mentorship program. Our mentor program co-chairs, Ada Clark and Sarah Guerard, have done an excellent job of matching 40 pairs of mentors and mentees from across the county. This program allows our mentees the benefit of direct and ongoing interaction with many leaders from across the healthcare spectrum.

Highlight events from the past three months include:

  • On April 19, we were hosted by the Family Health Centers of San Diego with an outstanding program featuring Dr. Ashby Wolf, Chief Medical Officer for Region 9 of CMS. As part of our emerging outreach to the physician community, this event featured how MACRA legislation will change how Medicare pays physicians and other clinicians who participate in the program. Moderated by Nick Macchione – Director and Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Health and Human Services Agency County of San Diego, California, additional panelists for this highly informative event included Jan Sebring, Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Applications Coordinator, Family Health Centers, and Vanessa Schatzberg, Operations Manager, UC San Diego Health.
  • On May 15, SOHL hosted an event downtown at Carrier Johnson + CULTURE entitled, "Enhancing Patient and Employee Experience Through Long-Range Facilities Planning." Nearly 50 people attended to network with colleagues and learn from a healthcare architect, engineer, and facilities planner as they shared their expertise on how a long-range facilities funding plan can decrease overall costs, increase system performance and longevity, and improve how patients and employees experience their physical environment. 
  • We held our annual Early Careerist Network event on May 22 at AMN Healthcare. This event was geared toward our members who are fresh out of their graduate programs or those that are moving into healthcare as a new career. The panel of four professionals focused on Administrative Fellowships as well as advice for early careerists looking for employment, with advice from those that had lived the navigation of the San Diego employment market. We had a packed house of over 50 members and soon-to-be members!
  • Finally, we are just completing SOHL’s nationally regarded Advancement Study Group (ASG) which provides SOHL members with FACHE study sessions provided by subject matter experts, SOHL Board members, and other health leaders who have successfully passed the Board of Governors examination. The study group lasted 14 weeks and culminated on June 20th. Please be aware of announcements for our 2019 ASG as this is a program you don’t want to miss.

Additionally, please mark your calendars for future activities:

  • The first is our SOHL Executive Program. Limited to 25 attendees, this series is exclusively designed for preparing the next generation of senior executives who will guide their organizations and significantly impact the future of healthcare. The applicant should be at a “manager” or “director” level position and have several years of work experience—and is an ACHE member. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 27, 2018. Please check SOHL’s web site for additional details.
  • On August 28, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., SOHL will partner with University of Phoenix to host a workshop entitled, "Caring for an Aging Population," on the University of Phoenix campus to discuss physical, psychological, and social aging in the healthcare industry. Local healthcare experts in senior care, skilled nursing home care, and aging will share new trends and insights into this growing field. 
  • On October 17, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., SOHL will again partner with University of Phoenix to host a Women's Health Expo focused on "mind, body and spirit" in women's health. Vendors and speakers will be there to demonstrate and discuss such things as physical fitness, diversity, leadership, dressing for success, personalized medicine, financial health, mindfulness, and more.
  • Please plan to attend SOHL’s 10th Annual Conference scheduled for October 26 at Scripps La Jolla: Facing the Drug Crisis: Politics, Costs, Consequences and Solutions. National keynotes and experts from across the spectrum—healthcare, recovery, law enforcement, and academia—will look at the role of healthcare, politics, and pharma in the crisis, how the epidemic and its costs have overshadowed the benefits of new life-saving drugs, and what’s being done or suggested to confront the problem.

Finally, one of the main reasons we can provide such high-quality programming is the ongoing support of our supporting partners. We would like to welcome our newest sponsors to the SOHL community and look forward to ongoing involvement and shared commitment to enriching the path of professional development.


Darrell Atkin, CPXP

SOHL President

Message from Our ACHE Regent

As we vaulted through spring and in to summer 2018, it’s always a good time to think about transitions and how ACHE and our local chapters fit into your plans.

It is graduation time for students in our many wonderful graduate and undergraduate programs in our local colleges and universities. Congratulations! With more than 15 schools in our Higher Education Network, we salute all of you. Many of us likely remember that day, with both joy and possibly uncertainty, about where things would lead in our professional lives. Some of our students will pursue administrative fellowships, while others will be headed directly to new professional positions. Others may take a needed break and continue their job search. To all of our students in ACHE, we congratulate you and welcome you! Please reach out to your chapters and get involved. To all of us in the field, please consider mentoring – and hiring - a newly minted early careerist.

