Santa Cruz internist Donaldo Hernandez, M.D., named CMA president-elect

October 23, 2021

Santa Cruz internist and hospitalist Donaldo (Don) M. Hernandez M.D., FACP, was elected by the California Medical Association (CMA) House of Delegates as the association’s new president elect. He will take office at the close of this year’s meeting and will serve as on the CMA Executive Committee as president-elect for one year. Dr. Hernandez will be installed as president following next year’s House of Delegates.

Born in Southern California, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego, and completed his Internal Medicine residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. He also completed two General Internal Medicine Fellowships focused on Inpatient Medicine and Applied Health Services Research, one at Harbor-UCLA and the other at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Raised in a bicultural/bilingual household, Dr. Hernandez came to the Monterey Bay at the conclusion of his fellowships, joining a small practice in order to serve the largely Latin communities in Salinas and the Salinas Valley.

He returned to Hospital Medicine at the Santa Cruz Medical Clinic (now merged into the Palo Alto Medical Foundation) when they were inaugurating their Hospital Medicine program, now considered one of the highest quality Hospital Medicine programs in Central and Northern California and is one of longest- serving Hospitalists in the Monterey Bay Area.

Dr. Hernandez has been a member of the Santa Cruz County Medical Society and the CMA since 2003. He was first named to the CMA House of Delegates from Santa Cruz in 2007. He was elected to two terms as President of SCCMS from 2009 to 2011 during which SCCMS initiated several distinguished community health projects most notably programs to combat childhood obesity, substance use disorder treatment, and behavioral health access issues.

Dr. Hernandez has served on the CMA Board of Trustees for District 7 since 2011. He has also served since 2016 as Chair of CMA’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is also a member of CMA’s Ethnic Medical Organization Section (EMOS).

“What we do, who we are, and what we stand for is far too important to let others dictate their value. It is we who must speak with a resolute voice for the health of our patients and our profession,” said Dr. Hernandez during his campaign. “I have had and will continue to have those tough conversations. My objective will be to position us at the forefront of change and innovation, leading to a deeper understanding of community and the interconnection between us all. Acting with integrity is at the marrow of my leadership style and why I can lead the charge to change.”

Dr. Hernandez and his wife Jessica reside in Santa Cruz in the home she grew up in (she was born at Dominican Hospital), successfully raising their five vigorous children who have now gone on to their own successful and varied careers.

The full 2021-2022 CMA Executive Committee includes:

  • President: Robert E. Wailes, M.D., Oceanside/Encinitas
  • President-Elect: Donaldo Hernandez, M.D., Santa Cruz
  • Chair of the Board: : Shannon L. Udovic-Constant, M.D., San Francisco
  • Vice-Chair of the Board: Sergio R. Flores, M.D., San Diego
  • Speaker of the House: Tanya W. Spirtos, M.D., Redwood City
  • Vice-Speaker of the House: Jack Chou, M.D.
  • Immediate Past President: Peter N. Bretan, Jr., M.D., Watsonville



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