Blog Post
Photo of participants talking at M2L seminar

Community Clinic Workers in Los Angeles Now Invited to Build Leadership Skills

January 4, 2023

Applications for the Cedars-Sinai Managing to Leading program close Friday, March 17

Imagine spending a year with a small cohort of staff from other community clinics achieving personal development goals, learning how to improve health care delivery, receiving coaching on communication and leadership skills, and connecting with a network of peers in Los Angeles – all free of cost.

Applications are now open for 32 seats in the sixth cohort of the Cedars-Sinai Community Clinic Initiative: Managing to Leading program (M2L). The year-long program equips rising leaders with the knowledge, skills, resilience, and confidence to improve health care in today’s complex environment.

“To be honest, before M2L, I was a bit shy and not as proactive when it came to working with upper management,” said Joe Cervantes, care coordination program supervisor at Los Angeles Christian Health Centers. “Now, no matter how big the fire is, I feel able to handle situations as a great leader would.”

Strengthening leadership in community clinics is critical to promoting health equity. Uninsured and underserved people rely on this safety net for most of their health care needs. To improve care for everyone, health centers require skillful leaders who can change systems.

"We need strong leaders in community clinics to ensure that everyone receives quality care," said Dr. Sunita Mutha, director of Healthforce Center at UCSF, which administers the M2L program on behalf of Cedars-Sinai. "Underserved communities have been hit disproportionately hard in the pandemic. Resilient, robust leadership ensures that community clinics meet the complex challenges of health care today."

Strengthening the Local Network of Providers to Improve Care

The Managing to Leading program will select 32 mid-level clinicians and administrative staff who work in eligible community clinics in Los Angeles. More than 70 clinics are eligible.

Now in its sixth year, M2L is designed for people who are:

  • Managing or supervising others;
  • Transitioning from contributing as individuals to leading teams;
  • Seeking to increase resilience and professional networking;
  • Planning and guiding the work of others; or
  • Increasingly tasked with complex projects or initiatives that involve multiple people or departments.

The leadership program gave Cervantes the confidence to work with management in planning morale-boosting employee events, and it helped him become more understanding in dealing with his staff.  “I have a better understanding of personalities, including my own, especially when making decisions at work,” Cervantes said. “Subsequently, I find myself using the acronym W-A-I-T (Why Am I Talking) before choosing to speak or, better yet, act.”

Angela Ching, a clinical operations manager at the Chinatown Service Center, said the program made her a better manager. She communicates more clearly, and considers individual staffers’ needs before presenting them with new information or assignments. “The program gave me the tools to take the staff to the next level — to bring more accountability and to help them grow and influence each other.”

Ching learned that it’s okay to seek assistance, because managers are human, too. “I used to try to do everything myself, which was overwhelming,” she said. “The program taught me to reach out to ask for help with confidence.”

Participants also use the program to build a network of peers in similar positions, who they can use as a resource the rest of their career. “Managing to Leading is a program where you are able to build coalitions of folks who are committed to advancing industry best practices in the field and where you have allies that assist with your professional and personal development. This program was empowering and definitely a ray of light,” said Beda Gamboa, LCSW, director of program development and grants at ROADS Community Care Clinic (Recovery Opportunities and Developing Skills) in Compton.

The Keys to Effective Leadership Training

Healthforce Center believes that leadership is the driving force for change, yet many rising health professionals have not had sufficient opportunities to fully develop their leadership and management skills. Evidence shows that investments in training equip leaders to drive strategy, navigate the shifting policy landscape, and improve financial performance of their organizations.

Healthforce Center puts four key areas at the center of its leadership model: purpose, process, personal, and people. Through studying the way these four Ps impact leadership, people can learn to:

  • Develop an effective leadership style.
  • Make decisions and communicate judgments to facilitate action and achieve goals.
  • Lead the development of teams.

Program Details and How to Apply

Applications close Friday, March 17, 2023.

Cedars-Sinai’s sponsorship covers most costs, including educational materials, lodging, and most meals at seminars. Participants are asked to cover incidental travel costs for attending seminars.

Learn more about the Managing to Leading program.