San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leaders

September 2019

President's Message

Dear Colleagues,

As I near the end of my presidency, I am reflecting on the activities and events of the past nine months in our local community, on a national level, and abroad. The year has so far been marked by multiple significant earthquakes, gun violence, political turmoil, a devastating hurricane, a disease outbreak, and several major global protests. In a way, it doesn’t seem any different from past years, but each event creates new conversations, awakens dormant minds, and generates fresh ideas. Like many other organizations, SOHL leverages the current climate for educational purposes and develops programming in step with or just ahead of the hot topics. Our annual conference serves as a stellar example of such effort. For 10 consecutive years, SOHL has been bringing locally and nationally acclaimed speakers right to your door as part of the fall conference. This year is no exception. The planning committee has been working diligently on securing experts in the fields of crisis and emergency management to engage you in insightful conversations. I am excited to introduce to you the 11th annual conference, “Emergencies in Healthcare,” which will be held on October 25 at the Scripps Schaetzel Center in La Jolla. The speakers will bring various perspectives from the war zones, border health and safety, local emergencies, traumatic events, and disaster management, to name a few. A morning keynote will feature Robin Davis, MPA, CEM, CHPCP, Director of Disaster Management for Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, TX. Mr. Davis oversees disaster preparation, response and recovery for the 15-hospital system. He has coordinated responses for H1N1 virus, Ebola, Super Bowl 51, and Hurricane Harvey. Be sure to visit our website for additional information and a complete list of the day’s panelists.

Don’t miss an opportunity to register as seating is limited. SOHL will once again offer 4.5 ACHE face-to-face education credits.

While the end of October is just around the corner, SOHL is working on offering several other exciting and engaging local events that I encourage you to attend. Check out the calendar on for more details and to register.

Remember, as a SOHL member you have access to all ACHE has to offer. Don’t delay and take advantage of the webinars, educational materials, and networking opportunities that are available to you on the national level.

Once again, thank you for your engagement and support!

Dasha Dahdouh, MPH

SOHL Chapter President

SOHL Programs: Quarterly Updates

June 25, 2019 - Leading a Culture of Patient Safety:

Over 55 participants were in attendance and pledged to support the  American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Leading for Safety initiative at SOHL’s Leading a Culture of Patient Safety Program. Christopher D. Howard, President and CEO of Sharp HealthCare, provided opening remarks, and Aaron Byzak, Chief External Affairs Officer of Tri-City Medical Center, and Jerry Kolins, Medical Director of Palomar Health Laboratories, followed with a presentation on patient safety reform in assisted living, how professionals raised in different cultures affect patient safety, and the pros and cons of respecting authority.  

A special thank you to Sharp HealthCare for sponsoring SOHL and hosting the program at their facility. Presenters and SOHL members in attendance are pictured below.



July 28, 2019 – Live Well San Diego 5k and Kids 1-Mile Fun Run:

The “SOHL Heroes” Team joined thousands in the Live Well San Diego 5k and Kids 1-Mile Fun Run at the County Administration Center Waterfront Park. The event brought thousands of San Diegans together in support of a healthy, safe, and thriving San Diego County.

A special thank you to the SOHL Heroes Team for donating or attending the event: Moyosore Buari, Amanda O’Neal Brummitt, Brett Brummitt, Carol Cannizzo, Jeff Jimenez, Angela Fang, James Beers, and Nora Bota.


July 30, 2019 – Illegal and Unethical Practices in Addiction Care:

SOHL held the Illegal and Unethical Practices in Addiction Care in partnership with its sponsor, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Over 20 participants were in attendance to hear from Bob Poznanovich, VP of Business Development for Hazelden Betty Ford. Attendees participated in an open discussion about ethical practices and consumer protection in addition treatment.    

A special thank you to the SOHL sponsors, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation for providing the presentation and AMN Healthcare for providing the facility. Attendees are pictured below.


August 14, 2019 – SOHL Executive Program Kick-Off Event:

Chris Van Gorder, President and CEO of Scripps Health, kicked-off the 2019 SOHL Executive Program with a presentation on Effecting Change through Front-Line Leadership. This year’s SOHL Executive Program consists of approximately 25 participants who are eager to learn from C-level healthcare professionals in San Diego County on a variety of topics (e.g., leadership, public health, healthcare management, informatics, policy, and organizational efficiency). The program prepares the next generation of senior executives who will guide their organization and significantly impact the future of healthcare.

A special thank you to SOHL’s sponsor, Scripps Health, for providing the presentation and hosting the event at their facility. Pictured below is the 2019 SOHL Executive Program Cohort with guest speaker, Chris Van Gorder, and Executive Program Co-Chairs, Andrea Gonzalez and Celerina Cornett.  

