The COTY award is given each year at the Finest Awards event.
The Communicator of the Year award is the highest honor given each year in recognition of outstanding and successful health care professionals. Eligible nominees are individuals who consistently demonstrate excellence in health care communications through service to their organization and/or the health care industry as a whole. The COTY award is open to all professionals at any level, working in a marketing/communication capacity in health care or other health-related field in southern California. This includes professionals from public relations, marketing, advertising, health care or media professions.
2021/22 COTY Award Recipient
Keith Darce and Stephen Carpowich
The 2021 Communicator of the Year Award was to Keith Darce and Steve Carpowich, Public Relations Managers for Scripps Health
Throughout the pandemic, these two unsung heroes have been the “frontline workers” of the Marketing Communications Department.
• They creatively managed the media by setting up Zoom interviews between reporters and physicians so everyone could remain isolated and safe.
• They also worked with all seven local television broadcasters to develop a pool coverage system that allowed for one TV station to shoot shared interviews
• This mighty PR team has responded to more than 1,000 media queries that resulted in 4,330 impressions and potentially reached almost 3 billion people.
• While each has their own individual traits that make them successful – one for being tech-savvy and protective of patients, and the other for being tenacious and extremely thorough – they are both known for their humility, out-of-the-box thinking and attention to detail.
• They are the heroes that work quietly behind the scenes to make others shine
Past COTY Award Recipients
2020 - Heather Valentine, Loma Linda University Health
2019 - no event due to COVID
2018 - Jacqueline Carr, UC San Diego
2017 - Aaron Byzak, Galvanized Strategies
2016 - Dawn Anderson, AMN Healthcare
2014/15 - Mary Ball, Alzheimer's Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties
2013 - Mike Godfrey, Scripps Health
2012 - Jennifer Decker Arevalo, UC San Diego Health System
2011 - Kim Kennedy, UC San Diego Health System
2010 - Todd Miller, Sharp Healthcare
2009 - Carol Burke, AMN Healthcare
2008 - Jean Hitchcock, Scripps Health
2007 - Cheryl Moder, San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative
2006 - Don Stanziano, Scripps Health
2005 - Carol LeBeau, KGTV News Anchor and Health Care Reporter
2004 - Debra Kelley, American Lung Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties
2003 - Gustavo Friederichsen, Palomar Pomerado Health
2002 - Judith Yates, Health Care Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties
2001 - Michael Bardin, Scripps Health
2000 - David Owens, Palomar Pomerado Health
1999 - CeCe Wilkens, Wilkens Communications
1998 - Maureen Wisener, Paradise Valley Hospital
1997 - Mark Morelli, Children’s Hospital
1996 - Jim McBride, Kaiser Permanente
1995 - Sharon Ross, Palomar Pomerado Health
1994 - Diane Gage, Sharp HealthCare
1993 - Micki Stockalper, Stock/Alper & Associates