Catalina Island

Mike Forcella strives to succeed on the football field and at CIMC

Mike Forcella assists patients and their families as part of the Physical Therapy team at Catalina Island Medical Center.

CIMC mike_forcella

“Football is life,” and Mike Forcella, an employee at Catalina Island Medical Center, who embodies the best qualities mentioned in the Vince Lombardi quote. In less than a year, Mike has worked as the hospital’s front desk clerk, housing coordinator and now begins a new role as administrative assistant and office support for the Therapy Services Department.

Mike, who visited Catalina on vacation from Clearwater, Florida, met Earl Schrader in line at Vons and started talking football. Now almost five years later, after guiding the Avalon Lancers’ Football squad to two consecutive league championships and several CIF semi-final games, Mike Forcella and Earl Schrader have been selected as CIF “All Star” coaches and will lead one of the teams for this year’s 8-man Division “All Star” game, played in Avalon on Saturday, June 27.

“CIMC is a great place, and it has a great environment,” Mike shared. “I love working here.”

He excels at greeting patients and visitors, assisting callers phoning in to the hospital, handling residential assignments for interim or contract personnel, and using his organizational skills and work ethic to make CIMC a better place to be.

A former college football player at Belhaven University in Mississippi and Arena Football League (AFL) linebacker, Mike worked initially in Avalon mentoring teenagers through the Community Church and Singing Waters Christian Fellowship. He sings and plays guitar and was often leading worship for youth activities or church services. CIMC and football now fill his days.

Earl Schrader who started the highly successful Avalon High football program in 1997 will be taking an advisory coaching role and Mike Forcella has accepted the head-coaching position at the school.

Mike approaches work at the hospital with the same intensity as game-day preparation. His responsibility for the housing of up to 18 mainland employees (14 of whom are nurses) includes handling eight rental properties and numerous hotel overnights for an important part of the hospital’s workforce. His work in the Therapy Services department has already streamlined and expedited appointments and referrals.

An avid hiker, Mike’s favorite trail to take is Hermit Gulch. He hiked it everyday for three months when he first moved to the island, and loved the challenge and beautiful scenery.

What’s his prediction for Avalon football in 2015?

“We plan to go all the way,” Mike shared.

The entire Vince Lombardi quote is, “Football is life. It requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.” CIMC is delighted to have Mike Forcella on its “team” as an important contributor to the mission and vision to provide quality health care to each individual, improve the overall health of the community and bring excellence to patient centered care and health enrichment.

The CIF All-Star Game will be played on Saturday, June 27, at Joe Machado Field at 5:30 p.m. Avalon athletes who are participating as “All Stars” include #14 Cristian Martinez, #46 Alfredo Contreras, #65 Edoardo Pedroza, #72 Cesar Silva and #88 Andy Garcia. Admission prices are $8 for Adults, $? for Students (not known at press time) and children under 12 are free. Come support Coaches Mike Forcella and Earl Schrader and these gifted Avalon players.


Story Credit: Judy Hibbs