Heather Valentine
Heather Valentine, assistant VP marketing and communications at Loma Linda University Health.

The Health Care Communicators of Southern California, a professional networking group, last week honored recipients of its 2020 Finest Awards recognizing excellence in marketing, advertising and communications in healthcare.

Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were presented in 31 categories, including public relations, advertising, digital marketing, writing, collateral and special events. HCCSC said 94 entries were submitted by 22 Southern California organizations for work completed between April 30, 2019, and Nov. 1, 2020. Entries were judged by members of the New England Society of Healthcare Communications.

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Tri-City Medical Center received 18 awards and University of California San Diego Health took home 12 awards. Other multiple-award winners included The Super Dentists (nine awards), Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego (five awards), Scripps Health (four awards) and three awards apiece for Millennium Health and Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers.

Winners of two awards included Cook + Schmid, Health Center Partners of Southern California, Lifesharing-UC San Diego Health and Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation. Single award winners included Hazel’s Army, Miller Geer & Associates, Riverside University Health System, TrueCare, UC San Diego Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study, Westbound Communications and Zamboo.

The Best in Show award went to Tri-City Medical Center for its brand refresh initiative, which achieved the highest overall score among all entries.

Heather Valentine, assistant VP marketing and communications, Loma Linda University Health, was named Communicator of the Year.

“It would be an honor to receive this award in any year but it is especially meaningful this year,” said Valentine. “To be recognized by healthcare professionals of this caliber is deeply humbling and I am extremely grateful. This award is truly a reflection of the amazing team I have and the organization that I am proud to serve. I am deeply proud to be part of this industry and am excited to see what the future holds for healthcare marketing and communications.”

HCCSC officials said Valentine was recognized for innovation by applying non-healthcare-related approaches and concepts to messaging objectives. A branding campaign, called “Heroes Made Here,” increased ad value and achieved higher engagement with internal audiences and more than two million visits to web pages, HCCSC said.

Also at the event at the awards presentation, a $2,000 scholarship was presented to Argentina Fretwell, a Palomar College nursing student who is studying to earn a Spanish medical terminology certificate and become a bilingual hospice nurse. A portion of event proceeds were donated to Ronald McDonald House of San Diego.

Members of the HCCSD group include communications professionals who work in the health care, wellness, biotech, medical device, health information technology and pharmaceutical industries in San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange counties, as well as the Inland Empire. In 2019, the Health Care Communicators of San Diego merged with the Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Association to form HCCSC.

San Diego’s Telemundo 20 Hosting Vaccine Phone Bank

San Diego’s KUAN-TV Telemundo 20, owned and operated by NBC Universal, is partnering with other Telemundo-affiliated TV stations in the state and the California Department of Public Health to host a phone bank between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 30, to help Latinos get information about COVID-19 vaccination eligibility and schedule vaccine appointments over the phone. The call-in phone number is 1-833-422-4255.

A Telemundo statement said the phone bank will feature Spanish-speaking operators answering questions from the public about how to use www.MyTurn.ca.gov, the state’s online tool that provides vaccine-related information.

“With this phone bank, we once again demonstrate our commitment to help the community. In this case with something so important it can imply the difference between life and death,” Telemundo San Diego news director Pedro Calderón Michel said in a statement to Times of San Diego. “It has been a gigantic effort by hundreds of people within the Telemundo 20 team and the California Department of Health, and we are very happy be able to serve our community.”

Other California Telemundo stations hosting phone banks include KVEA Telemundo 52 in Los Angeles, KSTS Telemundo 48 in San Francisco, KSCO Telemundo 33 in Sacramento and KNSO Telemundo 51 in Fresno. Phone banks will be hosted on various dates, including March 29 for Sacramento and Fresno, March 31 for Los Angeles and April 12 for San Francisco.

Mercato Hires Jean-Michel Boujon as Chief Marketing Officer

San Diego-based Mercato, an online grocery delivery platform connecting consumers with independently owned grocery and specialty food stores, has hired Jean-Michel Boujon as chief marketing officer.

Jean-Michel Boujon
Jean-Michel Boujon

The company said Boujon, 42, will direct all efforts associated with Mercato’s brand, user acquisition and lifecycle marketing. In addition, he will seek to advance the trend of consumers choosing their groceries from independent, locally-owned retailers.

Boujon, 42, was previously with Getaround, where he acted as VP of growth, managing a team focused on scaling the car-sharing company by developing the marketplace, acquiring car renters and car owners. During Boujon’s tenure, Getaround’s footprint grew from 20 cities in the U.S. to more than 300 cities worldwide.

Also during his career, Boujon served as senior director of ecommerce at BookRenter.com, where he helped lead year-over-year growth of 40 percent. Boujon also has held leadership roles at The Ladders.com in New York and London.

Boujon, a native of Vesoul, France, has a master’s degree in finance from the Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France. He also attended Nottingham University Business School in Nottingham, United Kingdom. 

Mercato offers same-day delivery of high-quality groceries and specialty foods from more than 1,000 independent grocery stores across the country. Bobby Brannigan, company founder, grew up working in his parent’s grocery story in Brooklyn, N.Y.  The company said Brannigan founded Mercato in 2015 to level the playing field by bringing online shopping and delivery to independent grocers and their valued customers. He relocated the company to San Diego in 2019.

“I am thrilled to announce that Jean-Michel has joined Mercato and to have him apply his talents to our company at such an important moment of our growth phase,” said Brannigan.

Miles McPherson
Miles McPherson, pastor of Rock Church.

Fox 5 To Air Rock Church’s Easter Special

KSWB-TV Fox 5 San Diego will air “Easter at the Rock,” a one-hour, prerecorded Easter morning special featuring music and a message from Miles McPherson, senior pastor of the Rock Church San Diego, at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 4. In addition to the telecasts, Fox 5 will stream each service on its website.

“We are proud to once again partner with Miles McPherson and the Rock Church to televise Easter at the Rock,” said Scott Heath, VP and GM of Fox 5. “Our continued commitment to serving the community goes far beyond providing the latest news and information, especially during this pandemic. We hope that people across San Diego can share a message of hope on Easter Sunday and we are thankful to our loyal viewers for staying connected with Fox 5.”

“This Easter we will embark on a journey to center our hearts as we walk out of the darkness and into the light,” said McPherson, a former defensive back with the San Diego Chargers. “Jesus was crucified and buried, but just when the world had seemingly lost hope, He rose from the dead. His resurrection provides hope. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

With a weekend attendance of about 30,000 people at five multi-site campuses and more than 20 microsites, Rock Church is San Diego’s largest church and the 22nd largest church in the United States, according to Outreach Magazine.

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.