On another note, for more experienced members, it’s a great time to think about Advancement to Fellow status. Earning the distinction of board certification in healthcare management is a great achievement and recognized nationally. When an eligible ACHE member submits a completed application with the $250 application fee by June 30, ACHE will waive the $200 Board of Governors Exam fee (pending application approval). All materials including application and references must be submitted with the application by June 30 for the waiver to be valid. To help members learn about credentialing requirements, a short video is available at

In March, at ACHE Congress, 685 healthcare leaders from across the country earned the distinction of board certification in healthcare management. Congratulations to our many SOHL and HCE members who earned the distinction this year. Your Chapter Presidents, Darrell Atkin, Victor Carrasco, FACHE, and I hope to applaud you next March if you intend to reach this distinction!

Both of our local chapters, San Diego Association of Healthcare Leaders and Health Care Executives of Southern California, have numerous educational and networking events this year. Please take advantage of all that our wonderful chapters have to offer.

We are fortunate in our professional roles. Healthcare leaders make a difference every day for the patients, families, and communities we serve. I invite you to reach out and share a brief comment about what is special in your role, for future excerpts in upcoming Regent messages.

Ellen Zaman, FACHE

Regent – California - Southern

American College of Health Care Executives

Recent and Upcoming SOHL Event Quick Takes

On May 15, SOHL hosted an event in downtown at Carrier Johnson + CULTURE entitled, "Enhancing Patient and Employee Experience Through Long-Range Facilities Planning." Nearly 50 people attended to network with colleagues and listen to a premier healthcare architect, engineer, and facilities planner share their expertise on how a long-range facilities funding plan can decrease overall costs, increase system performance and longevity, and improve how patients and employees experience their physical environment. 

On August 28, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., SOHL will partner with University of Phoenix to host a workshop entitled, "Caring for an Aging Population," on the University of Phoenix campus to discuss physical, psychological, and social aging in the healthcare industry. Local healthcare experts in senior care, skilled nursing home care, and aging will share new trends and insights into this growing field. To register, visit https://

On October 17, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., SOHL will partner with University of Phoenix to host a Women's Health Expo on the University of Phoenix campus focused on "mind, body, and spirit" in women's health. Vendors and speakers will be there to demonstrate and discuss such things as physical fitness, diversity, leadership, dressing for success, personalized medicine, financial health, mindfulness, and more. To register, visit

Congratulations to the SDSU College Bowl Team!

Congratulations to the college bowl team representing San Diego State University (SDSU) for a fabulous job at the 2018 competition! Their presentation was thoughtful and engaging, and resulted in a 4th place finish! An amazing and job well done, SDSU! 

Student Presenters: 
Luke Mellis 
Ruel Chambers 
Jocelyn Nunez 
Jennifer Reyes 





SOHL Executive Program

Cohort Learning Series
The San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leaders (SOHL) is offering a unique cohort learning series to mid-level management leaders through an American College of Healthcare Executive (ACHE) Chapter Innovation Grant.

Distinctive Cohort Learning Experience
The SOHL Executive Program is limited to 25 attendees and is composed of interactive sessions with elite executive presenters to provide a variety of topics to enhance leadership skills and to help the middle manager become a more successful leader in a senior level position.

Modeled after the highly successful ACHE Executive Program, the SOHL Executive Program is an investment in you and your organization that takes continuing education to the next level all in your own backyard by proven healthcare leaders. The SOHL Executive Program also offers significant networking opportunities for peer-to-peer discussions with our premier local executive presenters.

All executive program sessions will earn you qualified education credits. Learning tracks will vary and will be aligned to the topic and/or executive presenter's expertise.

