The state of California boasts a rich history of women who demonstrate excellent leadership and public engagement skills and thus serve as role models in our community. One such individual who exemplifies these qualities in abundance is Darlene Wetton, Chief Executive Officer at Temecula Valley Hospital who is honored as a 2019 Woman of Distinction for the 75th Assembly District by the Honorable Marie Waldron.
Darlene Wetton earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and graduated summa cum laude with a master of business administration degree from Webster University. For 27 years at San Diego’s Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, she served in various leadership roles including chief nursing officer and chief operating officer. Accepting the role as the first CEO of Temecula Valley Hospital in 2012, Darlene Wetton had the opportunity to open the new hospital and set the vision for the healthcare services that would meet the needs of the growing community. With her strong dedication and leadership, she has guided the path for Temecula Valley Hospital to become exceptional in patient care.
Within the first year of opening, Temecula Valley Hospital began offering cardiovascular services to provide comprehensive heart and vascular care and began services as a designated ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI) receiving center for heart attack victims in San Diego and Riverside Counties. Temecula Valley Hospital was also the first in the region to attain Primary Stroke Certification from The Joint Commission to provide advanced stroke care and services to both counties.
Working to fulfill its mission to deliver exceptional and compassionate patient care, Darlene Wetton has led Temecula Valley Hospital to receive numerous awards, including a 5-Star Medicare Hospital Compare Rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medical Services and six consecutive “A” grades from the Leapfrog Group, a patient safety advocacy organization that rates hospitals on patient safety nationwide. Temecula Valley Hospital was also named one of America’s Best Hospitals for Patient Safety and one of America’s Best Stroke Centers by the Women’s Choice Awards. Darlene volunteers her time at various community and nonprofit organizations, including the American Heart and Stroke Association where she was recently named as the executive champion for the South Riverside County American Heart and Stroke Walk. She also promotes Temecula Valley Hospital’s community health events such as the annual Temecula Health and Wellness Fair and the Women’s Heart Health Exposition Event.
Darlene Wetton was nominated by Manila Zaman, MD, Chief of Cardiology at Temecula Valley Hospital for this prestigious award. Dr. Zaman says, “Darlene’s commitment and passion for excellence are evident by the outstanding achievements of the hospital. Receiving these elite awards demonstrates the commitment and high standards of care that our physicians and staff provide to the community, under Darlene’s leadership. Patient safety is a very important priority for Darlene and is exemplified in everything she does.”
In the California State Assembly Resolution to recognize Darlene Wetton, the Honorable Marie Waldron states, “Throughout its history, California has benefited immensely from the contributions of public-spirited individuals who, in addition to their daily pursuits, take a keen interest in local affairs. Darlene Wetton has participated in numerous enterprises that have a left a lasting impact on her community and beyond. She is to be congratulated on her selection as a 2019 Woman of Distinction for the 75th Assembly District and commended for her exemplary record of professional and civic leadership.“