The COTY award is given each year at the Finest Awards event.

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Communicator of the Year Award

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 San Diego and Imperial Counties. This includes professionals from public relations, marketing, advertising, health care or media professions.

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2018 COTY Award Recipient

Jacqueline Carr, Assistant Executive Director of Communications and Media Relations
UC San Diego Health

Jackie is a highly successful media relations leader of internal and external communications for a local health system and school of medicine. On a typical day, she might oversee projects including:

• Development of a news release describing novel basic research

• A last minute news conference about a dramatic life-saving operation or public health crisis

• An interview with a physician or scientist for a video or podcast

• Coordination of a new instructional program to improve how employees learn about new safety protocols

Her leadership raises the bar and colleagues jump to reach it! Innovation is woven through her work. With no additional budget, her team, with assistance from other members of the Marketing and Communications department reinvented the School of Medicine’s web site and within it a subsite with special 50th anniversary features.

Those who work for and with her simply do not want to stop working for and with her. Her involvement and influence touch almost every aspect of UC San Diego Health- and she can claim (as if she ever would) considerable credit for its communications success.


Past COTY Award Recipients

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

Health Care Communicators of San Diego County
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