Program Learning Tracks for 2018:

  • Career Development
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Health Policy
  • Leadership
  • Public Health

Who Should Apply
The SOHL Executive Program is exclusively designed for preparing the next generation of senior executives, who will guide their organizations and significantly impact the future of healthcare. The applicant should be at a “manager" or "director” level position and/or have several years of work experience and is an ACHE member. There is a charge for these programs; the cost will be $200 dollars. All applications will be reviewed to ensure requirements are met. Payment will be requested upon approval of the application. The application deadline is Friday, July 27, 2018. The sessions are scheduled for Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The 2018 application is currently open. Please Click Here to submit your online application for this exclusive program. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 27, 2018.

Click Here for additional information about the SOHL Executive Program and to view the program syllabus.

Live Well San Diego 5k

Join the San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leaders (SOHL) for the annual Live Well San Diego 5k on Sunday, July 29, 2018 starting at 7:30 am at the County Administration Center Waterfront Park. Bring your friends, family members, and dogs to join along the walk/run.

The annual event benefits the lifesaving work of the San Diego Blood Bank and supports the Live Well San Diego vision of a healthy, safe, and thriving San Diego County. This year’s event will celebrate the hero in all of us with a superhero-themed race and activities throughout the morning.

You can register by clicking here and search for “SOHL Heroes” when selecting to join a team.  Please remember to save your registration confirmation email from San Diego Blood Bank as this will contain the personalized barcode to receive your packet/shirt.

We will have the team meet before the walk/run starts to take a group photo at 7:15 am and begin the event together. Follow-up information will be provided to those that register for the SOHL Heroes Team online.

For more information about the 5k, please visit the main page by clicking here. Please contact Nora Bota at with any questions about the event or registration.

Please feel free to share this with your organization and invite your colleagues, family, and friends to join in the fun.

We hope to see you at the 5k to support our Live Well San Diego partnership, established on August 11, 2016.

Welcome Our Newest Members of SOHL!

Please join us in welcoming the following new members, who have joined SOHL since March 2018:

  • Derrick Colmenar, Anesthesiologist,  US Navy
  • HM2 Marica A. Corrigan, Naval Medical Center San Diego
  • HMC Shirra L. Dickerson, Senior Enlisted Leader, US Navy
  • Aimee Edgell              
  • Elinor Gaida               
  • Allison M. Gill, MD, Health Systems Specialist, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Peter Hollaender, Nursing Supervisor, Kaiser Permanente
  • Travis Jasmer, Account Executive - Enterprise Corporate Accounts, Cardinal Health
  • Richard Jordan, Senior Medical Consultant, TAF Consulting
  • Pamela Letzkus, Regional Director of Pharmacy, Scripps Health
  • Isis Montalvo, MBA                
  • Scott S. Ng, MHA                  
  • HM2 Olumayowa A. Omotoyinbo, US Navy
  • Julia Quiring, Regional Director of Client Services, Aya Healthcare
  • Celestine Raj, National University
  • CDR Robert C. Rawleigh, FACHE, Chief Financial Officer,  Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton
  • Jennifer M. Reyes, MBA, MPH, Associate Clinic Director Fellow, Family Health Centers of San Diego
  • Jimmy Robinson, Sales, Mizuho OSI
  • Linda C. Rodriguez, FACHE             
  • Jandelisa V. Smith, Administrative Director, UC San Diego
  • Lidiya Ter-Markarova, CEO, Innova Revenue Group
  • Clayton M. Treska, MBA, Administrative Manager, UC San Diego
  • Robert D. Trifunovic, MD, HCA
  • Vincent Whibbs, CEO, TogetherMD
  • Kristy N. Williams, Executive Assistant, Scripps Health
  • Joanne Barnett, Director of Clinical Operations, Corona Regional Medical Center

The Thomas C. Dolan Executive Diversity Program—Now Accepting Applications

Please help spread the word to your members about the open application period (May 7–July 9) for the 2019 Thomas C. Dolan Executive Diversity Program by pointing them to  

During this year-long program, scholars benefit from specialized curriculum opportunities to develop strategies for successful navigation of potential career challenges and enhance executive presence, one-on-one interaction with a specially selected mentor, and participation in formal leadership education and career assessments. Enhanced self-awareness, critical leadership skills, and an expanded network of leaders will help prepare scholars to ascend to C-suite roles in hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations.

Visit for more information or to apply. If you have questions about the program, please contact Cie Armstead, director, Diversity and Inclusion, at or (312) 424-9306.

