Welcome to the Heart of Hoag

When Jean Wegener met a cancer-stricken mother and her young daughter more than a dozen years ago, she didn’t hesitate to help the pair, who were homeless and living in temporary shelters.

She greeted them with open arms and a loving heart. Just as important, Wegener quickly marshaled the full resources of the organization she leads, Serving People In Need (SPIN), to help them.

Serving People In Need. What a wonderful – and wonderfully appropriate – name and mission for an organization run by kind-hearted men and women who consider it a privilege to serve the less fortunate in our community.

Wegener and her colleagues believe that Hoag, through our Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living, is poised to become an integral partner in SPIN’s goal of serving the homeless. We couldn’t agree more – and in this issue you will learn how the Center and SPIN are working together to address a critical community need.

A little further on in this issue you will meet one of our doctors, Amit Hiteshi, M.D., whose grandparents doled out steady doses of love and guidance in the three-generational family in which he grew up.

Determined to honor their legacy and enrich the lives of others with the same kind of salt-of-the-earth kindness they so unselfishly showed, Dr. Hiteshi seized the chance to direct medical programs at the Huntington Beach Senior Center in Central Park.

The heart of Hoag is stronger than ever these days, but don’t take our word for it. Keep reading to learn how our Community Benefit Program is reaching out to at-risk and underserved residents throughout Orange County.

From partnering with the Orange County Vital Brain Aging Program for memory assessments in both Spanish and English at the Center for Healthy Living, to free diabetes testing at community events, we’re wearing our hearts on our sleeves as we cast an ever-wider net of compassionate care around the men, women and families we so proudly serve.

Robert T. Braithwaite
President and Chief Executive Officer

Michaell S. Rose, DrPH, LCSW
Director, Community Health and Community Benefit Program