Local News

2022–23 SDCMS Board of Directors (BOD) Elections

March 31 — May 3, 2022

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





President–Elect Nicholas (dr. Nick) J. Yphantides, MD, MPH (1):

I am so grateful for your consideration, and support of my service to our Society as your next President–Elect. For twelve years, I was so blessed with the strategic and impactful opportunity to be the first ever Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the County of San Diego’s Health & Human Services Agency. During that time, I helped lead the regional COVID response, and provided leadership in response to the County’s Hepatitis–A Outbreak and the Migrant Caravan Crisis.

My role also included oversight over the regional Emergency Medical System, leadership of Medi–Cal’s Healthy San Diego and as a public advocate for LiveWell San Diego. Since the end of my role at the County in March of 2021, I have been supporting Palomar Health as a part time executive clinical consultant and serving as a volunteer board member for a variety of charity and service–based organizations.

My life’s passion is to be an advocate and catalyst to improve the health and well–being of our local population with a focus on those who need it the most. Prior to my service with the County, I served as the CMO of Neighborhood Health Care, was the publicly elected board chair of Palomar Health, and was the first CMO of the Council of Community Clinics.

As your President–Elect I look forward to supporting our soon to be President, Dr. Lase Ajayi, and advocating for our noble profession locally while working to strengthening our regional collective impact even further. Together we must continue to strive to improve the health and wellness of our patients and their families. My greatest life joy is as the fulltime single father for my two teenage daughters and being an engaged resident of my Escondido community.


Secretary Steve Sang–Hyun Koh, MD, MPH, MBA (1):

Since residency, I consider my involvement in organized medicine to be a highlight of my medical career. I am honored to be serving on SDCMS Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. During these unprecedented times, I have seen the strength and impact of physician leaders who work tirelessly to champion our patients’ needs and health. With San Diego Psychiatric Society and American Psychiatric Association, I have served in numerous leadership positions. From these experiences I have learned the value of united physician leadership in healthcare. It is critical for us to work together in a common house of medicine that supports our profession and patients.

As an academic psychiatrist, I have significant interest in health care delivery models, workforce development and public sector population health. I believe that these academic interests align well with goals and objectives of SDCMS. As physician leaders, we must continue to improve efficiencies in our care delivery, support enriching professional work environments, and champion quality healthcare for those underserved. It will be an honor and a privilege to serve as your SDCMS Secretary and I ask for your support.
Sincerely, Steve Koh


Treasurer Preeti S. Mehta, MD, MBBS (1):

I am honored to be considered for the post of Treasurer of San Diego County Medical Society. I have certainly learnt a lot over the last several years as a part of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee at SDCMS. I have come to know and work with several members closely and with their support, I feel confident and capable of running for this position.

I have held several leadership roles at Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, I am currently the Chair of medicine. I am also the Past President of San Diego Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. I plan to continue to work in the membership and physician wellness committees as a board member. Given my past experience, I feel prepared to take on the role of Treasurer and make a positive impact on the community with my service. Thank you.



East County Director #1 Catherine A. Uchino, MD (3):

I am so grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve as East County Director. As an Obstetrician Gynecologist I believe that advocacy is a deeply important aspect of patient care. I have been in San Diego since my residency at UCSD and currently practice with Kaiser Permanente. These different practice models have given me exposure to the diverse needs of our patients across the county.

My areas of special interest include equity in healthcare, women’s health, and engagement with the next generation of physicians. San Diego County Medical Society plays a vital role in amplifying the voices of our patients and physicians, and in shaping the policies that in turn shape our community. Thank you for your consideration.


Hillcrest Director #1 Kyle P. Edmonds, MD (3):

I am Director and Section Chief of Palliative Care at UC San Diego where I work as an inpatient palliative medicine consultant and serve in multiple leadership roles across the institution. I have been an active member of SDCMS since I moved to San Diego for fellowship in 2012 and the Hillcrest Director for 3 years. I’m honored to represent the neighborhood in which I work and nearby to where I live.