The Foundation of ACHE’s Fund for Healthcare Leadership accepts donations to the Thomas C. Dolan Executive Diversity Program. Gifts—no matter the amount—help shape the future of healthcare leadership. Visit to make your donation.

Forum Member Directory Connects Executives With Healthcare Consultants

ACHE’sHealthcare Consultants Forum Member Directory serves as a resource for healthcare executives and organizations seeking the services of a healthcare consultant with a specific area of expertise.

Are you a healthcare executive searching for a consultant?

The Directory’s robust search functionality can help identify ACHE Consultant Forum Members who may meet your needs.

Are you a Consultant looking to gain visibility with decision makers?
Join the Healthcare Consultants Forum, and select your primary area of expertise.

Questions? Please contact Liz Catalano, marketing specialist, Division of Member Services, at or (312) 424-9374 or Erika Joyce, assistant director, Division of Member Services, at or 312-424-9373.

Deadline Approaching to Save $200 on Board of Governors Examination Fee

ACHE is pleased to offer the Board of Governors Exam fee waiver promotion to eligible ACHE Members seeking to take the next important step for their healthcare management careers. Healthcare leaders who hold the prestigious FACHE credential are recognized for their commitment to lifelong learning, competence, and ethical decision making. In fact, more than 75 percent of Fellows feel better prepared to handle the challenges of the evolving healthcare management landscape.

Qualifying for the $200 Exam fee waiver is easier than you think! Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to and click “Apply for Board Certification.”    
  2. Submit the application and $250 application fee. Depending on your ACHE profile, many of the required fields may already be completed for you.
  3. All required documents, including your application, fee and references, are due June 30, 2018 in order to qualify for the waiver.

Forum on Advances in Healthcare Management Research 2019 Proposals Open

The American College of Healthcare Executives is inviting authors to submit proposals to present their research at the 11th annual Forum on Advances in Healthcare Management Research. This session will take place during ACHE’s 2019 Congress on Healthcare Leadership, March 4–7. The lead presenter of each selected proposal will receive a complimentary registration to Congress. Please visit for the selection criteria and submission instructions. Submit your up-to-400-word abstract by July 2

ACHE’s Leader-to-Leader Program

When you share the value of ACHE membership with your colleagues through encouraging them to join or advance to Fellow status, you can earn points to obtain rewards such as gift certificates toward ACHE education programs, a polo shirt, backpack tote, water bottle, umbrella, and even a chance to be entered into a raffle for a free Congress registration when three or more are sponsored.

Each time a person joins ACHE or advances to Fellow status and lists your name as a sponsor on the application, you earn a point. The more points you earn, the more rewards you can receive. Points expire on Dec. 31 of the year after they were earned (e.g., a point earned on Jan. 1, 2018, will expire on Dec. 31, 2019). You can check your available points and discount program coupon codes in the My ACHE area of To ensure colleagues reference you, referral cards are available that you can pass out so you receive the credit you deserve.

When you help grow ACHE, you make a strong statement about your professionalism and leadership in the healthcare field and also strengthen the organization. For more information on the program, go to

4 Steps to Establishing Your Leadership Philosophy

Many leaders have a list of aspirational adjectives—inspiring, benevolent, collaborative—to guide them but little idea of how to exemplify those traits in practice consistently. Thinking about leadership in vague terms can lead to confusion not only for you, but for your employees as well.

The best way to prevent this confusion is to write a personal statement or “leadership philosophy” that includes how you think, act, react and, work with others, according to Ed Ruggero, business writer and leadership teacher. These statements frequently include the following four parts:

1. Personal beliefs about leadership. Start by writing your beliefs about the role of leadership and general leadership principles, such as "leaders serve others" or "discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment."

2. What your team can expect from you. Acknowledging that leadership is a two-way street will surprise and impress many employees. In the second section of your personal statement, outline your personal credos and aspects of your leadership that you are working to continuously improve.

3. What you expect of your team. Consider how you would answer questions from employees such as, “Is it OK to present you with a problem for which I have no proposed solution?” and “How long should I wrestle with a challenge before seeking help?” Most importantly, create an expectation around how employees should communicate their disagreements with you.

