Local News

2021–22 SDCMS Board of Directors (BOD) Elections

April 1 — May 4, 2021

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





President–Elect Toluwalase (Lase) A. Ajayi, MD (1):

I have had the honor of serving on the SDCMS Board of Directors for the past seven years and on the SDCMS Executive Committee for the past four 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 President–Elect of SDCMS. I served as an SDCMS At–Large Director for four years, and joined the Executive Committee in 2017 where I served as Treasurer from 2018–2019 and Secretary during our exciting 2019–2020. I have been very active bringing the voice of the community physician and the patients we serve to the California Medical Association (CMA). Through my active involvement with SDCMS, I have represented San Diego Physicians at CMA on the Council of Legislation, the Ethnic Minority Section, the Young Physician Section and 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. Additionally it has been an honor to serve on the Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee as we as a larger medical society grapple with systemic racism and discrimination within our healthcare system.

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 election to the SDCMS Board of Directors as its President–Elect.
Sincerely, Toluwalase (Lase) Ajayi


Secretary Nicholas (dr. Nick) J. Yphantides, MD, MPH (1):





Treasurer Heidi M. Meyer, MD (1):

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 Permanente Medical Group.



Kearny Mesa Director #1 Anthony E. Magit, MD, MPH* (3):

I appreciate the opportunity to continue my service on the SDCMS Board of Directors. 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, the Prop 56 Physician Loan Repayment Advisory Council and serve as the Chairperson for the California Telehealth Policy Education Committee. Advocating for the health of all Californians has been a part of my career for more than 25 years while practicing pediatric otolaryngology in San Diego.




La Jolla Director #3 Sonia L. Ramamoorthy, MD (3):

It is an honor to be nominated to serve as the La Jolla Geographic Director. I am a colorectal surgeon who has practiced at UCSD since 2004. I have served on our hospital's Board of Governers and our Clinical Compensation committee. Nationally, I am on the board of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS). I am a division chief who works in both the inpatient and ambulatory environment.

I am passionate about quality, teaching and wellness. I have seen the impact that our profession can have on the wellbeing of our community and it is powerful. I am eager to work with colleagues in SDCMS throughout San Diego to continue to positively impact our profession and the public we serve. Thank you for your consideration.


North County Director #1 Arlene J. Morales, MD (3):

I am honored to be nominated as North County Geographic Director for the San Diego County Medical Society. I am a Reproductive Endocrinologist/Infertility Specialist and founded Fertility Specialists Medical Group in 2000. I have been involved with SDCMS since 2000 in several long–term capacities ranging from Bioethics to Physician Wellness Committees as well as several leadership positions throughout my career in both academics and hospital systems.

SDCMS provides a vital forum/tool for physician voices to be heard by the public and government bodies both locally and statewide. These voices are critical in today’s changing medical landscape where the physician–patient relationship is being influenced by many other stakeholders. SDCMS’ focus on physician wellness magnifies our commitment to our patient’s health. Thank you for this nomination and I hope to serve on the SDCMS board to represent my fellow physicians.


North County Director #3 Nina Chaya, MD (3):

I am humbled by my nomination to serve as one of the North County Geographic Directors. It is an honor to serve our community as not only a physician but a vocal patient advocate as well. As a native San Diegan and the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, I was fortunate to have access to a public school education and world–class public school educators that paved the way for my success at becoming a Physician Anesthesiologist.

The decision to pursue medicine was borne out of my desire to serve and care for others. I am a regular volunteer with the Mercy Outreach Surgical Team (MOST) which travels to Mexico to provide pediatric surgery to underserved communities and I also enjoy helping our four–legged friends by fostering/rescuing shelter pets.

During the most recent US election I ran for and was elected to the Tri–City Healthcare District Board of Directors and I intend to utilize that platform to focus on community outreach. I am grateful for the support of the SDCMS BOD during my candidacy for TCHD BOD and am honored to have the opportunity to serve alongside other physician leaders within our San Diego Community.


South Bay Director #1 Paul J. Manos, DO (3):





South Bay Director #2 Maria T. Carriedo-Ceniceros, MD* (3):

I am a family physician from San Ysidro Health Center, a Federally Qualified Community Health Center serving over 100,000 of the culturally diverse population in the South Bay, East County, and Southeast San Diego. I have been the VP and Chief Medical Officer for San Ysidro Health Center since 2012.

My goals at SDCMS include not only providing the perspective of a physician working in South County with an underserved and culturally diverse population, but in addition, working together with physicians from throughout the county to build a healthier community. I also look forward to working with a team of physicians to address the important issues of health equity, physician workforce shortage, and payment reform.

