City of Hope Orange County
Annette Walker is the visionary health care leader tapped to build City of Hope, Orange County, a 21st-century approach to treating and curing cancer and other serious illness.
Named one of the 25 most influential women leaders in U.S. health care by Modern Healthcare magazine, Annette believes this latest chapter in her career is the most important, as it allows her to serve the 3.2 million people of Orange County, which has been her home for 40 years. Working with physicians, community leaders, health care experts, and others, Annette will create a hub for cancer care located near Irvine’s Great Park that will bring tomorrow’s discoveries to those who need them today. Stemming from the hub will be a network of services and programs providing breakthrough treatments and therapies, as well as education and preventive care to make the region healthier.
Known for her ability to get the job done, Annette is a master at strategy and planning. Before coming to City of Hope, she was President of Strategy for Providence St. Joseph Health System, the nation’s third-largest health system. While there, she was instrumental in bringing two noted health organizations together, and, within the first year, succeeded in convening key stakeholders to develop a transformational strategic plan.
Annette also served as interim president and chief executive of St. Joseph Health before the merger of St. Joseph Health and Providence. Under Annette’s leadership, St. Joseph Health became a leader in acute care, as well as wellness and disease prevention. Her team opened several groundbreaking Wellness Corners and other programs bringing wellness and health education literally to the doorstep of many communities. Her vision also led to the development of innovative partnerships with large organizations that provide wellness and health management programs for their employees.
Always interested in giving back, Annette has served on a wide range of boards for more than15 years. She presently serves as chair of the finance committee of the Diocese of Orange and the Orange County Business Council. She was also a board member and chair of American Unity Group, Ltd. (a Captive Insurance Company), the Well Being Trust, and the boards of St. Joseph Health’s Santa Rosa Memorial and Petaluma Valley hospitals, Mission Hospital, St. Mary Medical Center, and the CSJ Educational Network. In 2015 she was the chair of the highly successful American Heart Association’s Women’s Go Red campaign. Additional board participation includes several non-profits and health care professional organizations.
The author of numerous articles on wellness, health care marketing, quality, planning and management and, a featured speaker for national audiences, Annette has received many honors for her work. In addition to Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Women in U.S. Healthcare (2017), she has been named Becker’s 130 Women to Know in Hospitals and Health Systems (2016-2018), Los Angeles Business Journal’s Executive of the Year (2017), Orange County Catholic Foundation’s Bishop’s Award for Exemplary Business Integrity (2017) and Orange County Business Journal’s Innovator of the Year (2016). She has also received the Modern Healthcare’s Innovation in Healthcare Technology Award, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development Banner Award, National Diversity Leadership Excellence Award (2018), the California Hospital Association’s Ritz E. Herman Innovator Award and the Hospitals and Health Networks Innovator Award.
Annette holds a master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She is the mother of six children, grandmother of 12, and an advocate of organizations promoting effective work-life balance.