UCI Health will see you now: Welcome to our new co-workers and patients from Fountain Valley, Lakewood, Los Alamitos and Placentia-Linda!
Read more about our recent acquisition.

UCI Health nurse selected for American Academy of Nursing Fellow

August 16, 2021
sonia valdez dnp rn

The American Academy of Nursing announced its 2021 Class of Fellows. Among the 225 distinguished nurse leaders is Sonia Valdez, DNP, RN, post-acute programs manager at UCI Health.

The Academy’s Fellow Selection Committee reviewed hundreds of applications. They chose the 2021 fellows based on their contributions to advancing the public’s health.

“I am honored to be selected,” said Valdez. “This appointment allows me to represent UCI Health, my specialty, culture and diverse background.”

Valdez is an executive board officer for the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) and serves as a transformational leader, innovator and expert advocate for improving the health of vulnerable populations.

She has led many programs including the development of a mentorship academy that prepares aspiring leaders for their next nursing or association role. Valdez also led a committee that developed the first strategic plan to rebrand NAHN into a leading organization in Hispanic healthcare resulting in over $3 million in grants and funding to improve the health of the Hispanic community.

“Sonia is an exemplary example of a nursing leader” says Brooke Baldwin, UCI Health chief nursing executive. “Her work is paving the way for future nurses.”

The inductees will be recognized for their significant contributions to health and healthcare at the Academy’s annual Health Policy Conference, taking place in October.


UCI Health is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine, and the only academic health system in Orange County. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif. The 418-bed acute care hospital, listed among America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 21 consecutive years, provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centerhigh-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.