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.
2023 COTY Award Recipient
The 2023 Communicator of the Year Award went to Nisha Morris, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for City of Hope Orange County. Morris is a recognized leader in her field, having been named four times as one of the top public relations professionals in the U.S. by Ragan Communications, PR News and PR Daily. She is frequently sought out by national publications for her marketing and communications acumen. A highly strategic communicator, Morris unleashes innovative strategies and tactics to ensure patients and consumers understand City of Hope Orange County’s key differentiators.
Her work with difficult initiatives, including managing two mergers in addition to the cancer center opening, earned her considerable praise within the organization
Outside of City of Hope, Nisha is a mentor to public relations professionals. She frequently speaks on public relations topics to trade associations and chaired the diversity and inclusion committee for OC Public Relations Society of America.
Not everyone can pull this off. Morris can because she is a high-achieving professional who is truly exceptional in her field.
Past COTY Award Recipients
2021/22 - Keith Darce and Stephen Carpowich, Scripps Health
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