Throughout my years at San Ysidro Health Center, I have actively been involved with training of students and residents and take great pride in helping in the training of our future physicians. I have been a board member and Past President of the San Diego Academy of Family Physicians and enjoyed collaborating with physicians from various modes of practice. It has been an honor to have a seat on the board of SDCMS so that I may serve on behalf of all physicians. I ask for your support.



At–Large Director #2 Kelly C. Motadel, MD, MPH (3):

I have been a member of the SDCMS for over 10 years. Born and raised in San Diego County, I knew from a young age that I wanted to practice medicine in this community. I was a pediatrician and the Chief Medical Officer of Vista Community Clinic and on staff at Tri City Medical Center for over 15 years before becoming the Child Health Officer for the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency. Just as I enjoyed caring and advocating for the vulnerable population that VCC serves, my new role allows me to champion the health needs for children now throughout the county.

Over the last few years, I have become increasingly engaged in fighting for access to quality care for all patients and fair treatment of those who care for them. Beyond my clinical and administrative duties at VCC, I was a founding member of Time’s Up Healthcare, a national organization founded to fight for a safe, fair and dignified work place for women of all kinds. I was recently appointed to the Medi–Cal Children’s Health Advisory Panel for the state.

I view myself as an activist in striving for health care for all and I would be honored to serve as an At–Large Director on the SDCMS Board of Directors. Only in combining efforts with other like–minded physicians can we make the changes needed to care for our patients the way we know best.


At–Large Director #7 Karl E. Steinberg, MD, FAAFP* (3):

I’m a family physician, geriatrician, and palliative care 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 incoming president of AMDA — The Society for Post–Acute and Long–Term Care Medicine, a national organization with AMA delegates (of which I am one) representing nursing home physicians and medical directors. I'm a past president of their state chapter, 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 am also vice president of National POLST.

I provide long–term care consulting and medicolegal services, I'm Chief Medical Officer for two small California nursing home chains, 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 have represented SDCMS on the Prescription Drug Task Force and some county COVID workgroups.

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.



Young Physician Director Brian J. Rebolledo, MD* (1):

This past year there have been significant challenges experienced because of COVID. However, I am proud to be a part of the physician leaders in SDCMS that have helped guide our community through such a rough period. I currently work as an Orthopaedic Sports Surgeon at Scripps Clinic in Torrey Pines, and participate within the administration for Scripps Clinic Ambulatory Surgery Centers. My participation as YPS Director and SDCMS Board Member has been a rewarding experience to be a part of this dynamic group.






Resident Director Nicole L. Herrick, MD* (1):

It is a privilege to ask for your support to continue as the Resident Director for the San Diego County Medical Society Board of Directors. I am currently a third year combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics resident at UC San Diego, planning to pursue a career in adult congenital cardiology.

I became involved in health policy and organized medicine as a first year medical student at UCSD in Dr. Hertzka’s Politics in Medicine course and later worked closely with the CMA and Assemblymember Gonzalez to draft, and subsequently pass, the Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training Act of 2017 (AB 1221 – Gonzalez). It was a privilege to serve as the CMA District 1 Resident Delegate in the 2018–2019 session and now as the Resident Director on the San Diego County Medical Society Board of Directors for the last 2 years.

I came down to San Diego in 2008 as an undergraduate and hope to stay in our wonderful city through fellowship and beyond. During my time in Sacramento I experienced first–hand the strong influence organized medicine can have on health policy and am excited to continue to be a part of the positive change we are all working towards. I would be honored to continue serving our community as the resident representation on the SDCMS Board of Directors.



AMA District I 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 Delegate. I have been on the SDCMS board, 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, in California and now in the US 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 have found leveraging this cumulative experience at the AMA level and representing the San Diego physicians and the California delegation on a national level is not only helpful but worthwhile and professionally satisfying. I have been the Alternate AMA Delegate for the past 3 years and I am now the Vice Chair for our "Hospitality Committee" which is a great way to show the strength of our CA and PAC West delegations and promote regional doctors who are running for AMA offices. It is a time commitment to remain locally engaged as well nationally involved, but I remain motivated and highly interested and most importantly passionate. I humbly ask for your continued support and appreciate the long–term relationship. Thank you.



CMA District I Delegate Karrar H. Ali, DO, MPH* (3):

I am honored to run for the board of the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) again. As an emergency physician at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center and a partner with Vituity, I am a physician who seeks to improve medicine at micro and macro levels for our patients, healthcare providers, administrators, and communities. I have worked at several hospitals in Southern California, including San Diego, Los Angeles, Fresno, and Riverside, and so I realize the dynamics of our healthcare in California. Most recently, I am one of the instructors of the Vituity resiliency program where I help teach physicians on resiliency and burnout, a major initiative of CMA.

