Blog Post
Group photo of M2L cohort 5 at graduation in May 2023.

Emerging Leaders Give Me Hope for Health Equity in California

January 17, 2024

By Marie Hubbard, Senior Program Manager, Healthforce Center at UCSF

Pictured above: Marie Hubbard (seated in maroon cardigan) joins a group photo of M2L cohort 5 at their graduation in May 2023. (photo credit: Noah Berger)

Applications due Friday, March 15, 2024 for the next M2L cohort!

"At the start, I didn't feel like I was a natural leader. The seminar opened by explaining there is no such thing as a natural leader; it's something you work at. That really resonated with me. The program will prove to you that you are a leader and how to improve your leadership." – Lauren Goli, MD, MPH (M2L Cohort 5)

The Cedars-Sinai Managing to Leading (M2L) program is a yearlong, transformative leadership development program for mid-level clinicians and administrative staff from community clinics in Los Angeles. This no-cost program equips emerging leaders with the knowledge, resilience, skills, and confidence to effectively guide change within organizations and improve health care delivery.

In 2017, Cedars-Sinai launched M2L to invest in health care for those most in need in Los Angles by strengthening the leadership and effectiveness of community clinics. Designed and managed by Healthforce Center at UCSF, the proven curriculum includes in-person, experiential seminars; an applied learning component; and facilitated peer coaching. The program supports one of Healthforce Center’s main goals of nurturing the health care workforce by giving leaders an opportunity for empowerment and professional growth.

M2L has graduated 132 individuals and is now recruiting for its seventh cohort. Please help us find great candidates within your network and share the application information today!

Strong leaders are essential for healthy communities

As the senior program manager for Managing to Leading, I believe leadership development is essential. My passion for this program has grown after witnessing many participants on their journeys to become empowered leaders. These individuals are now driving positive change within health care in Los Angeles.

Every time we launch a new cohort of M2L, I’m reminded that this program is one-of-a-kind and vital for early-career managers. There are very limited leadership development opportunities for individuals who sit in the middle of an organization and are the glue that keep these organizations functioning. They take strategic direction from executive leaders and ensure the implementation of organizational priorities.

These emerging leaders work in organizations that care for the whole person regardless of the ability to pay. By building capacity of leaders, I believe that the M2L program contributes to greater access to quality health care in the Los Angeles safety net.

M2L participants grow their confidence, self-awareness, and communication skills

I see the impact leadership development has on these individuals throughout the 12-month program. I see their confidence grow which then expands into other aspects of their professional mindset. This confidence allows them to speak up in management meetings, advocate for their staff, take on more complex responsibilities, and often advance to new roles.

An evaluation of the first five M2L cohorts by Jess Thacher Consulting found 99% of alumni and 89% of participants’ supervisors reported the program improved participants’ leadership capabilities including confidence, self-awareness, and communication skills.

"M2L has provided me with a broader understanding of who I am as a leader. I was able to identify various key characteristics of staff, providers, executive leaders, vendors and patients that allowed me to improve my communication techniques." – Yanira Valencia, MSHA (M2L Cohort 3)

Witnessing personal development is inspiring

I’ve had the privilege of accompanying four cohorts through graduation. Most of these alumni are still working in the safety net and many of them have taken on new leadership positions since graduation. The evaluation noted that “alumni are more competent team leaders, take on more responsibilities, and lead more effective projects and programs.”

Watching the confidence of participants grow and how alumni continue to integrate new skills into their everyday work is why I’m so passionate about this program. The evaluation demonstrates that M2L is life changing for participants and contributes to stronger organizations that provide health care to Angelinos.

"The M2L program confirmed that I possess the necessary skills to be a great leader, and that I can be greater.” – Steonée Laskey, MBA (M2L Cohort 2)

Given the proven benefits of Managing to Leading, I ask you to identify who in your organization would be a strong candidate for this program. Invite at least one candidate (and up to three!) who would benefit from M2L and encourage them to apply! See details on the program structure and seminar dates, participant eligibility and requirements, and the application process. Applications are due on Friday, March 15.