4. What attracts negative attention. Listing your pet peeves may not dramatically improve organizational performance, but it can help reduce day-to-day stress.

Creating and disseminating your leadership philosophy "engages people in an ongoing conversation about how we can be a better team," Ruggero explains. If you start to deviate from your commitments, the personal statement also enables peers or employees to help you correct your course.

—Adapted from “4 Questions Every Great Leader Should Be Able to Answer,” by Leigh Buchanana, Inc., April 12, 2018. 

Enhance Your Decision-Making Skills: 3 Tips

Good decision making requires a sense of prediction—how different choices change the likelihood of different outcomes—and a sense of judgment—how desirable each of those outcomes is—according to a Harvard Business Review article by Walter Frick.  

Highlighted below are three ways to improve your ability to predict the effects of your choices and assess their desirability.

1. Avoid overconfidence. Consider the fact that you may be more confident about each step of your decision-making process than you ought to be, and that’s OK. If you embrace being less certain, however, you may be more likely to revisit the logic of your decision and prepare for dramatically different outcomes than your expected one.

2. Analyze how frequently predicted outcomes occur. Numerous studies demonstrate that the best starting point for predictions is to ask “How often does that typically happen?” Get away from the specifics of your particular decision or individual case and look at the base rate and outcomes of similar cases first.

3. Learn about probability. Research suggests basic training in probability makes people more effective forecasters and helps them avoid certain cognitive biases. Brushing up on probability theory may help you better express uncertainty and think numerically about the question “How often does this usually happen?”

“Great decision makers don’t follow these rules only when facing a particularly difficult choice; they return to them all the time,” Frick writes. “They recognize that even seemingly easy decisions can be hard—and that they probably know less than they think.”

—Adapted from “3 Ways to Improve Your Decision Making,” by Walter Frick, Harvard Business Review, Jan. 22, 2018. 

Special Thanks to Our Platinum Sponsors

The generosity of SOHL's Platinum Sponsors make all that we do possible! Special thanks to the following organizations (listed in alphabetical order):


AMN Healthcare is the leader and innovator in healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services to healthcare facilities nationwide. With insights and expertise, AMN Healthcare helps providers optimize their workforce to successfully reduce complexity, increase efficiency and improve patient outcomes



Canon Solutions America offers solutions that enable healthcare professionals to be more efficient and profitable while enhancing the quality of patient care. We help streamline admissions and discharge processes, support HIPAA compliance, and integrate patient information with EHR systems. Our solutions are designed to help clinical staff share information quickly and securely.



Catalyst, a Haskell Company, is a healthcare consultancy devoted to bringing customer-driven healthcare solutions to provider organizations across the country. Catalyst deploys innovative strategic, operational, and facility planning solutions that enable healthcare organizations to optimize the patient care experience while improving access and reducing costs.




The Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties (HASD&IC) is a non-profit organization representing 38 hospitals and integrated health systems in the two-county region. Our mission is to advance the organization, management, and effective delivery of affordable, medically necessary, quality health care services for the San Diego and Imperial County communities.




Kaiser Permanente is a leading health care provider and not-for-profit health plan, serving over 11.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health, Kaiser Permanente’s focus is on total health.



Founded in 1924, Scripps Health is a nonprofit health system in San Diego. Scripps treats more than 700,000 patients annually through the dedication of 3,000 affiliated physicians and more than 15,000 employees throughout five hospital campuses, 25-plus outpatient centers, and hundreds of affiliated medical offices throughout the region.




Sharp HealthCare is a nonprofit health system that includes four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, three affiliated medical groups, and a spectrum of other facilities and services. Sharp has 2,900 affiliated physicians and more than 18,000 employees across its care sites.


Sodexo is the worldwide leader in quality of life services. Every day, we strive to improve the quality of life of 100 million people. We develop, manage, and deliver a unique array of on-site services, benefits, and rewards service, and personal and home services.




The University of Phoenix is the first of its kind created for—and by—working adults. Our flexible programs are available online and on campus, with a curriculum influenced by real industry expectations and taught by instructors who have actual experience in the health care world.




The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) is a graduate institution that offers degree programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, and health sciences, as well as continuing education programs. Founded in 1979, USAHS has campuses in Florida, California, and Texas.