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Allyson Brooks: Game-Changing Healthcare Executive

Boosting new initiatives across Hoag

During her 20-year career as a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, Allyson Brooks treated 2,000 women “of all ages and life stages.”

That experience helped her learn about the gaps in women’s healthcare, and she’s putting that knowledge to good use as the executive medical director and chief quality officer of Hoag Women’s Health Institute, a unit of the Newport Beach’s hospital that’s one of the country’s higher-rated women’s health systems.

“I would naturally hear patients’ wants, needs, expectations, and what they could not find in their community. There was a lot of listening involved,” Brooks told the Business Journal.

“Now I am translating what I heard into trying to fill and bridge those gaps.”

As chief quality officer, Brooks oversees the quality of patient relations to ensure they have the best experience while achieving optimal health with appropriate care.

The institute oversees a variety of breast, gynecological, pregnancy and integrated wellness services at a host of Hoag locations across the county, including the Sue & Bill Gross Women’s Pavilion in Newport Beach, and Hoag Hospital Irvine.

Brooks was one of the honorees at the Business Journal’s 28th annual Women in Business Awards on Oct. 20 at the Irvine Marriott.

Recruitment, Donors

Brooks dedicates the rest of her time as Ginny Ueberroth Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair to recruiting physicians and specialists to organize profitable and sustainable programs that align with the expanding needs of women.

She also stewards potential donors to fund such programs with grants, donations and gifts.

“If there’s no margin, there’s no mission,” she stated.

Under Brooks’ leadership, Hoag Women’s Health Institute has established several initiatives that cater to the universal and ever-changing demands of women, such as a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy program, Hoag’s Maternal Mental Health program, HERA Program for Breast Cancer Risk Assessment, and the Midwifery program at the Fudge Family Birthing Suites.

“I want us at Hoag to be about giving options and all types of care to our patients,” Brooks said. “We’re giving women a choice. It makes them feel confident and in charge.”

Tech Focus

Brooks, who retired as a physician with Pacific Women’s Healthcare Associates in 2013, has leaned on technology in her new career that focuses on the future of women’s healthcare.

In 2020, she partnered with a digital therapeutics company, BehaVR, to design NurtureVR, an immersive virtual reality program designed to lower stress and anxiety through education and mindfulness for pregnant women in their third trimester and postpartum.

The program offers 3D ultrasound images, in-the-moment meditation exercises, breastfeeding support, and self-care techniques that have been proven to improve the mental health and well-being of both mother and child.

Over the summer, Brooks served as a consultant for Nona, a phone app she describes as “a coach and navigator in your pocket.” Nona connects women who have questions or are seeking advice during postpartum with Hoag Care Team experts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Next Up

Brooks’ next plans are inspired by a study she conducted in 2017 with Hoag that surveyed 1,800 women throughout Orange County across different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds to determine their healthcare needs.

The data, combined with Brooks’ knowledge with the industry and prior programs she established, has provided an outline for future programs at the Hoag Women’s Health Institute.

The efforts are already taking place, with Brooks currently leading a birth initiative to demarginalize the disparities in healthcare that occur on a national level.

“We’re hoping to improve the outcomes and experiences for all women, for all people who are having babies,” she said.

Additionally, Brooks is working toward creating a program that extends services to the LGBTQ+ community and one providing psychiatric therapy for adolescents.

Irvine 3.0

Brooks is directly involved in the design of Hoag’s new women’s hospital at its Irvine campus, set to open in the latter half of 2025.

Hoag received a $50 million donation from the Sun Family Foundation in March to fund the facility which aims to set a new standard for the next generation of hospitals and personalized healthcare for women.

“I am honored to be the face of elevating the awareness of women’s health,” Brooks said.

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