The first annual Champions Soirée took place in the Japanese Friendship Garden on June 30th, 2019 to benefit Project Access San Diego. Congratulations to our 150 guests and sponsors for helping us raise $51,000!  This generosity supports patient enabling services such as intensive care management, medical interpretation, transportation to and from medical appointments, medicine, and diagnostic tests.

Guests enjoyed an unforgettable evening with friends, amazing food, captivating entertainment, exciting silent auction, and a special awards presentation. Hummingbirds was the theme for the Soirée. In Native American culture, hummingbirds are seen as healers and bringers of love, good luck and joy.  Our hummingbird honorees were celebrated for their generous donation of their time, talent and treasure.

The Project Access Medical Interpreter of the Year honoree was Dr. Priya Kalyan-Masih. She donated 200+ hours as a medical interpreter during the past year. Her passion for medicine and helping patients understand their medical care is very evident, and patients leave appointments feeling confident in their understanding of their diagnoses and treatment options.

The Project Access Facility of the Year honoree was North Coast Surgery Center. Sharon Gray, CEO accepted the award on behalf of her facility. This Team’s values of clinical quality, integrity, service excellence, teamwork, accountability and continuous improvement exemplifies their commitment to Project Access patients. 

The Civic Health Leader of the Year honoree was Nick Macchione, San Diego County’s Director of the Health and Human Services Agency. As the architect and strategist of “Live Well San Diego,” he champions a large-scale, social movement for population wellness. He has supported the Champions for Health (CFH) mission at every turn in his career with the County.  Nick Macchione leads with passion and purpose for public good.

The Project Access Doctor of the Year honoree was Dr. Robert Goldklang. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality consults and diagnostic procedures to our patients, along with comforting care and expertise. When the CFH Board reached out to their physician friends for assistance in decreasing our GI waitlist, Dr Goldklang engaged his fellow GI practitioners, resulting in his practice providing even more consultations and colonoscopies to our patients.

The Project Access Partner of the Year honoree was Spine & Sport. Nina Izadi, Director of Marketing, and Sharon Scherer, Director of Integration, accepted the award on behalf of their organization.  Spine & Sport has been a partner since 2011, donating 60 physical therapy courses. Patients gain the therapy needed to transition from surgery or injury to being once again strong and productive San Diegans.

Our first ever Trailblazer Award honoree was Dr. Jim Schultz, current president of the San Diego County Medical Society, and Medical Director for Project Access since its inception in 2008.  Dr Schultz engaged specialty healthcare physicians, hospitals and surgery centers to mobilize a network of volunteers so that a safety net would be possible.

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