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Sonia Soo Hoo

Sonia Soo Hoo Obituary
Sonia L. Soo Hoo, M.D.

Sonia L. Soo Hoo passed away on October 15, 2019 in the loving embrace of immediate family members at her home in San Francisco, after fighting metastatic non-small cell lung cancer for fifteen months. Born at Queen's Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii to U.S. Naval Officer M.T. Soo Hoo and the late Nancy Kumasaki Soo Hoo, Sonia's formative years with her parents and sister Mona were spent in Hawaii, Virginia, Japan and California, with many halcyon summers in Stonington, Maine. She attended Presidio Middle School and Lowell High School in San Francisco; and earned her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and Masters of Science and Doctor of Medicine from the Joint Medical Program of UC Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCSF. She was a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the San Mateo County Medical Association and the California Medical Association.
A month before her marriage to Michael Black, Sonia joined The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) at the Kaiser Permanente (KP) South San Francisco medical center, where for 26 years she provided outstanding obstetric, gynecological and preventive health care as a surgeon and clinician to thousands of women during her career. At KP South San Francisco, in addition to her clinical practice, she held for a number of years the administrative role of Medical Legal Chief, chairing the Risk Management Committee, authoring a monthly column for doctors on risk prevention and teaching her colleagues at Grand Rounds. She was elected by her peers at the medical center to represent them on the TPMG Board of Directors for three years, during which time she was elected as Assistant Secretary and chaired the Elected Representatives group. Her most recent administrative role was as TPMG Physician Director of Customer Relations, which she enjoyed until her retirement earlier this year. Blessed with staunch mentors, Sonia received numerous accolades during her career including selection as a 2004 Fellow for the Health Care Leadership Program of the California Health Care Foundation; recognition in 2011 by KP's Innovation Fund for Technology for her creation of "Dr. Hero" (an innovative teaching tool); and, in 2018 honored with a Clinical Faculty Award for her work mentoring residents at the medical center. She was passionate about women's reproductive health, devoted to her profession, and well regarded by peers and patients.
Highly competitive and an intrepid, avid athlete, Sonia ran marathons, enjoyed snorkeling, scuba diving, and skiing, and played squash, soccer, and golf. Always skilled with her hands, she worked one summer in Maine as a crab picker, later as a surgeon in the Bay Area, and was a lifelong needle pointer, knitter, and seamstress. She will be remembered for her fierce integrity, stalwart dedication, and resolute industry, balanced by her infectious giggle and wry humor, zest for exploration and annual travels with her family to various countries and states.
Sonia is survived by her loving husband of 27 years; the three joys and pride of their marriage: daughters Ciara, Maeve, and Catriona; her father and sister; relatives and dear friends in California, Ireland, Maine and across the globe.
A celebration of Sonia's life will be held in the Bay Area in January, 2020, and later in Ireland and Maine. In lieu of floral tributes, any donations are suggested to Planned Parenthood (www.plannedparenthood.org), or, to the "Tuesday Club", a senior residents' organization on Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland (http:/www.rathlincommunity.org/story/sonia-soo-hoo). For more information, or to join us in celebrating Sonia's life, please email [email protected]
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Nov. 24, 2019
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