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2019-20 SDCMS Board of Directors Elections

2019–20 SDCMS Board of Directors (BOD) Elections: April 9 – May 7, 2019

NOTES:     Asterisk (*) After Name = Incumbent          # in Parentheses After Name = Term Length in Years




President-elect Holly B. Yang, MD, MSHPEd, HMDC, FACP, FAAHPM (1): I have been a member of the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) since I moved to San Diego 14 years ago. I have been on the board of directors since 2012, and have served on the executive committee for the past 4 years. I am past treasurer and current secretary of our organization. I am proud to represent San Diego County at the California Medical Association (CMA) House of Delegates, and I serve as the Chair of the Council on Membership, Governance, and Bylaws. I am also honored to represent you as an alternate delegate from CMA to the American Medical Association.

With the ongoing uncertainty about healthcare, it is imperative that physicians are at the table. We must protect and expand access to high-quality healthcare for our patients, and our ability to provide and direct that care. I am proud to be part of SDCMS, an organization that represents physicians of all specialties, all practice types, and all career stages. Together our diverse voices bring wisdom and passion to make a difference for the health of San Diego. Thank you for all the work you do to care for our community. Thank you for your trust to represent you. I ask for your continued trust and support for my candidacy as President-elect of our SDCMS.


Secretary Sergio R. Flores, MD (1): I have served on the SDCMS Board of Directors as both a Kearny Mesa alternate as well as geographic director. I am currently serving on the Executive Committee as Treasurer. I would like to continue serving on the SDCMS Board as your Secretary. I am currently on the CMA Board of Directors since 2012 as well as the current Chairman of the CMA Finance Committee. I was recently appointed to the Board of IMQ as Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee.

I was born and raised in San Diego and graduated from SDSU in 1985. I graduated from the UCSF School of Medicine in 1989 and trained at UC Irvine in internal medicine and gastroenterology from 1989 to 1994, and was board certified in both. I am in private practice and have been a partner at San Diego Digestive Disease Consultants since 1998.

I serve on the Board of Sharp Community Medical Group for the past 20 years and currently serve on the executive committee as the Vice President as well as the Chairman of the Finance Committee. I served on the Sharp Healthcare Board of Directors from 2005-2012 and continue to serve on the Sharp Finance Committee. I would like to continue to offer my services to you and SDCMS. Thank you.


Treasurer Toluwalase (Lase) A. Ajayi, MD (1): I have had the honor of serving on the SDCMS board of directors for the past five years and on the SDCMS Executive Committee for the past two years. I consider it an honor to serve our medical community and I have the privilege to again ask for your support as I run for Treasurer of SDCMS. I have served as an SDCMS at-large director for the past four years, and joined the executive committee in 2017. I have been very active bringing the voice of the community physician and the patients we serve to the California Medical Association. Through my active involvement with SDCMS, I have represented San Diego Physicians at the CMA, on the Council of Legislation, the Ethnic Minority section, the young physician section and recently as the chair of the Council on Medical Services.

I take these responsibilities seriously and work passionately in these roles because I believe that our San Diego County Medical Society provides a vital opportunity for our physician community to be able to speak as a singular “voice” to the public and to the politicians in the city, county, state, and federal government. We have seen our California Medical Board, the CDC and CMS react to the Opioid Epidemic in ways that may not truly benefit the patients that we are trying to help and place restrictions on the practicing physicians. We have seen and continue to see the cost of medical education increase leading to an increase debt burden on young physicians. EHR interoperability and scope of practice continue to place a burden the patient-physician-payer relationships. Given this reality, it will be critical that we as practicing physicians represent, with a unified voice, the medical care interests of our patients. I have worked to help our Medical Society speak with that united voice and continue to work on the ground to help ease these tensions and much more. I would truly appreciate your support as I seek re-election to the SDCMS board of directors.



