City of Hope’s Annette Walker Named Among Most Influential People in American Healthcare

Friday, December 11, 2020

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Annette Walker, president of City of Hope Orange County, was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of 2020’s 100 Most Influential People. This is the second consecutive year Walker has been honored for her legacy of healthcare contributions and transformational leadership centered on making a difference in people’s lives.

“I’m extremely humbled by this honor during a year when we saw remarkable leadership, bravery, and resilience from people on the front lines. Helping others and improving the lives of people in our communities is the most important thing a person or organization can do. This award speaks to our incredible City of Hope team and the community that supports our vision,” Walker said.  “Even with all the challenges this year has presented, we remain steadfast in our mission to change the way cancer care is delivered for generations to come.”

Walker, a nationally recognized leader with local influence, is known as a dedicated sponsor for aspiring women leaders who are focused on transforming health care delivery to better fit the needs of patients and community members. She has long been intentional about creating work cultures that recognize the unique contributions and needs of each individual and has challenged her peers to rethink how they lead. Great leaders, she says, love their people and are servant leaders who develop and identify talent.

“When you take on a responsibility, you are accepting stewardship for the mission of that organization, for the people of that organization, and for the community that is to benefit from what the organization does,” Walker said. “A great leader stewards the organization and leaves it better than when they received it when they leave it.”

Fittingly, the Modern Healthcare list reflects Walker’s philosophy of valuing individual contributions. In an unprecedented move, the magazine reserved the top spot on its list for the nation’s frontline health care workers.

“These are the heroes of our time.  At City of Hope and across the country, providers worked together to make sure our communities were cared for. I have never in my career been more proud to be part of this industry, ” she said. 

Others on the list include Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, as well as executives who are disrupting the industry with new models of care.

“Every member of this class found ways to help their organization or the government or each other maneuver through unprecedented hardships,” said Modern Healthcare editor Aurora Aguilar. “The result was often groundbreaking.”

Modern Healthcare and its readers selected the 100 most innovative and resilient candidates. The list this year comprised a record number of women.

Aguilar said this year’s honorees “influenced the course that healthcare took during a global pandemic, continued to press forward amidst uncertainty, and used current events like the election, racial injustice and public health as an inspiration to do better.”

In early 2020, City of Hope opened its first location in Orange County, the initial phase of City of Hope’s expansion. City of Hope Orange County will include a local network of cancer care and a world-class, 190,000 square foot cancer center in Irvine. The Irvine campus will house state-of-the-art precision medicine and early detection, phase I-III clinical trials, nationally-recognized supportive care services, and a roster of world-renowned specialists in cancer care.

City of Hope launched a Newport Beach, California location in January as the initial phase of its broad-scale investment to develop and operate a first-of-its-kind regional cancer care network featuring a world-class cancer center of the future in Irvine, California. The planned 11-acre Irvine campus will house a comprehensive clinical hub for highly specialized cancer care, world-class specialists, phase 1-3 clinical trials, precision medicine, and early detection and prevention programs, along with Orange County’s first hospital dedicated exclusively to treating and curing cancer. 

City of Hope is an independent biomedical research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a leader in bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy, such as CAR T cell therapy. City of Hope’s translational research and personalized treatment protocols advance care throughout the world. Human synthetic insulin and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs are based on technology developed at the institution. A National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, City of Hope is ranked one of America's "Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Its main campus is located near Los Angeles, with additional locations throughout Southern California.


Category: Partner News, Business Achievement Awards, healthcare, Leaders Circle