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2023 HCC Finest Awards

May 12, 2023

The Carlsbad Windmill

11:30 am - 2:30 pm

Afternoon Agenda

11:30am | Networking & Registration

12:00pm | Luncheon & Awards Presentation

Letter from Our Co-Presidents

A Letter from Our Co-Presidents:             James Chisum and Jody Schneider

Stepping in to fill the shoes and unparalleled achievements of our past president Christina Campo was a daunting endeavor. However, we recognized that the strength of the individuals who comprise our incredible Board of Directors would help position us for success moving forward and we all jumped right in! We’d like to thank Christina for her years of service and commitment to the Health Care Communicators of Southern California (HCCSC).

Our Board is fully committed to nurturing and growing HCCSC. We are all passionate about our mission of helping communicators and marketers fine-tune their professional skills and stay current with the ever-changing challenges of working in health care, health IT, life sciences, and other related fields.

The Finest Awards presents the perfect opportunity for us to advance communications in health care by convening representatives from health care organizations throughout Southern California to show off their talents and unique approaches to successful campaigns. Ranging from public relations and advertising, to community relations and marketing analytics, the Finest Awards showcases and recognizes the best of the best in health care communications, and we are proud to be a part of this.

We’d like to heartily congratulate today’s winners, and importantly, thank this year’s sponsors for their support of our organization, without whom we would not be where we are today.

If you are not yet a member, we strongly encourage you to consider joining. Our membership team has already scheduled a series of interesting and informative events designed to promote networking, education, and fun for everyone involved.

Thank you so much for your support and we hope you enjoy this year’s Finest Awards!

2023 Board of Directors

Co-Presidents - James Chisum & Jody Schneider

Vice President, Communications Liaison - Susan Malecha

Treasurer - Arika Daniels

Secretary - Sandra De La Torre

Website Director - Callie Huza

Finest Award Chair - Kirk McDonald

Nonprofit Incorporation & SHSMD Affil. Director - Andrew Werts

Membership Co-Chairs - Tara Kyman & Cassie Saunders

Scholarship Chair -  Poolak Forutanpour

Past President & Advisor - Christina Campo

2022 Scholarship Winners

Nneoma Meremikwu

Nneoma Meremikwu, 2022 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner is currently a freshman at the University of California, San Diego where she majors in Human Biology. She plans to complete medical school and pursue a career as a physician after receiving her bachelor's degree. However, her career goal is to contribute to closing the racial gap the medical field has been facing, notably among black physicians.  She also has aspirations to provide affordable healthcare to marginalized communities and form a nonprofit STEM organization that black and brown students have access to. 

Matthew Campos

Matthew Campos, 2022 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner is a current senior at Azusa Pacific University studying Psychology with minors in Sociology and Spanish. In high school, Matthew began volunteering at Noah Homes, a residential community for adults with developmental disabilities and became passionate about sitting with the stories of those living with any form of disability or chronic condition. As he transitioned into college, he sought ways to meet the social and emotional needs of families navigating chronic disease in his local community. This led him to intern with Alzheimer’s San Diego throughout the pandemic, serving as a virtual companion to families navigating Alzheimer’s disease. Through Zoom, traveling abroad to participate in a medical service trip in Guatemala, or conducting public health research at Brown University, Matthew’s pursuit of healthcare never loses sight of the individual and their story. As he embarks on a career in public health, he is motivated by the fact that behind every statistic is a story, a family member, and a fighter. After graduating in the spring, Matthew plans to matriculate into a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) program. He's committed to ensuring access to healthy aging is equitable across diverse communities and desires to serve families living with chronic conditions through research and practice.

Harshil Shah

Harshil Shah, 2022 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner is a recent graduate of Valencia High School and is now studying Biomedical Sciences at the University of South Florida. He is deeply passionate about serving the community and in the future aims to aid communities that are medically underserved. During high school, he served as a volunteer at a local hospital and medical nonprofit organizations like Operation Smile. He also helped serve his community by volunteering as a basketball coach and Science Olympiad mentor at his local middle school. Harshil hopes to continue his efforts of serving others by becoming a physician so that he can positively impact and inspire people to live healthier and happier lives.