East County Director #1 Heidi M. Meyer, MD* (3): My time so far serving on the SDCMS Board has been a wonderful reminder of the power physicians have to impact the health of our communities. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to work with the movers and shakers of organized political medicine in the state of California. As a Family Physician, I consider defending the health of the public part of my mission, and the SDCMS Board more than helps me fulfill this mission. My past work on the Arizona and American Academy of Family Physicians boards, as well as my past experience as President of the San Diego Academy of Family Physicians board has been a great compliment to this one. I also enjoy being a voice for the large group practice as I am employed by the Pemanente Medical Group.



Hillcrest Director #1 Kyle P. Edmonds, MD (3): I am a palliative medicine physician at UC San Diego and have been an active member of SDCMS since I moved to San Diego for fellowship six years ago. I've been an alternate member of the Board of Directors for 5 years and a member of the delegation to the California Medical Association House of Delegates. I am a past Chair of the CMA Young Physician Section and a CMA delegate to the American Medical Association House of Delegates where I also represent the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine in the AMA-YPS. I've been active in organized medicine since medical school and am honored to be nominated to be a voting board member of SDCMS. I look forward to continuing to serve as one of your representatives.



Hillcrest Director #2 Steve H. Koh, MD (3): I am honored to be seeking your support as Hillcrest Director for the San Diego County Medical Society. I am an Associate Professor in Department of Psychiatry, at UCSD, where I direct our Outpatient Psychiatric Services – Hillcrest, TeleMentalHealth, and Community Psychiatry Programs. I have been a member of CMA and SDCMS since my residency years when I was a YPS member and representative. I currently sit on CMA’s telemedicine committee. I have been active in American Psychiatric Association, California Psychiatric Association, and San Diego Psychiatric Society.

I am passionate about mental health integration with primary care, technology innovations in medicine, community or public mental health and collaborative partnerships for novel healthcare provider training. I believe that whole person care can be ideally achieved by physician leadership in cross-professional treatment models and believe that we must mentor future colleagues to take a broad view of healthcare to push innovation and change. I would ask for your support to represent Hillcrest area on the Board of Directors, SDCMS.


Kearny Mesa Director #1 Anthony E. Magit, MD, MPH (2): I appreciate the opportunity to continue my service on the SDCMS board of directors having been an alternate member of the SDCMS board. Maintaining access to healthcare for our region’s children is a primary focus of my practice and advocacy activities. I currently serve on the CMA Council on Legislation and recently became the President of the Children’s Specialty Care Coalition (CSCC). The CSCC is a statewide organization representing physicians providing comprehensive medical and surgical care to children with special medical needs. My appreciation for the challenges facing medicine locally and nationally come from practicing pediatric otolaryngology for more than 25 years in San Diego and interacting with all of the health systems in our region. SDCMS has a critical role in supporting physicians representing the entire spectrum of medical practices in San Diego County.



North County Director #2 Christopher M. Bergeron, MD, FACS* (3): I am honored to be considered for a position on the SDCMS Board of Directors. I am a rhinologist / otolaryngologist practicing at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla and Rancho Bernardo. Prior to joining Scripps Clinic, I was a member of the full time faculty at UCSD. I am the immediate past president of the San Diego Academy of Otolaryngology and maintain voluntary faculty privileges at UCSD and the VA Medical Center in La Jolla. During my 10+ years in the San Diego area, I have seen the impacts of increased governmental regulation on physicians and patients alike. I look forward to participating in the shaping of future healthcare policy at the local, state, and national level during my service with SDCMS, all the while keeping the interests of physicians and patients as the top priority.




At-Large Director #3 Irineo (Reno) D. Tiangco, MD (3)







At-Large Director #5 Stephen R. Hayden, MD* (3): For most of my career in the fields of emergency medicine and hyperbaric medicine at UC San Diego, I have been involved in national academic affairs. In addition to serving on the medical society’s Board of Directors, I have served as the District 1 Delegation Chair to the CMA. It has been a great privilege to participate in the annual House of Delegates, and to help determine the major topics the CMA will address each year. With the landscape changing so quickly in healthcare, I believe it is as important as ever for community physicians and academic physicians to partner and face the current challenges in medicine together.

