Cora M. Tellez Named the 28th Recipient of the Bay Area Tumor Institute’s Annual Living Example Award

Sterling President & CEO Cora M. Tellez has been named the the 28th recipient of the Bay Area Tumor Institute’s annual Living Example award. She will be recognized for her extraordinary contributions to the civic, philanthropic and economic development of the San Francisco Bay Area at a black-tie dinner on April 5, 2013 in San Francisco. The following press release was issued on February 22, 2013.

Contact Barry Siegel for more information: (510) 465-8571, or
February 22, 2013

The Bay Area Tumor Institute has announced that it will honor Cora M. Tellez as the 28th recipient of its annual Living Example award. On April 5, 2013, Cora will be recognized at an elegant black-tie dinner for her extraordinary contributions to the civic, philanthropic and economic development of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Living Example award will be conferred at a black tie dinner and dance at the San Francisco Ritz-Carlton Hotel, San Francisco. According to Ms. Kellie J. Abreu, Chair of the Institute, the dinner is expected to attract 300 or more leaders from the medical, business, and civic communities and raise more than $250,000 in net income to support the lifesaving work of the Tumor Institute.

Located in Oakland and serving cancer patients throughout the Bay Area, the Bay Area Tumor Institute provides $7,500,000 worth of investigational anti-cancer drugs to adult and pediatric cancer patients at no cost each year. The Institute also provides free consultations to patients that have difficult or rare forms of head and neck cancer or melanoma, and conducts educational programs for physicians and nurses throughout the Bay Area. The Tumor Institute also operates the only purely research-oriented tissue bank west of the Mississippi and is the leading Bay Area provider of cancer prevention research opportunities to healthy people at high-risk for the development of certain cancers.

Cora Tellez serves as President & CEO of Sterling HSA, a company she founded in 2004.  Cora has more than 25 years of executive management experience in health care finance and delivery. Prior to founding Sterling HSA, Cora was President of the Health Plans division of Health Net, Inc., President of Prudential’s western health care operations, CEO of Blue Shield of California, Bay Region and Regional Manager for Kaiser Permanente of Hawaii.

With a long and successful record in the health insurance industry, Cora founded Sterling HSA and Sterling SIA  because of her strong belief that consumer directed plans will have an enormous impact on the affordability and accessibility of health care for individuals and businesses. She speaks nationwide to groups of insurance professionals and financial advisors, companies of all sizes and consumers about the vital changes needed in health care benefits and the role that HSAs play in reform.

Cora’s community service efforts span her wide spectrum of interests including public health needs in the Philippines, higher education in the Bay Area and community health in the East Bay. In 2012, Cora led the development and launch of the Gift of Learning and Gift of Health program. Intended to encourage Filipinos donors in the US to send money to needy relatives in the Philippines, the program offers a secure vehicle to ensure that the donor’s funds are spent for the purpose intended by the donor.

Cora received her master’s degree in public administration from California State University and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mills College where she received a BA degree and served as college Trustee. She serves on the board of HMS Holdings, Inc., and Practice Fusion. She also serves on several nonprofit organization boards such as the Institute for Medical Quality and UC San Diego’s Center for Integrative Medicine. She is a former board member of Crescent Healthcare, Bank of Hawaii, Glendale Federal Bank, Cal Fed Bank, Catellus Development Company and First Consulting Group. She has served on numerous non-profit boards, including The Cowell Foundation, Mills College, Holy Names University, The Institute for the Future and Philippine International Aid. She helped found Asian Community Mental Health and Filipinos for Social Justice. Cora has been recognized for her professional and community endeavors by such organizations as Women Healthcare Executives, the Asian Pacific Fund, and the Anti Defamation League.

Cora has been married to Pablo Tellez for 37 years. They have two sons (Andres and Alex) and two grand-children (William and Joanna). Their daughters-in-law (Katy and Denise) provide beauty and grace in an otherwise raucous family.

For additional information and tickets, please contact Ms. Leah Radke, Executive Assistant, Bay Area Tumor Institute at 510-410-8133 or

For more information on Sterling HSA, visit

For more information on Sterling SIA, visit

For more information on Regalo: Gift of Health & Learning, visit