August 28, 2019 – Bridging the Healthcare Gap: Improving the Quality and Diversity of Patient-Centered Care:

SOHL members heard from various speakers, including Dr. Ross Colt, PACE Medical Director, Carla Holland, Director of the Small Business Development Center, and Virna Little, COO of Concert Health, on healthcare matters to increase the delivery and quality of patient-centered care.

A special thank you to Kelly Price Noble and SOHL sponsor, University of Phoenix, for organizing the event.


September 10, 2019 – CEO Rounds – CAPT Spencer T. Schoen, First Medical Battalion Camp Pendleton:

Over 40 participants joined SOHL for CAPT Spencer T. Schoen’s discussion of his role as Commander of the First Medical Battalion and how that relates to a CEO of a civilian organization. The participants were guided through a tour of the Shock Trauma Platoon and Forward Resuscitative Surgery Support. 

A special thank you to Mark Campbell for his assistance and coordination, along with Jared Vogt, to provide this unique opportunity to the SOHL members. Pictures from the event are included below.

September 19-20, 2019 - California Health IT Summit:

Join top executives, physicians, practice management, and IT decision makers from North America’s leading provider organizations and physician practices in Los Angeles, CA for a two- day executive Health IT Summit. Speakers will discuss a wide range of issues, topics, and latest strategies, including data security, population health, data analytics, accountable care, telemedicine, and more. This exclusive, high-level program is a great opportunity to stay ahead of the challenges we all face and to network with other healthcare leaders and colleagues. Learn more and see the full agenda.

Register today!

September 26, 2019 – CareerEDGE & You: Mapping Your Career for Success:

Have you ever completed a gap analysis between the skills and expertise you offer and what the healthcare marketplace needs? CareerEDGE is an exclusive ACHE member benefit designed to help you identify the gaps you need to hone your skill set and help you advance as a healthcare leader. We invite you to join SOHL and our two featured speakers, Rachel Gregoire from the ACHE Career Resource Center and Melinda Hudson from our own SOHL Board, as we share best practices for maximizing your use of this free career management tool to build your competitive edge, click here for more information.

Register today!

September 28, 2019 – Graduate Student Council Student Member Happy Hour:

The Graduate Student Council is hosting a SOHL Student Member Happy Hour on Saturday, September 28, 2019, at 5:00 PM at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, 2816 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106. At this event, attendees will be provided with a list of internship opportunities throughout San Diego County. This will be a great opportunity to converse with other graduate students who are currently completing their internship and to hear all the exciting skills and projects they are working on and share experiences.

Register today!

Other Upcoming Events:  

October 25, 2019: SOHL Annual Conference (Face to Face Credits available)

November 2019: Operations Management and Efficiency (Face to Face Credits may be available)

SOHL Program Questions: Please contact SOHL Program Co-Chairs, Nora Bota at and Jared Vogt at for further details and questions about SOHL Programs.  

Welcome Our Newest Members of SOHL!

Please join us in welcoming the following new members, who have joined SOHL since June 2019 (listed in alphabetical order by last name):

  • Olusola Adeyemo, Corpsman, Naval Hospital
  • Sara Arriaza, Sales Manager Healthcare Systems, US West, Mentice Inc.
  • Lawrence Ayers, San Diego State University
  • Ailorra Rizzelle Brunin, Surface Warfare Officer, US Navy
  • Aubrianna Butler
  • Ashley Button
  • Lindsay Conway, Managing Director, Advisory Board
  • Miguel Cubano, Fellow, American College of Surgeon
  • Hera Dore, Director of Acute Critical Care, Sharp Healthcare
  • Lexus Drakeford, Human Services Specialist, Health and Human Services Agency
  • Wendy Ehrig, MEICAL , US Navy
  • Ryan Fearn-Gomez, District Manager, Clinical Operations Improvement, Palomar Health
  • Teresa Alexandra Gonzalez, CSU-Chico
  • Charles Gunter, Patient Relations Coordinator, Scripps Memorial Hospital
  • Karen Kanan, Covenant Retirement Communities
  • Larrissia Koulavongsa, Command Senior Enlisted Leader, Navy Environmental & Preventive Medicine/Unit FIVE
  • Brian LaMacchia, Business Manager of Interventional & Heart Services, Stanford Children's Health
  • Erika Lopatynsky, UCSD
  • Anita Majabo Baker, UC San Diego Health
  • Erik Mantsch, Impact Manager, RQI Partners
  • Gregory Mayers, Consultant, KPIF Administration, Kaiser Permanente
  • Herbie Medalla, , US Navy
  • Gaurav Mishra, Director of Psychiatry, San Ysidro Health
  • Lissette Moreno, Program Manager, UC San Diego Health
  • Devin Morrison, Executive Officer, Naval Medical Center San Diego
  • Matthew Nelson,
  • Rachel Newman, Department of Defense
  • Sarah Norwood
  • Cindy Paget, Director Human Resources , Palomar Health
  • Johnathan Restrepo, Chief Petty Officer, US Navy
  • Angela Rosenblatt, System Director of Pharmacy/Clinical Services, Scripps Health
  • Shahbaz Salehi, Director, DHR
  • Edgar San Luis, Associate Director of Health Services, NHC Hawaii
  • Elisa Stewart, Lead Coach, Engagehealthy, Inc.
  • Ankoor Tailor, Senior Consultant, ECG Management Consultants
  • Jesse Thomas, MSC Officer, US Navy
  • Sammy Totah, COO, Kaiser Permanente
  • Vi Song Tring, Department Head, Military Health Clinic, Naval Medical Center San Diego
  • Ashley Waddell
  • Timothy Weber, Navy Medicine West
  • Antoine White, Substance Abuse Control Officer, US Navy
  • Connie Wong, Director of Managed Care, Palomar Health