For over 20 years, I have been directly involved in national specialty societies and the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and these experiences will allow me to contribute to SDCMS’s advocacy efforts. After a tour of duty as senior flight surgeon for the Naval Strike Warfare Center NAS Fallon, Nevada, I completed my emergency medicine residency at the University Medical Center at Stony Brook, New York, where I served as chief resident. I am the previous associate dean for graduate medical education at UC San Diego, after serving as the program director of the emergency medicine residency. I am a past president of the national Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors, and, in 2006, I was selected as the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Emergency Medicine. In 2005 I was the recipient of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine’s (AAEM) Residency Director of the Year Award and was recognized in 2005–2007 as one of America’s Top Physicians. In addition, I was fortunate to receive the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) National Faculty Teaching Award.

I am a primary author/editor for a major textbook in emergency medicine, The Five-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult, as well as numerous textbook chapters, peer-reviewed publications, and over a hundred invited national and international speaking engagements. I am married with three children and have a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I would consider it a privilege to continue to serve the San Diego County Medical Society and its members.


At-Large Director #7 Karl E. Steinberg, MD, FAAFP (3): I’m a family physician, geriatrician, and hospice physician, and I have been a nursing home and hospice medical director in coastal North County continuously since 1995. My passions are providing compassionate care to the frail elder population and others with serious or chronic illnesses, and helping to educate patients and healthcare providers about palliative care. In addition to patient care, I am a past chair of the Compassionate Care Coalition of California (the people who brought you POLST), and president-elect of CALTCM (the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine); I also currently serve on the government relations committee of CAHF (the California Association of Health Facilities). I currently serve on the Leadership Council of the National POLST Program. I provide long-term care consulting and medicolegal services, I'm Chief Medical Officer of Mariner Healthcare (a 20-facility California nursing home management company), and I’m medical director of two North County skilled nursing facilities (Life Care Center of Vista and Carlsbad by the Sea). I've been medical director of Hospice by the Sea in Solana Beach since 1995. I do home visits for complex case management patients for Scripps and have been an employed physician with Scripps Coastal and its corporate predecessors since 1990. I do a fair amount of speaking around town and at statewide and national meetings, mostly on topics of geriatrics, dementia, advance care planning, palliative care, bioethics, and medicolegal affairs.

At SDCMS, I’ve been on the Bioethics Commission for over 10 years, on the Communications Committee for several years, have served as an Alternate Director on the BOD and a Delegate for the CMA HOD since 2014, and have been chair of the San Diego Coalition for Compassionate Care, for which I still serve on the Executive Committee. I've also contributed to a number of projects through Champions for Health, including the Alzheimer's workgroup that created the AlzDxRx app and a recent CME webinar on opioids.

I believe we have a long way to go in getting incentives aligned to optimize care (for example, taking care of ill nursing home residents in the nursing home instead of shipping them to the hospital), increasing awareness of palliative care and advance care planning, and helping our patients get the care they want (and not get the care they don’t want). I've testified before several California Assembly and Senate committees about pending legislation on behalf of organizations I represent. By participating in organized medicine and the political process, I hope I can help move things along — with the assistance of many other committed individuals within SDCMS and other involved organizations. Thanks for your support in allowing me to continue my service on this board.



