City of Hope President Named Among Most Influential in American Healthcare

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Annette Walker, President, City of Hope Orange County

Annette Walker, President, City of Hope Orange County, which opened a Newport Beach campus earlier this year, 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 is 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,” she 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 and Dr. Deborah Birx, 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 Orange County location in Newport Beach, 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. For more information, visit

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