Local News

2024–25 SDCMS Board of Directors (BOD) Elections

March 20 — April 30, 2024

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





President–Elect Preeti S. Mehta, MD, MBBS (1):

I am honored to be nominated for the position of President–Elect of the San Diego County Medical Society. I have certainly learned a lot being on the Board and Executive Committee of SDCMS as I have closely watched the commitment and passion of my predecessors. Our Medical Society continues to be a tremendous asset to the physician community as we represent our physicians and work towards making our medical community stronger.

As a Medical Society supported by your membership, we have several shared goals geared toward physician wellness, growing physician relations and giving back to the patients who look up to us and entrust us with their lives. I plan to promote and support all these causes to the best of my ability. Together, I hope to bring our physician community closer, giving us a unified voice as we represent ourselves and our patients. In my role, I plan to support our President Dr. Koh and the executive committee and have a successful year celebrating doctors, saving patient lives and enhancing physician careers as we continue to grow and build meaningful relationships within the physician community. I also plan to bring more awareness to the many challenges faced by our profession as well as support and shape the young minds that hope for a career in medicine.

I have been involved in several leadership positions throughout my career as an academic and private practice hospitalist. My experience on the Board of Champions for Health is rewarding as we reach and work for a very vulnerable patient population. The Physician Leadership Committee at Scripps continues to give me insight into the workings of a large organization which has shaped my personnel management and leadership skills. It has allowed me to bring my novel ideas to light and allow exchange of ideas and resources among organizations. Being on the Respiratory care board of California, I continue to learn the workings of a government organization and become a more effective leader.

As the President–Elect of the SDCMS, I plan to support us physicians in advocating for our resources and continue to keep us a strong unified group. Thank you for this nomination and I hope to continue to serve you to the best of my ability.


Secretary Maria T. Carriedo–Ceniceros, MD (1):

I am grateful to be considered for the post of Secretary of the San Diego County Medical Society. I have had the privilege to serve on SDCMS Board of Directors for the past eight years and have seen first–hand the valuable role advocacy plays in meeting the needs of our patients and our physicians. While serving on the Board, I have watched physicians from all specialties, modes of practices, and regions come together for the betterment of the diverse communities and patients of San Diego County.

During the past two years serving on the Executive Committee, I have gained further knowledge about the work and responsibilities of SDCMS in ensuring the voices of our patients and physicians are heard and honored. Through my various leadership roles, I have continued to appreciate the value of collaboration and unity amongst our fellow colleagues.

I have been the VP and Chief Medical Officer for San Ysidro Health Center since 2012. Serving the underserved and addressing health disparities has been my passion throughout my career. Ensuring continued access for our communities has made workforce development an additional priority and led to my work in graduate medical education.

It will be an honor and a privilege to serve as your SDCMS Secretary and I ask for your continued trust and support. Thank you.


Treasurer Karrar H. Ali, DO, MPH (1):

It is a privilege and honor to be a candidate for Treasurer. As part of the Executive Committee for San Diego County Medical Society, my goal is to promote our physicians to thrive.

I am an emergency room physician and have been in practice for 18 years. Educated and trained in Chicago, I moved to San Diego in 2007 and started working at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. I am a senior partner with Vituity, a multi–specialty, national medical group that staffs the Sharp Chula Vista Emergency Department. In my career, I have been fortunate to have been involved with both my ED group and Sharp Healthcare. Recently, I completed a 2–year term with the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Executive Committee. Additionally, I am on faculty with the University of Rochester Mindfulness in Medicine program, leading sessions on mindfulness and resiliency to fellow physicians.

I have been involved with the San Diego County Medical Society Board of Directors for over a decade. The advocacy we do at the county and state level and the education we provide throughout the county has benefitted physicians in all specialties. SDCMS and CMA have been instrumental in advocating for physicians for MICRA, during the pandemic, and when there were threats to Medi–Cal and access to care. My hope is to continue to advocate for my colleagues throughout the county so that we may be able to take care of our patients and help them navigate through our healthcare system.

On a personal level, I live with my wife, Shahrzad Nooravi, a business psychologist and principal of Strategy Meets Performance who coaches and trains executives, and my nephew, a UCSD student who aspires to become a physician. Thank you for your support.



East County Director #2 Rachel Buehler Van Hollebeke, MD (3):

I am honored to be considered for the San Diego County Medical Society East County Director position. I was born and raised in San Diego and care deeply about our community. I returned home for medical school at UCSD and then completed my Family Medicine Residency at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista.

During residency, I had the honor of serving as a Resident Delegate and learned so much from that process. I am now working for San Ysidro Health in Alpine, and I hope to continue my involvement with SDCMS in the East County Director position.

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 so much for considering me for this role.


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

It is a privilege to serve as Kearny Mesa Director #1 and provide support for our entire San Diego community, and specifically our pediatric population. As a Pediatric Otolaryngologist in San Diego for more than 30 years, I am well acquainted with collaboration between our pediatric practices and the challenges of providing access to specialty pediatric services for the entire spectrum of practice types, ranging from individual practices to regional healthcare systems.

