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UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Association

UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Association

UC Davis Pediatrician to Receive 2010 Physician Humanitarian Award

Medical Board of California to laud Richard Pan for
public-health advocacy

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Richard J.D. Pan, an associate clinical professor of pediatrics in the UC Davis School of Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2010 Physician Humanitarian Award from the Medical Board of California, the state government agency that licenses and regulates physicians.

Pan is a leading health-care reformer, child-health advocate and medical educator who is well-known in California and beyond for his efforts to bring community members together with health-care organizations to improve health-care access, especially for children. The award will be presented in July at the quarterly meeting of the Medical Board of California.

“I am greatly honored to have been nominated to receive this award and for this acknowledgment from the Medical Board,” said Pan, who also is a clinician with UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

“We as physicians need to work to improve the health of all Californians by reaching beyond the walls of hospitals and clinics and into the community to affect the drivers, or determinants, of health,” he said. “That applies to all Californians but particularly to children, for whom preventive care can dramatically minimize the incidence of chronic illness in adulthood.”

Pan said that the social determinants of health include the availability of adequate food, housing, employment and health-care services.

Pan is a well-known voice for children’s health, his passion serving as a significant force for garnering community resources to improve health for children and youth in the Sacramento region, said Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis.

“Dr. Pan is truly an exceptional physician whose commitment to caring for underserved communities, educating future physicians about the social determinants of health and pursuing innovative community-engaged research is an inspiration to physicians throughout the state and nation,” Pomeroy said. “I congratulate him on this well-deserved honor and on his efforts to foster strong physician-community partnerships to improve public health in the Sacramento region and beyond.”

Pan’s activities as a health-care advocate began more than 10 years ago when, as a resident pediatrician in Massachusetts, he worked to support legislation to expand children’s health-care coverage. The legislation that passed in Massachusetts became the forerunner of the federal Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the second-largest expansion of health access for children in the history of the United States.

At UC Davis he established a unique residency training program that helps new physicians develop a community perspective on delivering primary care services. Known as Communities and Physicians Together, the nationally recognized program unites resident physicians with advocacy groups in medically underserved areas to promote healthy lifestyles and improve wellness.

Pan also is an elected member of the House of Delegates for the American Medical Association, a trustee for the California Medical Association, the vice chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics California District IX, and a member of the board of directors of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Educators.

“I believe that we need to train all health-care professionals — physicians, nurses and others — to advocate to ensure that everyone has access to health care and to examine the health impacts of the public-policy decisions that are made,” Pan said. “That includes transportation, water and land use, education, and social services policies. Only then will we truly improve the health status of the people of California.”

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its specialty- and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For further information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine.