A Farewell to the Beloved Dr. Fenzi

Dr. Charles Fenzi | Credit: Courtesy

A message sent on behalf of the S.B. Neighborhood Clinics’ Board of Directors:

This week marked a new beginning for Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics (SBNC) as we welcomed our new CEO, Dr. Mahdi Ashrafian, but it also marks the culmination of a remarkable career in medicine for our beloved Dr. Charles Fenzi. When anyone thinks of SBNC, they think of Dr. Fenzi. His warm personal style, eternal optimism, and genuine kindness to everyone are impossible to resist. Dr. Fenzi has been serving our Santa Barbara community and leading SBNC for over a decade, first as Chief Medical Officer starting in 2012, and then as CEO/CMO since 2015.

Although Dr. Fenzi will always give credit to “the team” at SBNC for its successes, so much of our success is due directly to Dr. Fenzi’s leading by example. He was tireless in his commitment to providing the best care possible to all of our patients, and while his leadership duties took more and more of his time, he never wanted to give up seeing patients. It was what motivated him while it inspired all the rest of us.

Dr. Fenzi’s accomplishments at SBNC are almost too numerous to mention, from opening the Bridge Clinic in collaboration with Cottage Hospital, to screening for ACEs (adverse childhood experiences), expanding behavioral health services, and welcoming soon our first pediatric residents. Meanwhile, navigating the COVID-19 pandemic with all of its disruptions and challenges was enough to exhaust anyone, but at the same time he found the energy to lead the Campaign for the Westside Clinic to unprecedented success.

We want to thank you, Dr. Fenzi, for all you have done for SBNC, our patients, our staff, and our community. We have been very fortunate to have you as our leader. We will miss you.

Brian Gough is chair of the Board of Directors for SBNC.

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