My career includes local leadership positions as the Associate Chief Medical Officer for Rady Children’s Hospital and a past President for the Children’s Specialty Care Coalition, a statewide advocacy organization representing most of the pediatric specialists in California with the mission of providing access to pediatric care for all children in our state. I hope to continue as Kearny Mesa Director #1 and support the healthcare needs of our population through advocacy and education.


La Jolla Director #1 Toluwalaşé [Laşé] A. Ajayi, MD (3):

I have had the honor of serving on the SDCMS Board of Directors for the past ten years and on the SDCMS Executive Committee for the past seven 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 Director of La Jolla.

I have served as an SDCMS At–Large Director prior to joining the Executive Committee in 2017 where I served as Treasurer from 2018–2019 and Secretary during our exciting 2019–2020, President–Elect from 2020–2021 and becoming our post–COVID President from 2021–2022. 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 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. 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 one of the La Jolla Directors.
Sincerely, Toluwalaşé [Laşé] Ajayi


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

I would like to continue to represent my colleagues as the North County Geographic Director for San Diego County Medical Society. I am a Reproductive Endocrinologist/Infertility Specialist and founded Fertility Specialists Medical Group in 2000.

Since my first term, I have served on the State CALPAC (our CMA fundraising arm) as well as on the SDCMS Legislative Committee where we interview local political candidates to assess their alignment with physicians’ concerns. 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. SDCMS also provides a space for physicians to collaborate on issues central to continued excellence in patient care as well as our own wellness. Our voices are critical in today’s changing medical landscape where the physician–patient relationship is being influenced by many other stakeholders. It has been a privilege to serve on the SDCMS Board and I hope to continue to do so.


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

Since 2012, I have been a Physician Anesthesiologist, leader, and patient advocate in San Diego County. While on staff at Tri–City Medical Center, I served as Chairperson of the Anesthesiology Department, Blood Utilization Committee Chairperson, and am currently serving as Vice Chair of the Tri–City Hospital District (TCHD) Board of Directors. I am passionate about patient care and have utilized my administrative positions to advocate for patient safety and wellness.

During my tenure as a Director on the TCHD BOD, I organized and implemented the in–house COVID vaccine clinic, as well as assisted in establishing community vaccine clinics that impacted countless lives. As a member of the Board, I oversaw the Psychiatric inpatient facility project in partnership with the county, the Emergency Room remodel project, and I played an integral role in exploring a partnership with another hospital system that will ensure the sustainability of TCMC for generations to come.

I am heavily involved with philanthropic work locally and abroad. I spend my spare time volunteering for a local animal rescue group called The Rescued Dog and am an active foster and fundraiser for animals in need. I also volunteer and serve on the fundraising committee with Mercy Outreach Surgical Team and have participated in multiple pediatric surgical missions to various towns in Mexico. I have been heavily involved in fundraising for Tri–City Hospital, punctuated by serving as Chair of the Tri–City Hospital Foundation Gala in 2021 when Seal was our entertainment, and participating in the Fashion that Heals fundraisers raising money for life–saving equipment.

I was born and raised in San Diego to Lebanese immigrants. Having undergone a spine fusion for Scoliosis as a teenager, I developed an acute appreciation of medicine and caregivers at an early age and committed to medicine as my vocation of choice before entering Rancho Bernardo High School. I attended the University of California, San Diego as a premed major. During my time at UCSD, I volunteered in the campus student clinic, served as secretary of Alpha Epsilon Delta Medical Fraternity chapter I helped establish and did clinical research on protein C deficiencies at The Scripps Research Institute. I went on to attend medical school at New York Medical College where I fell in love with the practice of Anesthesia. I completed my Anesthesiology training in Brooklyn, NY at Maimonides Medical Center and moved back to my hometown of San Diego to be closer to my family.


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

It is an honor to have had the opportunity and privilege to serve on the SDCMS Board for the past 6 years.

It has been a privilege to work with a distinct, diverse group of physicians who advocate for patient care, physician wellness, and healthcare advocacy. Each of us has the unique opportunity to impact the lives of those in need.

Having served in an underserved community for over 25 years, what we do is essential in providing care for those most in need. I am honored and grateful to serve with this distinguished group of physicians to effect change in our communities.

Thank you for this opportunity.



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

I have been a member of SDCMS for over 15 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 Chief Pediatric Officer for the County of San Diego, Health & Human Services Agency in 2020. Just as I enjoyed caring and advocating for the vulnerable population that VCC serves, my current role allows me to champion the health needs for children and youth, but 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. I have been able to focus my energies on the pediatric population in my county role, serving as a clinical liaison for the numerous programs that county has that serve children and youth. I also currently sit on the Medi–Cal Children’s Health Advisory Panel for the state and am actively involved in the American Academy of Pediatrics local chapter.