I have been a member of SDCMS for 13 years and it has been a distinct pleasure to serve on the board over the last 10 years. I have also enjoyed serving as a delegate and participant in CMA’s annual legislative meetings. Despite the not–always–positive trends in the practice of medicine, I believe our best chance to effect desired changes for our profession is to unite on common ground and to advocate through these avenues. I will endeavor to effectively represent all my physician colleagues as a delegate. I thank you for your continued support.


CMA District I Delegate Franklin M. Martin, MD, FACS* (3):

I am a general surgeon practicing in North County Inland for the past 28 years and recently transitioned to an administrative medicine position in Utilization Review for Palomar Health in North County. I have been a member of SDCMS and CMA during that time and would like to give back by serving as a Delegate.

My leadership experience includes a CMA Large Group Delegate for two years, OMSS Delegate from Palomar Medical Center, Chief of Staff at Palomar Medical Center, Past COS for Pomerado Hospital and presently serving as a member of the BOD of SCMG for 10 years. I trained at Georgetown University Medical School, residency at Bethesda Naval Hospital, served until 1992 in the Navy and Marines and have been in private practice ever since. SDCMS and organized medicine as a whole are our best advocates for our profession and our freedom to take care of our patients to the best of our ability.


CMA District I Delegate James H. Schultz, MD, MBA, FAAFP, FAWM, DiMM (3):

Thank you for considering me for the District 1 candidate position. I have been on our Board for a number of years and was the first recent Community Health Center representative selected for the SDCMS Board. I am your Immediate Past President and have helped coordinate the initial responses to the latest attack on MICRA, among other things, and was ‘at the helm’ when COVID hit.

I have helped initiate, produce, and re–initiate COVID Town Halls for San Diego physicians in conjunction with Dr. Yang, Paul Hegyi and the folks for the County, and have been one of the behind–the–scenes advisors and sounding boards for County medical personnel during the COVID crisis. I also helped coordinate some cross–border support for our colleagues in Tijuana and Mexicali, with UCSD and Sharp and Scripps physicians, nurses and support staff doing much of the follow up work. I am proud to have been a North County representative up to this point and hope to continue to represent the SDCMS well as a District 1 Delegate as we seek to maintain and increase SDCMS' relevance and importance in the lives of physicians in all practice modes.


CMA District I Delegate Wynnshang (Wayne) C. Sun, MD* (3):

I am a general internist in private practice on the campus of Scripps La Jolla and have served on the Board of Directors of the San Diego County Medical Society for the past several years. While on the Board, I’ve seen the importance of all physicians speaking with one voice to work towards what is best for San Diego physicians and their patients.

Whether physicians practice individually, as part of a large group, or in an academic setting, much more can be accomplished when we have a united voice because there are changes in healthcare that affect all of us. If chosen to serve on the Board again, I see my role as one in educating private practice physicians about the importance of being part of organized medicine, as well as helping to make SDCMS an organization that all physicians want to join.


CMA District I Delegate Patrick A. Tellez, MD, MHSA, MPH (3):

I am privileged to be considered as a candidate for the Board of SDCMS in 2021. While in practice in Allergy & Immunology in Sacramento between 1984–1995, I was a member of the CMA’s Council on Legislation (1988–1995), Scientific Advisory Council on Allergy & Immunology (1989–1992) and was active within the California Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (President, 1991–92).

Since 1995, I have served in various roles of medical leadership within multi–specialty group practice in both FFS and full capitation settings. Most recently, after thirteen years dedicated to community medicine (with the last seven as CMO of North County Health Services now True Care), I am currently serving in the role of CMO of Community Health Group, a MediCal managed care health plan serving 280,000 who call San Diego home.

Today, we face many challenges in health care; none the least of which relate to assuring health equity and the design of a system that will be sustainable over the long term. As physicians, we have great opportunities to serve as the architects of change. My passion is to advocate that the ethics of “First do no harm”; Beneficence — seeking to optimize health; Autonomy — providing for informed decision making; and Justice — assuring that access to acceptable standards of care are equitable for all — that these attributes, together, serve as our “true north” as we design and implement sustainable improvements to our health care system.



CMA Resident and Fellow Delegate Rachel B. Van Hollebeke, MD (1):

I was born and raised in San Diego and returned home for medical school at UCSD. I am currently completing my Family Medicine residency at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista. I'm very excited about the Resident Delegate position as a way to learn more about health policy and give back to the San Diego community that I care so deeply about. As a former member of the US Women’s National Soccer Team and two–time Olympic gold medalist, I hope I can share my passion for healthy living and utilize the leadership skills I have developed in both my soccer and medical careers. Thank you for considering me for this role.

Comments are closed.