At-Large Alternate Director #1 Mark W. Sornson, MD, PhD (3): It is a privilege to ask for your support to continue as an Alternate Board member of SDCMS. I have served SDCMS as President 2017–18, and am currently the Immediate Past-President. Previously I served five years as a representative on the Executive Committee, and as an At-Large Director for four years. I’ve been a CMA delegate or alternate delegate representing San Diego ten years. For three years I was a member of the Insurance and Physician Reimbursement Reference Committee for CMA. I'm now serving on the CALPAC Board, the Council on Medical Services, and am Chair of the CMA Subcommittee on Medicare. Through these experiences I have seen firsthand that when a medical society speaks with a unified voice and builds relationships, we can make a difference. When physicians come together, they are listened to. Rejoining the Board, I will continue to be a voice for reasoned discussion, representing all physicians. I've greatly enjoyed my service on behalf of SDCMS and CMA, and I am honored to ask for your vote to continue.


At-Large Alternate Director #2 Steven L-W Chen, MD, FACS, MBA* (3): It is an honor to be considered for re-election to a position on the SDCMS Board of Directors. As a surgical oncologist in independent practice with offices in Mira Mesa and Encinitas, I hold privileges in the Scripps, Sharp, and Palomar systems, allowing me to get a broad overview of county issues. Prior to my current practice, I have been an academic physician at UC Davis while serving as chief of breast surgery and an employed physician at City of Hope in Los Angeles.

Through these different places, I have developed experience in multiple practice modes and will ensure that our policies and positions take all modes of practice into account. My experience in organized medicine has spanned serving on the board of the Los Angeles County Medical Association and the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society, as well as nationally including currently serving as the immediate past President American Society of Breast Surgeons, as well as prior service on the Governing Councils of the Young Physicians Section of the AMA and the Young Fellows Association of the American College of Surgeons. I continue to serve on the legislative committees of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Breast Surgeons and thus stay up to date on the issues facing the professional practice of surgery and medicine, while also serving as a delegate in the AMA House of Delegates giving me a broader view of the needs of other specialties.

I fully believe that if we do not defend our profession and act as professionals, we will lose the right to be a profession. SDCMS and organized medicine are key links to ensuring that being a physician continues to mean being a professional. I ask for your support to allow me to help represent you and your concerns.


At-Large Alternate Director #4 Albert Ray, MD* (3): I humbly seek your support for reelection for a three-year term as At-Large Alternate Director #4. Having served as Past President of the SDCMS and as CMA Trustee, I feel I am well qualified to continue my service on the SDCMS Board of Directors. I am still engaged in the active practice of medicine in San Diego, and serve as President of Champions for Health as well as Chair of the California Delegation to the American Medical Association. Also, I continue to teach medical students the art and science of medicine based on my experience as a practicing physician for over 40 years as a Family Physician. Thanks for your continued support and friendship.





Young Physician Director Obiora (Obi) O. Chidi, MD, MPH (1): I am both honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve as YPS Director. My introduction to SDCMS was as a RFS alternate during the last HOD. HOD was simply an exciting and enriching experience that resonated with my background as a government concentrator at Harvard, my Master’s in Public Health and my desire as a developing new physician to help shape health care both for patients and physicians. I will be finishing my residency in Emergency Medicine at UCSD in June of 2019 and afterwards will be practicing in the greater community of San Diego. As physicians we serve as advocates for our patients, the larger public, fellow physicians and countless others. This reality is a special responsibility and often very challenging to balance. However, SDCMS has proven to be very diligent in tackling these issues and my desire is to continue this tradition.




AMA Alternate Delegate Mihir Y. Parikh, MD* (3): It is a privilege to ask for your support as I am now running for a three-year term as AMA Alternate Delegate. I have been on the SDCMS board for the past ten years, holding various titles along the way from young physician delegate to county president. I have participated in numerous local and state advocacy events, fundraisers and membership drives. I have had the amazing opportunity to work with numerous other physician leaders in San Diego and in California on projects from running for elected office to educating the public on health care policy. I am currently serving on the CALPAC Board as well. Thus, I think the next step would be to leverage all of this experience and represent San Diego physicians and the California delegation on a national level at the AMA. It is a time commitment to remain locally engaged as well nationally involved, but I am motivated and highly interested and I humbly ask for your support.

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