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, palliative care physician and bioethicist, 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 President of the National POLST Collaborative, a past chair of the Compassionate Care Coalition of California (the people who brought POLST to California), and past President (2021–22) 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 (California Association of Long Term Care Medicine); I also currently serve on the government relations committee of CAHF (California Association of Health Facilities). I am also Vice President of National POLST.

I provide long–term care consulting and medico legal services, I'm Chief Medical Officer for two nursing home service organizations, and I’m Medical Director of two North County skilled nursing facilities (Vista View Post Acute and Carlsbad by the Sea Care Center). 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 medico legal affairs.

At CMA, I was recently appointed to chair the Council on Ethical, Legal and Judicial Affairs (CELJA), of which I was previously a member. At SDCMS, I’ve been on the Bioethics Commission for over 10 years, on the Communications Committee for several years, have served on the BOD for quite a few years, been a Delegate for the CMA HOD since 2014, and have been Chair of the San Diego Coalition for Compassionate Care. 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 Emily A. Nagler, MD (1):

I have been honored to serve as the Young Physician Section Director position for SDCMS since 2022. As I have grown in my role professionally, I have recognized how important connections between physicians are, especially those new in their careers.

Being early in one’s career is a time of excitement and growth but also uncertainty, doubt, and an ongoing struggle to maintain a work life balance. To have physicians in a similar situation, offering guidance and friendship in this time, is critical to ameliorate the feelings of imposter syndrome and self–doubt. Having mentors in SDCMS has inspired me to provide support to others early in their career and provide advice based on my own failures and successes.

I recommend joining SDCMS to all of my colleagues early in their career as this organization has not only been a major support network, but also provides a way for us to see our impact beyond the clinic. I would be privileged to be your YPS Director and continue to promote SDCMS during such a critical time in our careers.



AMA District I Delegate Mihir Y. Parikh, MD (3):

I am reaching out to respectfully request your continued support and vote as I run for a three–year term as AMA Delegate for San Diego.

Since joining the SDCMS Board in 2007, I have served in various capacities, from Young Physician Delegate to President of the San Diego County Medical Society. My involvement has extended to numerous advocacy efforts, fundraisers, and membership drives at both local and state levels. Through these experiences, I have had the privilege of collaborating with a diverse group of physician leaders across San Diego, California, and now nationally, on initiatives ranging from electoral campaigns to public education on healthcare policy.

This journey has reinforced my belief in the value of representing San Diego physicians and the California delegation at the AMA. It is a role I find not only beneficial but also deeply rewarding and fulfilling professionally. Having completed a three–year term as an AMA Alternate Delegate, I currently serve as the Vice Chair for the PAC WEST ‘hospitality committee,’ a role that has enabled me to support regional physicians aspiring to leadership positions within the AMA and connect with many other AMA members across the country. This endeavor creates the presence needed to make an impact as a San Diego AMA Delegate.

Balancing local engagement with national involvement requires time commitment. Yet, my enthusiasm, keen interest, and passion for this work remain undiminished. I value our longstanding relationship and would be honored to receive your continued support. Thank you.



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 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.

Even though the percentage of physicians in independent practices has been decreasing over the years, our voices are still viewed as important by the CMA and the SDCMS, and together with other physicians in large group or academic settings, we can accomplish more when we speak with a united voice about the changes in healthcare that affect all of us. If chosen to serve on the Board again, my role will be 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, MPH, MSHA (3):

I am privileged to be considered as a candidate for the Board of SDCMS in 2024. I recently retired in September 2023. I maintain active licensure and membership in San Diego County Medical Society and am currently serving as one of three co–chairs of the SD Retired Physicians Society.

I have been a member of the SDCMS Board since 2014. In the distant past, I have served on CMA’s Council on Legislation and Scientific Advisory Council on Allergy & Immunology. I have been active in the AMA for 35 years. Since 1995, I have served mainly in medical group practice leadership within the FQHC community medicine setting and, just prior to retiring, spent the most recent four years as CMO of Community Health Group.

Over the years, it’s been a privilege to actively support, through SDCMS and CMA, successful policies and measures that have supported medical practice in California. Issues such as stabilizing medical malpractice, addressing economic pressures of reimbursement, shaping health care reform, addressing implications of a single payer health care system of financing, designing the pandemic response and preparedness, addressing the broader adoption of telehealth and the corporatization of medicine are all just a few examples of issues that have presented themselves to us. It has been through SDCMS and the CMA that we have been able help shape the medical practice experience in ways that improve the resilience and vitality of medical practice in California.

Looking forward, there are important issues that deserve our attention; these include the influence of climate change on health, the management of technology in medical practice, protections of privacy and security in remote monitoring, the management of misinformation as we enter the era of artificial/augmented intelligence and the opportunities to ensure that our patients are able to become more engaged in their care through informed decision making. As a member of SDCMS, it would be my privilege to serve our community and assure that we, as physicians, may continue to proactively serve as architects of systems changes that sustainably meet the needs of our patients and measurably advance health equity.
Respectfully Submitted, Patrick Tellez, MD, MPH, MSHA

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