Donaldo Hernandez, M.D., takes office as CMA's 154th president

October 24, 2022

Santa Cruz internist and hospitalist Donaldo M. Hernandez M.D., FACP, was installed this weekend as the 154th president of the California Medical Association.

At the CMA House of Delegates in Los Angeles, he addressed the 500+ physicians and other stakeholders in attendance, telling them that the foundational principle that “equity = access” must be the compass that guides us forward. 

“As we emerge from the mire that was the pandemic, I think it’s clear that we cannot go back to the system that existed before the world shut down,” says Dr. Hernandez. “Business as usual left too many behind, left too many gaps, and left too many of us asking, ‘Is this what I signed up for?’”

Dr. Hernandez has long been a tenacious agent for change, and as president his goal is to position CMA at the forefront of change and innovation.

“I believe that an energized and engaged physician community is the best path toward a reimagined and integrated care delivery system, insulated from political gamesmanship and special interests,” said Dr. Hernandez. “A system that focuses on relationships – particularly the core relationship between patient and physician – is the solution for affordable and equitable care delivery.”

“Physicians are the only segment of the care delivery infrastructure that swore a sacred oath to uphold a values-based construct as we care for our fellow humans. Adherence to that oath positions us to truly lead the necessary transformation of healthcare. The path forward must be physician led and patient focused.”

Born in Southern California, Dr. Hernandez 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, and a Fellowship in General Internal Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California.

Dr. Hernandez is one of longest-serving Hospitalists in Santa Cruz County, and is currently a shareholder in the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, considered one of the highest quality Hospital Medicine programs in Central and Northern California.

Dr. Hernandez has been a member of CMA and the Santa Cruz County Medical Society since 2003. Prior to joining the CMA Executive Committee as President Elect, he was elected to two terms as President of the Santa Cruz County Medical Society, and then served on the CMA Board of Trustees for 10 years, representing the geographically and ethnically diverse District 7 which includes Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito, Santa Clara, and San Mateo Counties. He has also served since 2016 as chair of CMA’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

The full 2022-2023 CMA Executive Committee includes:

  • President: Donaldo Hernandez, M.D., Santa Cruz
  • President-Elect: Tanya W. Spirtos, M.D., Redwood City
  • 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: Jack Chou, M.D., Los Angeles
  • Vice-Speaker of the House: Lawrence Cheung, M.D., San Francisco


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