UC Davis Executive Leadership Program Alumna Selected as 40 Under 40 Honoree
Lourdes Moldre has been serving her community since the age of 21, when she first became a nurse. With 19 years of healthcare experience, including as a bedside registered nurse, an acute care nurse practitioner and a nurse leader in clinical operations, she is now the patient care director at Mount Zion Hospital with UCSF Health. In December 2021, she completed the UC Davis Executive Leadership Program and the following spring was named one of the San Francisco Business Times’ Class of 2022 40 Under 40 honorees—a select list recognizing the Bay Area’s best and brightest young leaders from across the region.
Here's a summary of our conversation with Moldre on what this accomplishment means to her and how the UC Davis Executive Leadership Program helped her get to where she is today.
How does it feel to be selected for the SF Business Times’ 40 Under 40 Class of 2022?
I feel very honored to be recognized among young community and regional leaders. I will certainly leverage this exposure to connect and partner with these leaders for future initiatives and projects that will benefit our communities.
What does this honor mean to you?
As an immigrant, female and working mom, this recognition and acknowledgement substantially means a lot to me. It shows that my voice and efforts are being heard and seen. This motivates me to continue my work on improving healthcare equity and access, being the voice of the underrepresented and empowering minorities like myself to drive systematic changes in our communities.
In what ways are you involved in supporting initiatives for diversity, equity and inclusion and how does SF Business Times’ recognition help you do more?
I am the current secretary for the Philippine Nurses Association Northern California (PNANC) and adviser for two chapters: Napa/Solano and California Capital City or Greater Sacramento. When Covid-19 was at its peak, I came across Dr. Moon Chen, a nationally renowned expert in cancer health disparities, specifically for Asian-American populations. From him I learned of some alarming statistics about disparities in Filipino nurses’ deaths due to COVID-19 and undocumented Filipinos having trouble accessing COVID resources. This absolutely broke my heart. No questions asked, I had to do something. My plan was to educate Filipino communities and provide accurate evidence-based Covid-19 messaging in both English and Tagalog dialects.
For this initiative, Sacramento and Napa/Solano were my target demographics, along with the rest of SF Bay Area. Pivotal activities that came out of this critical initiative were: Covid-19 education at an Asian-American Pacific Islander Solidarity Rally in Napa/Solano, individual conversations with undocumented Filipinos in Solano and Sacramento communities, being part of the panel discussion of health and wellbeing of Filipino nurses at UC Davis, Covid-19 education at local church communities in Napa/Solano and a major Filipino community fiesta in Sacramento, and a magazine interview highlighting the pandemic and Filipino communities. These back-to-back activities in May and June of 2020 positively impacted about 430+ Filipinos in Sacramento, Napa/Solano and SF Bay Area communities.
Being part of SF Business Times’ 40 under 40 class of 2022 cohort inspires me to drive more positive changes to our communities. It is up to us to drive and improve the institutional landscape by being present at the table and providing a voice from an underrepresented perspective.
Can you identify some key moments in your life/career that helped you get to this point?
I believe that my cumulative personal experiences as a mother of three biracial children plus hurdles as an immigrant female nurse executive ultimately led me to where I am today.
Did you encounter any obstacles along the way, and if so, how did you overcome them?
As a female minority nurse leader, there are many “unspoken” daily hurdles I go through to secure and maintain my position at the table and strategies I use for my voice to always be heard. I constantly allow for extra preparation for meetings or project planning. I involve myself in various initiatives outside of my role and always show up as a dependable and get-it done leader. I have minimal space for errors.
Fortunately, my current organization (UCSF Health) dedicates plenty of support to be successful in my role. Our UCSF Health senior VP/COO Sheila Antrum gives plenty of empowerment to minority female leaders and prioritizes the need to inspire and motivate others. I believe that having an uplifting tribe of women and reassuring executive leaders who continue to advocate for you, even when you are not around, is the key to overcoming these daily hurdles. I am very lucky and grateful to have this solid support system in my organization.
In what ways did completing the Executive Leadership Program help you get to where you are today?
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As a nurse leader, I believe there is always room for growth! Participating in the UC Davis Executive Leadership Program was very timely in my career. Halfway through the program, I transitioned back to a promoted nurse leadership role at UCSF Health. The program successfully positioned me as I started fresh in my new role. It reminded me of the key leadership elements, such as adaptive leadership, momentum and strategy, plus most importantly, leading change, which is constant in the healthcare field. I was able to apply mindfulness and purposeful leadership strategies with my new team at UCSF Health.
My cohort consisted of exceptional leaders from various sectors outside of health care, which made my journey extra exciting. I was exposed to different perspectives and ways of solving the challenges that all leaders experience. I interacted with high-caliber experts and students in my class, whom I now call long-term friends and peers.
What did you find most valuable about the program and how were you able to apply that to your leadership role?
Meeting and interacting with high-profile speakers, such as Gary S. May, Vivek Ranadive and Dr. Steven Lockhart, was humbling and beneficial, as they discussed their similar leadership hurdles. They are all minority leaders, who understood resilience and true perseverance in their leadership journeys. Additionally, the 360-degree feedback and one-on-one coaching was helpful in understanding how I currently show up as a leader and ways I can improve or pivot from that. It was enjoyable to work with my executive coach and focus on my current areas of improvement. The UC Davis Executive Leadership Program enabled me to dig deep on my values as a leader and continue inclusive leadership while continuing to drive diversity.
What are your goals for the next 5-10 years?
I plan to be a chief nursing officer in five years or so. I want to continue to work at UCSF, or other UC system or large academic medical center, and mentor new and emerging leaders as part of my succession plans.