Hoag Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Marcy Brown is Leading By Example

For about a decade before Marcy Brown joined Hoag in 2001, her husband, Soren Storgaard, was impressed by the small Newport Beach community hospital doing big things. It was rich in vision and high-aiming leaders. The pair lived in Seattle, where Marcy led medical imaging at Providence Seattle and Soren was a senior executive at Siemens Medical. He worked with several academic and research organizations across the country, implementing new medical technology. Yet he was always struck by Hoag’s vision as a community hospital, enthusiasm for innovation, and ability to adopt and implement new technology quickly to deliver the best care possible to patients.


Hoag Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Marcy Brown and her husband Soren Storgaard reflect on their journeys with Hoag as innovators, supporters, and grateful patients.


Fast forward a few years, and the two moved to Southern California to follow Soren’s new job in Los Angeles. As a medical technology executive, he worked with Cedars-Sinai, UCLA, USC, Stanford, and others. But his affinity for Hoag only grew. “On one occasion, I brought forward an idea that was very progressive at the time and took it to Hoag’s executive leadership. They thought it was intriguing, would differentiate Hoag, improve patient care, and they approved it,” Soren said. It was a refreshingly straightforward process for Soren and for Marcy, who had seen from the sidelines how other organizations took years to execute a project with her husband, if they did it at all. “I thought this was a great hospital that is at the forefront and doing great things for the community,” he said.

His next idea would be for Marcy: look at Hoag.


New Beginnings

I’d never heard of Hoag, Marcy said. Soren said, “Trust me, you need to meet Dr. Michael Brant-Zawadzki and Robert Braithwaite and listen to their vision.”

So, she did. She interviewed with the now Ron & Sandi Simon Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair and the president and CEO, respectively, and was soon leading Hoag into a new era: one that evolved into the operation of an Irvine campus.

“It was early on that I realized the community, Irvine and South County, wanted Hoag Hospital Irvine to be their Hoag,” Marcy said. “The community just wrapped their arms around everything we were doing.” During the Hoag Promise Campaign, they created the Hoag Irvine/Orthopedic Campaign Advisory Committee. She calls it a gift to have been part of that team, which she remembers was full of enthusiasm. “No one missed a meeting, and everyone would come engaged and ready to go all in for the next idea or new program.” Shortly after Hoag Hospital Irvine opened in 2010, Marcy was leading it. She fondly remembers when the hospital’s inpatient count was less than 10, and she would hope to one day get to 20. That goal would soon be met and eventually greatly surpassed. 

In a gesture to further support the campus she helped bring to life, Marcy and Soren made a $250,000 donation in the form of a bequest to Hoag Irvine. It was a place that signified a major accomplishment and one that would also become a saving grace.


“When I helped to build out the Hoag Health Center – Sand Canyon campus, I never imagined that I would be a patient there,” Marcy said.


Grateful Patients

We both got diagnosed with cancer, Marcy said. Soren had lung cancer and had a partial lung removal. Marcy underwent radiation for breast cancer. With her employees turned caregivers surrounding her, Marcy couldn’t help but reflect on the seemingly ironic circumstances. As I was lying there, receiving my radiation treatments, I was saying to them, “Can you even believe this?” she said. They’d all doggedly strived together to retain the best technology and physicians to serve the communities around the hospital. And it came to pass that Marcy and Soren were the very community they’d worked so hard for.

“We both benefited from Hoag having recruited the best physicians and invested in state-of-the-art technology for our community,” she said.


A Legacy of Innovation

Marcy and Soren think back on their personal health care journeys and remark on how comforting it was to know that Hoag had what they needed, when they needed it most. 

Prompted by their desire to keep innovation a hallmark of Hoag and their mutual penchant for building new things, the pair instinctively took an interest in Hoag Innovators and made an additional $250,000 gift to support its endowment.

“This is active philanthropy,” Marcy explained. Hoag Innovators is a group of philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and community leaders who pool their contributions. They are then presented with projects led by Hoag physicians and clinicians, and they collectively choose which ones to fund. The projects can be related to technology, recruitment, and more, all with the goal of bringing advanced techniques and treatments to Hoag patients. Marcy and Soren appreciate how this method of giving combines their skills and interests. “You get a sneak peek at all of the latest technology coming down the pipeline, whether it’s software or a new physician that needs to be recruited, and then you get behind it,” she said.


“Our Hospital”

Through multiple diagnoses and surgeries, Marcy and Soren have relied on Hoag. They travel the scenic canyon road from their home in Laguna Beach to the bustling Irvine campus that rises more every day. Their friends and neighbors in Laguna Beach are also Hoag patients.

With the Boldly Hoag campaign underway, philanthropic support is essential for the campus. Just like the creation of Hoag Hospital Newport Beach counted on the fundraising efforts of the community, so does Hoag Hospital Irvine, which has now taken on new life as the Sun Family Campus.

“This is our hospital,” Marcy said. “Our very first impression of Hoag was that the physicians, nurses, employees, and community support were so different from anything we’d ever been exposed to before.” They hope their support goes a long way to creating new things but keeping one thing the same.

“We want to make sure that Hoag stays Hoag.”



Read more stories >



Be Bold With Us

The launch of the Boldly Hoag campaign is a pivotal moment in Hoag’s history. Over the past 70 years, our community has partnered with us to realize each next step in our vision, catalyzing change and innovation to improve patient care. Once again, Hoag is relying on the support of philanthropic partners to lead the way forward in health care. There’s no limit to what we can accomplish together. You belong here.