President’s Message – March 2021

For over 365 days, you have been resilient as a community and healthcare leader in the COVID-19 response to ensure everyone is living well, healthy, safe, and thriving. Whether leading a team, working on the frontlines, or supporting loved ones – you are a healthcare hero and have made a difference!

I’m sure each of us remembers the day that in some capacity or another, we were called to duty to help with the COVID-19 response. As healthcare leaders, there was never a moment of uncertainty to rise to the occasion; the most important focus was to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the region. You can hear from a few local healthcare heroes regarding their experience with the COVID-19 response by watching the documentary, Essential Voices, created by local producer, Dave Meyer, which can be viewed at davemeyerdesign.com/covid-19/.

Since the local health emergency declaration on February 14, 2020, the community has made great strides working together with various sectors from healthcare, business, community and faith-based organizations, government, and education. In San Diego County, there has been tremendous progress with all the healthcare systems working together on COVID-19 Test, Trace, and Treat (T3) efforts, resulting in the region becoming one of the leading counties in California with the highest vaccination rate. With the COVID-19 vaccine being more widely distributed to the community, the goal of the majority of the population being vaccinated by July 2021 is in sight.

The San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leaders (SOHL) Board realizes the past year has been difficult for everyone, whether working long hours on the pandemic response, losing a job, becoming ill, or losing a loved one due to COVID-19. In light of these hardships, SOHL is here to support you! This year, the SOHL Board developed an opportunity for members and students to apply for a scholarship to cover partial costs of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Congress on Healthcare Leadership registration (see Awards and Recognitions section of the newsletter for list of recipients). More opportunities will be shared soon.

In terms of recognitions, SOHL has several reasons to celebrate. Last year marked SOHL’s 20th year anniversary since the organization was created after the merger of the Healthcare Executives and San Diego Women in Healthcare Administration. For over two decades, SOHL has been leading with excellence, developing healthcare leaders to last a lifetime, and ensuring all communities have an equal opportunity to advance their careers. Thank you to the SOHL Presidents who have dedicated time and support to advance healthcare leaders for over 20 years (see Awards and Recognitions section of the newsletter for list of Presidents since 2001).

Another reason to celebrate is the SOHL Board’s adoption of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as a core value for 2021 and beyond, in alignment with ACHE. SOHL has always embraced DEI and this solidifies SOHL’s commitment as diversity makes us stronger as a Chapter and community. The SOHL Board is focusing on all aspects of DEI, including its programs, services, and membership through a health equity lens for all communities.

SOHL is part of your community and network. As a professional healthcare leadership association, the SOHL Board is committed to giving back. The SOHL Board is reimaging programs and services, in alignment with the ACHE Congress theme, “Reimagine.” This includes hosting interactive networking opportunities and online happy hours, collaborating with the California Association of Healthcare Leaders on the Board of Governors exam study group sessions, and creating online face-to-face credit career development programs to help you advance to fellow.

Thank you for the continued commitment and support as a healthcare leader. If you have any questions or would like to be more involved with SOHL, please do not hesitate to contact me or any Board member.

Nora M. Bota, M.P.H.

President, San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leaders