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Foundation’s Clinic Leadership Institute Graduates its 2011 Class of Leaders

Graduates’ leadership will be critical for navigating the rapidly changing healthcare environment 

San Francisco, June 23, 2011 – Twenty-one community clinic leaders will graduate from Blue Shield of California Foundation’s Clinic Leadership Institute (CLI) this Saturday.  The 18-month program cultivates and empowers emerging leaders from California’s community clinics to be effective and passionate agents of change in an evolving healthcare environment. 

Community clinics are central to California's healthcare safety net, providing care to more than 4 million people every year. Rising patient loads and uncertainty of funding has impacted community clinics over the past three years, making strong leadership more important than ever.  Community clinics are also adapting to the new healthcare environment formed by the passage of federal health reform.

A signature project of Blue Shield of California Foundation, CLI’s goal is to identify emerging leaders and strengthen their skills so they can lead as safety net providers.   "We are not just investing in individual leaders, but rather supporting the entire field,” said Peter Long, Ph.D., President and CEO of Blue Shield of California Foundation. “CLI participants bring home a range of new skills and perspectives that will be essential to transform clinics while they participate in the program and beyond." 

During their training, participants engage in interactive and instructive activities focused on strategic thinking, financial management, health policy and other critical leadership skills. Participants take their knowledge back to their communities by implementing projects at their home clinics. The Center for the Health Professions at the University of California, San Francisco is the administrator for Clinic Leadership Institute. The 2011 leaders are the third graduating class of Clinic Leadership Institute.

The graduates' projects are already underway, and will be presented in detail at graduation on Saturday, June 25. Projects include:

  • In San Diego, Myrna Torresdey, at La Maestra Family Clinic, Inc. worked to improve continuity of care and overall health status in patients with diabetes by developing an integrated care program. 
  • In Eureka, Sarah Kerr at Six Rivers Planned Parenthood, worked to improve patient retention rates, timely access to needed services and increased financial stability for the organization. 
  • In San Francisco, Rochelle Hayes at Native American Health Center worked to improve diabetes care as measured by cost, patient satisfaction and quality of care. 

Clinic Leadership Institute is an outgrowth of the Foundation's longstanding commitment to supporting California's healthcare safety net. Since 2003, the Foundation has invested nearly $58 million in approximately 200 health clinics, consortia, and their associations across California.

BSCF's Clinic Leadership Institute Class of 2011: 

Humboldt County

Tammy Flint, Service Area Administrator, Open Door Community Health Centers, Arcata

Sarah Kerr, Director of Patient Services, Six Rivers Planned Parenthood, Eureka

Sacramento Area

Lourdes Guzman, Site Administrator, Ampla Health, Yuba City

Jean Mackin, Perinatal Administrator, Communicare Health Centers, Davis

Lisa McKay, Director of Operations & Finance, Sacramento Native American Health Center, Sacramento

San Bernardino County

Cynthia Prendiz, Community Outreach Director, Kids Come First, Ontario

San Diego Area

Amparo Mahler, Chief Operating Officer, Neighborhood Healthcare, San Diego

Myrna Torresdey, Health Education Coordinator, La Maestra Family Clinic, Inc., San Diego 

San Francisco Bay Area

Maricela Gutierrez, Director, School Based Health Services, Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, Inc., Hayward

Rochelle Hayes, Clinic Director, Medical, Native American Health Center, San Francisco

Tracy Mendez, Operations Administrator, La Clinica de La Raza, Inc., Oakland

Emily Saltzman, Director of Quality Assurance and Improvement, Marin Community Clinics, Novato

San Joaquin County

Michelle Bagalayos, Director of Finance, Community Medical Centers, Inc., Stockton

Shasta County

Katrina Delevati, Director of Human Resources, Shasta Community Health Center, Redding

Joyce Jordan, Operations Manager, Winters Healthcare Foundation, Inc., Winters

Afton Fitzgerald, Executive Assistant, Hill Country Health and Wellness Center, Round Mountain

Sonoma County

Pedro Toledo, Director of Government & Community Relations, Redwood Community Health Coalition, Petaluma

Los Angeles Area

Darrell Lind, Director of Clinical Services, The Catalyst Foundation, Lancaster

Eleni Manousogiannakis, formerly the Director, Program Development and Quality Improvement, Venice Family Clinic, Venice

Marie McKinney, Chief Operating Officer, Westside Family Health Center, Santa Monica

Napa County

Priscila Gonzalez, Director of Clinic Operations, Community Health Clinic Ole, Napa


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: www.blueshieldcafoundation.org. 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 www.blueshieldca.com.

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: http://futurehealth.ucsf.edu/