Young Physicians and Professionals Alliance promotes the work of Torrance
Memorial and funds service awards—and has a good time doing it.
Most networking groups get together for coffee and snacks or drinks and
hors d’oeuvres. But
Torrance Memorial Medical Center’s Young Physicians and Professionals
Alliance (YPPA) takes networking to the next level.
Since its founding in 2012, YPPA has hosted parties, beer tastings, hikes,
tours of private homes and even speed-networking, where you chat with
someone for five minutes, then move to the next person.
This past holiday season YPPA had a preview party before the annual
Holiday Festival, the hospital’s largest fundraising event of the year that features
more than 30 themed, decorated trees. A Mardi Gras-themed beer-tasting
event is also in the works, as is a Western-themed casino night.
“We hold some really fun and engaging events,” says
Heidi Hoffman, MD, a radiologist at Torrance Memorial and one of YPPA’s founding physicians.
“So you not only get to network and meet new people, you do that
while beer tasting, hiking the hills of Palos Verdes, or socializing on
the rooftop at Shade Hotel.”
The events get the doctors out of the hospital and introduce them to community
leaders, businessmen, politicians and professionals from across the South Bay.
“What I really like is it’s a chance to meet other educated,
intelligent people to have social connections with. It’s through
YPPA that I feel like I have a larger connection to the community,” says
James A. McKinnell, MD, an infectious disease physician at Torrance Memorial who also serves
as YPPA’s physician co-chair. “A number of friendships have
emerged out of YPPA between myself and professionals, and myself and other
The professionals in the group get access to doctors they would not otherwise
meet, unless they end up in the hospital.
“It’s a group of physicians you don’t find in most networking
groups,” says Ben Archer, head of
Archer Building Group in Redondo Beach. “We do a lot of networking, but we don’t come across that
many doctors, so it’s good to have these connections.”
Joe Spierer, head architect at
Joseph Spierer Architects in Redondo Beach, started attending almost two years ago and now eagerly puts the events
on his calendar when the save-the-date notices go out. “It’s
more relaxed and casual than other groups,” says Spierer. “Beyond
the doctors, it’s great to meet other professionals in the South
Bay who have the same client base. I’ve definitely gotten good leads.”
But YPPA serves more than just networking. The group’s purpose is
also to promote Torrance Memorial and community health. “It’s
a very social group, but the idea is for people to learn more about this
great independent community hospital we have and take pride in our hospital,”
says Dr. McKinnell.
The yearly $500 tax-deductible dues not only pays for the YPPA events,
but also funds the DAISY awards given to nurses who exemplify outstanding
service and “The Reason Is You” award given to other hospital
staff members for outstanding service.
Designed for physicians and professionals under 50 years old (but they
never check ID at the door), the group is fairly evenly divided male and
female. About 40 percent of the members are physicians, 60 percent professionals.
YPPA traces its beginnings to 2011 when Dr. Hoffman’s father, the
late radiologist Richard Hoffman, MD, suggested the hospital Foundation
board start such a group. The first few meetings only attracted about
a dozen people, but word spread and YPPA now has 91 members. YPPA holds
five events per year, about half of which are exclusive to members only.
The others are open to nonmembers who are invited by a member.
“We target physicians as well as successful entrepreneurs, professionals
and business leaders who believe in what Torrance Memorial stands for
and want to support the hospital,” says Dr. Hoffman. “We’re
really putting together a stellar group.”
For more information or to join Torrance Memorial Young Physicians and
Professionals Alliance, visit