FACHE® Recertification: It's Never Too Late to Begin Planning

Earning the distinction of board certification in healthcare management as an ACHE Fellow is a great career accomplishment. Whether you are one of the many members set to recertify this year or within the next three years, you can get a head start now to maintain this prestigious credential.

To ensure that all Fellows maintain the integrity of the ACHE credentialing program, Fellows are required to recertify every three years. To continue demonstrating your professionalism, ethical decision making, competence, leadership and commitment to lifelong learning, please be sure to recertify your FACHE credential by Dec. 31.

Visit My ACHE to check your recertification status, including the current number of continuing education credit hours you have earned so far.

Postgraduate Fellowships: Creating Future Leaders

Postgraduate fellowships contribute to the development of future leaders and provide tangible benefits to sponsoring organizations and the profession. The Directory of Postgraduate Administrative Fellowships gives sponsoring organizations the tools needed to develop a fellowship, including detailed resources on logistics, compensation and benefits, recruiting, onboarding and assessing candidates. Organizations that post opportunities in the directory increase their visibility for students seeking postgraduate administrative fellowships on a national level.

Whether you are an organization creating a fellowship, a student seeking a postgraduate administrative fellowship, or an organization ready to post or update a current listing, you'll find a variety of resources available at

Community Forums Enhance Members’ Experience

ACHE members with affiliated interests can communicate, collaborate and advance through participation in one of four community groups. These groups include the Asian Healthcare Leaders Forum, the LGBT Forum, the Healthcare Consultants Forum and the Physician Executives Forum. Members can explore one forum or more for missions and benefits that align with their professional backgrounds and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Inform members in your area of these communities, and encourage them to join the ones that best meet their professional needs and goals.

Join for an annual fee of $100 each, in addition to your ACHE membership dues. All benefits are accessible online and include a quarterly newsletter, an exclusive LinkedIn Group and special designation in ACHE’s online Member Directory.

Healthcare Consultants Forum Member Directory: Connecting Executives to Consultants

The Healthcare Consultants Forum Member Directory offers a robust search functionality to help you identify a consultant who meets your needs. And if you are a consultant looking to gain visibility with decision makers, consider joining the Healthcare Consultants Forum. The forum also offers resources tailored to a healthcare consultant’s specific career development needs.

Local Prep Course Offered for the BOG Exam

A new chapter-led review course is available to help ACHE Members prepare for the Board of Governors Examination. The course, titled "BOG Exam Prep: Brought to You by ACHE and Your Local Chapter," includes a thorough content review of the 10 knowledge areas addressed in the Exam, practice test questions and test-taking strategies. Participants may earn up to 12 hours of ACHE Face-to-Face Education credit when they complete the course. Members can contact their local chapter regarding an offering of the course in their area.

The course is also available as an ACHE Choice program. Contact Katherine M. Stack, FACHE, manager, program development, Department of Professional Development, at (312) 424-9304 or for more information.

ACHE Joins a Partnership Focused on Improving Diagnostic Quality and Safety

Did you know that inaccurate or delayed diagnoses are responsible for roughly 80,000 deaths per year in the U.S.? ACHE recognizes the importance of supporting improvements in diagnostic quality and safety in medicine, which is why we have joined the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis. The coalition is a collaboration of more than 50 leading healthcare organizations convened and led by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.

For more information about the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis, visit For more information about ACHE’s leading for safety efforts, visit

Planning for the Continuation of Your Career

Whether you’re starting a new position or planning for retirement, building a comprehensive approach is critical to achieving your goals. To help you drive long-term success in a new role, ACHE’s Onboarding Resources is a great place to begin. If you are nearing the end of your career, our Encore Career Resources will help you make sound intellectual, psychological and financial considerations. No matter where you are in your career, we remain devoted to your success. For more on these and additional tools, visit

U.S. Medical Students Choosing Primary Care Specialties in an Eight-Year Decline

Despite hospital systems and health officials citing the need for more primary care doctors, graduates of U.S. medical schools are becoming less likely to choose a specialization in this field.