I serve on the Council of Ethical, Legal, & Judicial Affairs and the Council on Membership & Governance for the California Medical Association and am a CMA Delegate to American Medical Association where I also represent the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine in the Young Physician Section. For the AAHPM, I am the Chair of the Advocacy & Awareness Strategic Coordinating Committee, overseeing their health policy and government relations work for my field. I’ve been active in organized medicine since medical school and am honored to be nominated to continue as a Board member of SDCMS. I look forward to continuing to serve as one of your representatives.


Hillcrest Director #2 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 and have advocated for the practicing emergency physician in various capacities in our specialty societies. Ultimately, I decided to focus more on local San Diego and California issues and so, in addition to serving on the medical society’s Board of Directors, I have the privilege of being the District 1 Delegation Chair to the CMA. It has been a great experience 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. 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 numerous invited national and international speaking engagements. I have endeavored to use my experience to represent all of the physicians in San Diego with both SDCMS and CMA. My main clinical practice is in the emergency department, and hyperbaric chamber at the UC San Diego Hillcrest medical center. I am passionate about teaching, assisting the underserved in our community every shift I work, health care advocacy, and advancing clinical research in emergency medicine. If re–elected, I would consider it a privilege to continue to serve the San Diego County Medical Society and its members.


North County Director #2 Christopher M. Bergeron, MD, FACS (3):

I am honored to be considered again for a position on the SDCMS Board of Directors. I am a rhinologist / otolaryngologist practicing at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo and now in Oceanside. Prior to joining Scripps Clinic, I was a member of the full time faculty at UCSD. I am also the immediate past president of the San Diego Academy of Otolaryngology.

During my 14+ years in the San Diego area, I have seen the impacts of increased governmental regulation on physicians and patients alike. The challenges of the pandemic have also taken their toll on all of us. It is of vital importance that physicians play a major role in the shaping of current and future healthcare policy at the local, state, and national level. SDCMS has been, and will continue to be, a leader in California healthcare policy. I relish the chance to continue to contribute. Thank you for your consideration.



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





At–Large Director #5 Daniel D. Klaristenfeld, MD, FACS (3):

It is an honor to be nominated for the SDCMS Board of Directors. I have been a general and colorectal surgeon at Kaiser Permanente San Diego for the past 11 years. In that time, I have served on various professional staff committees and I am currently the President of the Professional Staff at our hospital. I am a voluntary faculty member at UCSD and at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences coordinating general surgery resident learning at our institution.

Nationally, I have served on committees for the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS). I have seen the profound impact that physicians can have when we are organized and coordinated. I am excited to meet and work with colleagues from around the region. Thank you so much for this opportunity.



Young Physician Director Emily A. Nagler, MD (1):

I am honored to be considered for the Young Physician Section Director position for SDCMS. I have been a member of SDCMS since 2016 when I was completing my internal medicine training, meeting other physicians at SDCMS networking events, and watching my mentors and friends involved in leadership within the group and the California Medical Association. These experiences made me realize how much of an impact we have on public health policy and how important it is for physicians to have these connections with each other.

Since that time I have been privileged to remain in SDCMS as I completed my Hematology and Oncology fellowship, now a practicing Hematologist and Oncologist in San Diego. I have had the honor of being a delegate for YPS in California Medical Association since 2021, and I am grateful for this opportunity to become increasingly aware of the importance of our voices in politics and public policy, especially at such a critical time in medicine. It would be a privilege to continue to serve my community and offer mentorship to future physicians starting their journey.



CMA District I Delegate Steven Li–Wen Chen, MD, FACS, MBA (3):

It is an honor to be considered for re–election to a position as a delegate for SDCMS. 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 being a 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 or health policy 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.


CMA District I Mark W. Sornson, MD, PhD (3):

It has been my privilege to have served as a Past–President of SDCMS, and multiple other roles within SDCMS and CMA, representing the physicians of San Diego. Taking part in the Presidency, Executive Committee, Board, Finance and Legislative Committees has reinforced my conviction that when we speak with a unified voice and build relationships, we can make a difference.

We have an upcoming serious issue of another attempt to eviscerate MICRA, and we need strong advocacy to highlight our physicians’ efforts against the continuing COVID–19 pandemic. Decisions made today on our key issues will greatly affect our futures. As a Board member 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 my service as a member of the Board.



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. It was an honor to serve as a Resident Delegate last year, and I’m very excited about the possibility of serving in that role again. I enjoyed learning more about health policy and giving 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.

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