San Diego County Medical Society Foundation Rebrands to 'Champions for Health'

Thursday, April 21, 2016 General News J E 4
Organization Unveils New Name and Logo at Annual Health Heroes Awards Ceremony

SAN DIEGO, April 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The San Diego County Medical Society Foundation (SDCMS Foundation) announced its rebranding, changing the organization's name to 'Champions for Health.' The organization unveiled the new name and logo at the Health Heroes Award ceremony, which took place after its Annual Aces for Health Golf and Tennis tournament on April 18, at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club.

SDCMS Foundation was founded in 2004 by the leadership of the San Diego County Medical Society in an effort to address the unanswered healthcare needs of low-income and uninsured San Diego County residents. Since inception, the Foundation garnered a great deal of support and provided a coordinated vehicle for physician engagement and volunteerism.

Since the 2008 implementation of its flagship program Project Access San Diego, the nonprofit organization has served and changed the lives of 4,508 patients, saving 26 lives, facilitated 10,400 specialty medical appointments, and 1,092 surgeries and procedures. More than 600 physicians, hospitals and surgery centers, community partners and other ancillary provider partners have contributed over $10.8 million in pro bono care.

The organization embarked on the rebrand in late 2015, in an effort to better highlight physicians' role in community health. The physicians' involvement is critical to Champions for Health's future as the organization continues to evolve and implement new programs and services, such as preventive care.

"Throughout the development of the organization and even more today, I reiterate that the organization was created by physicians to facilitate what we love to do most—care for patients," said James T. Hay, MD, who served as the first president of the Board of Directors of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, and led efforts to launch Project Access San Diego.  

"Our goal is to create the healthiest community in the nation," added Will Tseng, MD, Board member of Champions for Health and President of SDCMS. "As the community builds on the momentum of health, not just healthcare, Champions for Health is ready to pursue its mission with passion."

"Champions for Health not only exemplifies all our partners, but will also help the organization be more recognizable in the general community," said Barbara Mandel, Executive Director at SDCMS Foundation. "We're looking forward to having a name that highlights our health heroes and means more in the public eye."

The April 18 evening event recognized individuals and agencies that bring the nonprofit's mission to life. Health Heroes honorees included the Legacy Award to the "Saturday Surgery Day" Team at Kaiser Permanente (represented by Daniel "Stony" Anderson, MD; Paul Bernstein, MD; Sandra Freiwald, MD; and Shreya Sasaki, MPH), who spearheaded the launch of SDCMS Foundation's signature surgery event providing pro bono specialty care to medically underserved San Diego residents.

Additional honorees included Hernan Goldsztein, MD, Moses Salgado, MD, and James Grisolia, MD, who volunteer to see an extraordinary number of Project Access patients in their offices pro bono; Stephanie Rosas, a volunteer medical interpreter living in Ramona who drives across the county to ensure patients understand their medical care; Bob DeSimone, Champions for Health board member who is the driving force behind the nonprofit's fundraising events, and The Doctors Company, the agency's Corporate Partner of the Year.

About Champions for Health  Founded by the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) in 2005 as the SDCMS Foundation, the organization addresses unmet healthcare needs of low-income San Diego County residents who are uninsured or underinsured. Champions for Health focuses on increasing healthcare access, improving health education and prevention, and supporting the future of medicine. Through its flagship program, Project Access San Diego, the organization has assisted over 4,508 patients to access specialty healthcare services. Healthcare partners, including over 625 specialty medical physicians, 25 hospitals and surgery centers, and numerous imaging, laboratory and ancillary providers, have provided patients with more than $10.8 million in donated healthcare services. For more information about Champions for Health please visit


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SOURCE Champions for Health



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