According to the 2019 National Resident Matching Program—the nonprofit group that determines where medical students will study in their chosen specialties after graduation—the percentage of primary care positions filled by fourth-year medical students was the lowest on record. The 2019 report shows that of the 8,116 internal medicine positions offered, only 41.5% were filled. Family medicine and pediatrics reflected a similar trend. In fact, according to an analysis of historical Match data, the percentage of U.S.-trained physicians matched into primary care positions has declined since 2011.

Meanwhile, recent data from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine shows that medical colleges granting MD degrees graduate nearly three-quarters of U.S. students moving on to become doctors. The rest graduate from osteopathic schools that grant DO degrees. The five medical schools with the highest percentage of graduates choosing primary care are all osteopathic institutions, according to a 2019 U.S. News & World Report survey.

Physicians trained at foreign institutions, including both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens, accept unfilled primary care residency positions as well. In the 2019 match, 68.9% of foreign-trained physicians went into internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics.

Despite osteopathic graduates and foreign-trained doctors taking up primary care spots, a primary care physician shortage is still expected. In April 2019, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicted a shortage of between 21,100 and 55,200 primary care physicians by 2032.

Why the decline? One reason may be as simple as higher income. According to a recently published Medscape survey of physicians, the annual salaries of internal medicine practitioners average $243,000—a little over half of what orthopedic physicians bring home. Family medicine and pediatrics reportedly earn even less.

Another deterrent to choosing within the primary care field may be the time primary care physicians spend on paperwork and completing electronic medical records. According to the Medscape data, in 2012, 53 percent of physicians completed approximately 1 to 4 hours of administrative tasks per week. The 2019 report shows that the numbers have risen to 74 percent and about 10 hours per week.

Tellingly, only 62% of internal medicine doctors in the survey said they would choose to go into their specialty again; the lowest percentage on record for all physician specialties surveyed.

—Adapted from "American Medical Students Less Likely To Choose To Become Primary Care Doctors," by Victoria Knight,Kaiser Health News, July 3, 2019.

Improved Communication Leads to Higher Patient Outcomes, Lower Readmission Rates

Aside from top-quality providers and the latest technology, what do the most successful hospitals have that others do not? The answer is clear and effective communication across all levels and areas of care. Effective communication is central to the patient experience and important for both short- and long-term episodes of care, but it is particularly critical at key transition points in care, most notably at discharge.

Collaborative communication across the care team is just as vital as direct communication with patients. In leading patient experience surveys the question “How well did hospital staff work together as a team?” is highly correlated with overall patient satisfaction. That correlation makes perfect sense. When patients receive clear, consistent information from every caregiver, they are more confident about what to both during a hospital stay and after discharge.

Communication in a hospital or other care setting is more challenging than in virtually any other industry. This complexity traces to a number of industry-specific issues, including a high number of unique transactions during and across care episodes; traditionally siloed work processes related to diagnosis and treatment; and longstanding hierarchical barriers among care teams. Clear, open communication builds trust, reduces confusion and increases patients’ confidence, which contributes directly to better outcomes and reduced readmission rates.

Following are three overarching strategies to help organizations change the way frontline staff think about communication:

1. Create a culture of communication first. To improve interactions, staff members have to understand what effective communication looks and feels like at all levels of the organization. Leaders must demonstrate best practices and reinforce communication as a priority every time they interact with staff and patients, through strategies such as organization-wide town hall meetings, attendance at individual departmental meetings and regular rounds at the frontline.

2. Make it easier to communicate internally. If an organization’s culture is one that encourages open, transparent communication, then providers will feel free to question and investigate discrepancies and gaps in information. While the latest comprehensive electronic health records facilitate information exchange, they don’t replace effective interpersonal communication, either among the care team or with patients and families.

3. Fully embrace a customer-centric mindset. With focused training and mentoring from managers, healthcare professionals can develop the communication skills that improve interactions with one another and with patients. An investment in improved communication practices and competencies is an essential part of improving not only patient experience, but also patient outcomes.

Ample research establishes that effective communication is essential to attaining better health outcomes. To be sure, changing both the culture of communication and the specific practices and tools used on the ground entails a significant organization-wide commitment, but the results will be well worth the effort.

—Adapted from "How Better Communication can Improve Patient Outcomes and Lower Readmission Rates," by Burl Stamp, Healthcare Business & Technology, Feb. 26, 2019.

Special Thanks to Our Platinum and Gold Sponsors

The generosity of SOHL's Platinum and Gold 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.




UC San Diego Health has cared for the community for 50+ years, while researching new treatments and training tomorrow’s doctors. Our physicians and scientists have made important contributions to numerous fields. Our specialty care in cancer, cardiology, and surgery consistently ranks among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report.




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.