Foundation Announces 2012 Graduates of Clinic Leadership Institute

Program helps prepare the next generation of leaders in community health centers

San Francisco, June 22, 2012 – This Saturday, twenty-one leaders from community clinics across California will graduate from Blue Shield of California Foundation’s Clinic Leadership Institute: Emerging Leaders program. The program provides healthcare professionals with the skills, networks, and guidance they need to effectively lead community health centers to meet the health needs of underserved Californians.

“With so much uncertainty surrounding implementation of the Affordable Care Act, today’s health leaders will play a critical role in shaping our future healthcare system,” said Peter Long, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Blue Shield of California Foundation. “The opportunities and challenges ahead will require outstanding leadership in California’s community health centers. We are confident this year’s graduates will rise to the occasion.”

The program was launched in 2007 to prepare emerging leaders in community health centers for executive positions and contribute to a strong and vibrant clinic system in California. During the 18-month program, participants engage in interactive and instructive activities focused on strategic thinking, financial management, health policy and other essential leadership skills. Since the program’s inception, CLI has trained 100 emerging leaders. The 2012 leaders are the fourth graduating class.

This year’s graduates were selected not only for their leadership potential, but also their unique connection to the needs of their community, including cultural and linguistic characteristics specific to their regional population. The additional experience gained during their training will enable them to provide an even higher quality of care to their local community.

The Center for the Health Professions at the University of California, San Francisco is the administrator for Clinic Leadership Institute’s Emerging Leaders program. This year’s leaders each have innovative projects already underway in their health center, all of which will be presented during their graduation activities on Saturday, June 23. Projects include:

•    Merrill Buice, of the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium, worked to create a network of clinic staff, clear workflow procedures, and new audit protocols to facilitate a smooth and easy transition of uninsured patients to Medi-Cal in 2014.

•    In preparation for healthcare reform and increased competition, Kerry Hydash of the Family Healthcare Network worked to increase patient satisfaction by implementing system changes, new training programs, and staff incentive payments.

•    Susana Estrada, from the Wilmington Community Clinic, developed an organizational dashboard tool to enable better decision-making based on tangible, easy-to-access data.

BSCF's Clinic Leadership Institute Class of 2012:

North Coast
Aila Gilbride-Read - Six Rivers Planned Parenthood

Far North
Tami J. Fraser - Shingletown Medical Center

Bay Area
Merrill Buice - San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium
Puja Satwani - Gardner Family Health Network
Alvaro Fuentes - Community Clinic Consortium, Contra Costa & Solano Counties
Claudia Del Rio - Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center
Wunna Mine - Gardner Family Health Network
Kemi Role - Women’s Community Clinic   

Central Cost
Alana K. Thompson - Dientes Community Dental Clinic

Central Valley
Kerry Hydash - Family HealthCare Network
David I. Lopez - Community Medical Centers, Inc.

Los Angeles
Arron Barba - Venice Family Clinic
Candy Rabago Villa - Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center
Lauren M. Hill - Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley
Tyrone J. Aburto - Westside Family Health Center
Susana Ernestina Flores - UMMA Community Clinic

Riverside & San Bernardino
Nereida Morfin - Borrego Community Health Foundation

Southern California
Simin S. Khadivi - Alliance Health Network
Maura Mireles - Neighborhood Healthcare
Jeremy Elkins - Share Our Selves
Susana Estrada - Wilmington Community Clinic

About Blue Shield of California Foundation
Blue Shield of California Foundation is one of the largest healthcare grantmaking organizations in California. For more information, visit: The Foundation was formed by Blue Shield of California, a not-for-profit corporation with more than 3.4 million members, 4,700 employees and 20 offices throughout California. For more information about the company, please visit

About the Center for the Health Professions at UCSF
Since 1992, the Center has been dedicated to transforming health care by delivering leadership programs to empower change agents at every level and within all sectors of the health care system; and by producing nationally and internationally recognized, unbiased research to help health care decision makers understand today's workforce issues and design actionable strategies to solve them. For more information about the Center, visit:

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Press Contact:
Christine Maulhardt
Christine.Maulhardt [at]