Grossmont Hospital construction monitoring citizens group adds hospital community relations manager, also seeks a medical professional to fill a seat

June 17, 2024 – Our town took a magical trip down memory lane today. The Model T Ford Club of America rolled into town for their 2024 National Tour. 

Dozens of these magnificent Model T’s lined our streets. It felt like stepping back in time.

The visitors took a stroll through our town’s rich history, from the old Lakeside Inn, the Auto Speedway route, made famous by racing legend Barney Oldfield, to our charming historic buildings and homes.

The Lakeside Historical Society opened their doors, welcoming everyone to explore the chapel, museum, Gift Shop, and the Speedway monument. It was a little slice of the past brought back to life.

Their visit was short, but the memories will last a lifetime. A huge thank you to the Model T Ford Club of America for stopping by and making the day in our hometown so special.

SandyPugliesePhotoThe volunteer citizens group overseeing the spending of millions of dollars in taxpayer-approved bonds for new and improved patient care facilities at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa has a new member. Sandy Pugliese, the hospital’s community relations manager, has joined the citizens group, called the Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (ICBOC).

ICBOC members are uncompensated East County residents who are charged with monitoring bond proceeds spent by the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), the public agency managing the bond-financed construction at the hospital. GHD serves as landlord of the hospital, including ownership of the property and buildings on behalf of local taxpayers.

According to ICBOC by-laws, specific seats on the ICBOC are filled by individuals representing various constituency groups and business sectors, such as project management, large-scale construction operations, finance, labor and healthcare. Pugliese will serve as a representative of Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s executive management.

Barry Jantz, GHD CEO, said the ICBOC group needs one more community volunteer to reach its full capacity of 11 members. He said the search is continuing for a volunteer who would serve as a representative from the medical profession, specifically a physician or nurse. However, Jantz said the person cannot be currently affiliated with Sharp HealthCare since the quota for Sharp representatives on the ICBOC has been filled. “A retired doctor or nurse would also be ideal,” Jantz said.

ICBOC members must reside within the District’s 750 square miles in San Diego’s East County. The ICBOC meets quarterly and sub-committees meet at various times as needed, some monthly. Committee members serve for no more than three consecutive two-year terms. Interested volunteers can obtain an application by contacting GHD at (619) 825-5050, or via e-mail,

“I’m very excited to serve,” said Pugliese, who has worked at the hospital since 1991, including the past 20 years in a community relations role. “I am very familiar with the bond-related construction projects at the hospital and can provide clarifications or perspectives needed at the meetings. Also, over the past 30 years, I have served in the community on several planning groups and design committees overseeing construction. Having served in an elected capacity before, I have a good understanding of the roles and responsibilities of government agencies and their boards.”

From 1981 to 2003, Pugliese served as an elected official, winning five consecutive terms, as a member of the Santee School District board of directors. Following her retirement from the school district board, her life of public service continued as a board officer for the Santee Chamber of Commerce. Today, she serves on the chamber’s executive board as secretary and the chairperson for the Chamber’s annual awards program.

In addition, for the past 10 years, she has served as a member of East County Family YMCA Board of Management, a group of more than 60 individuals representing East County businesses and the community.

Since 2006, she has served on the board of the Santee-Lakeside Rotary Club, one of the most active Rotary Clubs in the area. Pugliese headed the Club’s effort to obtain a $2,000 matching grant from Rotary District 5340 to benefit the Santee Food Bank. With an additional $2,000 from the Santee-Lakeside Rotary Club, the Santee Food Bank was able to purchase a large-capacity, commercial-grade refrigerator and three chest freezers to safely store preserving perishable food for distribution. With this additional storage capacity, the Santee Food Bank is able to serve more families. She also assisted the Club with securing a $5,000 grant from the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund that has been applied to the Club’s scholarship program serving high school students at Santana, West Hills and El Capitan. Sandy has been the recipient of the Club’s Rotarian of the Year award twice for her efforts.

She is now in her second year as a board member of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce. In 2006, Pugliese was honored as one of the East County Chamber’s Women In Leadership award recipients based on her efforts with the success of Proposition G, a taxpayer-approved bond measure that is financing new and improved patient care facilities at Grossmont Hospital.

During the holidays at the hospital since 1995, Pugliese has organized a hospital-wide program called “Santa’s Korner,” which provides gifts and food for need families in the community. More than 30 hospital departments get involved, from the women’s center to emergency room – all raising money and hundreds of toys, clothes and household items. The families are identified by social service agencies who act as intermediaries between donors and recipients. Agencies that helped select beneficiaries include the Salvation Army, Crisis House and Vista Hill. More than 40 families benefit every December from Santa’s Korner. Pugliese’s efforts were recognized in 2014 with a GHD Healthcare Hero award.

She recently ended, after 13 years, serving as a member of the County of San Diego’s Social Services Advisory Board (SSAB), an appointment by County Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

The Grossmont Healthcare District, formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital, supports various health-related community programs and services in San Diego’s East County Region. The District is governed by a five-member board of directors, each representing more than 500,000 people residing within San Diego East County’s 750 square miles. For more information about GHD, visit