Master of Ceremony

Susan Taylor

Susan is a member of the board of directors of Access Youth Academy and a former 6-year board member of LEAD San Diego.

She is currently a marketing/communications executive at Scripps Health, a $3.8 billion not-for-profit health care system in San Diego, CA. She is an expert at internal and external branding and crisis communications aligning the company’s mission with stakeholders, investors, customers and employees.

Susan speaks truth to power. She takes complex issues and makes them understandable and marketable to a mass audience, helping companies broaden their customer base.

Susan spent more than 30 years as a TV news anchor/reporter/producer in Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles and San Diego. In Miami and San Diego where she spent the last 16 years of her TV career, Susan helped propel the news team, within 3 months of her arrival, to the #1 ranked position in the market, greatly enhancing the TV station’s bottom line. After leaving TV in 2012, Susan joined Scripps Health as a marketing executive. She produces fundraising and YouTube videos featuring doctors, patients and the latest technology that is transforming the way healthcare is delivered.

Today's Awards

This year we received 90 entries from 20 different organizations. These entries are more creative, imaginative, resourceful, and successful every year. From ad campaigns, websites, videos, events, analytics, and public relations, everyone is a winner and should be honored and proud of their work this year. 

Communicator of the Year, known as the COTY award, is an esteemed recognition granted to an individual or individuals who made a lasting impact by advancing the profession of health care communications not only within their organization, but to the health care community.



Ad Campaign

Direct Mail

Multicultural ad campaign






Marketing Automation

Digital Marketing

Email Campaign

Mobile Marketing

Search Engine Marketing

Social Media

Website (Intranet or Internet)


Interactive Media

Internal/External Video Programs

Public Relations Campaigns

Community Relations

Health & Wellness Advocacy

Internal Communications

Media Relations

Multicultural Relations

Overall Campaign

Publications, Collateral & Design

Giveaway Items

Internal/External Magazines

Internal/External Newsletters


Logo Creation/Brand Identity


Special Publications

Special Events

Multi-day Event or Observance

Single-day Event or Observance

Virtual Events


Feature Article

News Release/Pitch Letter

Op-Ed Editorial

Off the Wall

Entries Judged




































Best in Show

One special awardee will take home the coveted “Best in Show”award, the entry with the single highest score.

Past Best in Show Winners

2021 Tri-City Medical Center, Heroes Live Here Poster

2020 Tri-City Medical Center, Tri-City Medical Center Brand Refresh-Branding Guide

2019 Scripps Marketing Scripps Whittier Diabetes Yellow Line Digital, Scripps Diabetes Outreach

2018 Studio K Communications, “For the Boys” written for Cedars-Sinai

2016/17 UC San Diego Marketing and Communications, Cancer Immunotherapy media relations campaign

2015/16 AMN Healthcare, 2015 Survey of Registered Nurses Multi-Channel Digital Campaign

2014 UC San Diego Health Sciences, Discoveries Magazine, Volume 5/2014

2013 Porter Novelli, The Bill Holmes Tower Opens at CHOC Children’s, Public Relations Campaign

2012 Palomar Health, Opening of the New Palomar Medical Center, Public Relations Campaign

2011 Scripps Health, Update Magazine

2010 San Diego Hospice and the Institute for Palliative Medicine, “Pawsitive Pals” Video

Special Thank You to Our Judges

Once again, this year’s entries were judged by our colleagues at The New England Society of Healthcare Communications, NESHCo. We are grateful for their partnership and hard work to judge your entries this year. NESHCo is a premier membership organization for healthcare communication, marketing and public relations professionals in New England. To learn more, visit

Health Care Communicators of Southern California
5694 Mission Center Road, Ste 602-310, San Diego, CA 92108-4312

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