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Sunday, June 20, 2021

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Daniel Gross (’88) Daniel Gross (’88)

Motivated to Stay

Sharp HealthCare Executive Vice President Daniel Gross (’88) was set to retire. Then COVID-19 changed his plans.
By Tobin Vaughn

“I have the greatest admiration and respect for San Diego State.”

Daniel Gross (’88) had announced his retirement and set April 3 as the date his four-decade career at Sharp HealthCare would end. He had started with the not-for-profit organization in 1979 as a clinical nurse and had served with the organization in many capacities on his way to the position of Executive Vice President of Hospital Operations.

But the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic changed his plans. The San Diego State University alumnus committed to stay as a special consultant to Sharp HealthCare’s president and CEO to focus specifically on COVID-19 and its implications for San Diego County.

“I have been committed to health care for the last 43 years and that commitment is about caring for people and having a mission that everyone receives quality care,” he said. “For me, at this time, given my history, I felt that I was in a position to provide value for Sharp HealthCare, San Diego, and our state. I couldn’t walk away at a time of greater need.”

In his consultant role, Gross ensures that Sharp HealthCare’s facilities and staff are organized and coordinated for care and treatment of patients under investigation for COVID-19 and those who have tested positive for the illness. That includes preparation for accommodating an extraordinary patient volume if necessary. 

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“In addition to making certain we have adequate space, we also need to be sure we have all the necessary supplies and equipment available along with an adequate workforce to deal with an increased patient population,” he said. “That includes physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, housekeepers — all types of personnel.”

Qualified and prepared

It’s a huge responsibility that Gross is qualified and prepared to take it on. He credits his education in nursing administration from SDSU’s College of Health and Human Services as a big part of that preparation.  

“My SDSU master’s degree was critical in terms of building my leadership and business knowledge as well as helping my critical thinking, my research knowledge and my ability to be analytical and evidence-based in decision-making. For me it was that great combination of all those things coming together to help make me an effective leader, and not just for leadership within nursing, but really effective leadership for the entire health care system.”

It’s one of the reasons he stays connected to the university as an adjunct faculty member and a member of The Campanile Foundation board of directors. “I have the greatest admiration and respect for San Diego State,” Gross said. 

“I see the university as an amazing organization that brings immeasurable value to this community in preparing individuals academically to make certain we stay strong as a community, specifically relating to health care. Without San Diego State, we would not have the amazing workforce we have today.”

Gifts and opportunities

For now, retirement will have to wait. Gross has a big job to do and he does it willingly.

“My decision to go into nursing was about being of service to others and it’s kind of a calling in many ways.

“I live my professional life from a perspective that I truly have been given great opportunities and an enormous gift by being a part of this amazing health care system and community. I feel grateful for the gifts and opportunities that have been presented to me and I feel an obligation and a responsibility to fulfill those opportunities in the best way I can.”