GEAR up for wellness, advises donor and former UC Davis medical resident John Chuck
Board-certified family practice physician John Chuck literally is a physician’s physician. In addition to seeing his own patients in his Kaiser Permanente Medical Group practice in Davis, he is chief of physician health and wellness with responsibility to oversee an array of programs that help 1,100 Permanente physicians throughout the Sacramento region attain a healthful work-life balance.
"GEAR up for wellness," he advises physicians. "G stands for gratitude. Start each day by reminding yourself of three new things you’re grateful for. Instead of waking up and saying ‘woe is me,’ say ‘wow is me’ – how blessed I am to have meaningful work and the strength to do it. The E stands for exercise," Chuck explained. "A stands for adapt to change by innovating and adopting best practices. And R stands for investing in the relationships that will define the meaning and purpose of your life."
Further, as Kaiser Sacramento’s regional chief of health promotion and information technology innovation, Chuck helps maintain Kaiser’s medical center websites, individual physician home pages, and online patient education videos and podcasts, and makes presentations on preventive care, wellness and disease treatment.
"My wife, Lesli, and I support UC Davis because we both received outstanding educations here, which set us up for the careers that we’ve enjoyed. Also we met many of our lifelong friends and benefited from the sense of community that UC Davis planted in us."
He also helped to oversee the launch of Kaiser’s My Doctor Online network.
"That’s a web service that gives our patients 24/7 access to information about their physicians and tutorials about disease prevention and medical conditions. It enables patients to email their doctor, book appointments and look up lab results. It’s been a win-win situation for our medical group and our patients," Chuck said.
As if that were not enough, Chuck volunteered his time for 18 years as a UC Davis health sciences clinical professor, and he and his wife, Lesli, enthusiastically support the UC Davis Health System through philanthropy and volunteer activities.
"My wife, Lesli, and I support UC Davis because we both received outstanding educations here, which set us up for the careers that we’ve enjoyed. Also we met many of our lifelong friends and benefitted from the sense of community that UC Davis planted in us. And we want to maintain that same opportunity for future generations," said Chuck, who after obtaining his M.D. degree at UCLA completed his residency in family practice at UC Davis in 1989.
"UC Davis places heavy emphasis on providing opportunities for people who otherwise wouldn’t have those opportunities. This is a bridge for people who are willing to work hard to create careers and opportunities for themselves. That always will be the mission of public universities and of UC Davis."
Chuck additionally is the founder and chief executive officer of Serotonin Surge Charities, which since 1999 has raised $3 million in funding for medical research, scholarships and free community clinics, including the seven UC Davis student-run clinics.
"The organization is named for the good-feeling brain chemical because of the uplifting feeling volunteers and donors experience when they help their communities," Chuck explained. Serotonin Surge Charities operates with an all-volunteer staff to minimize overhead expenditures.
"Lesli and I give to UC Davis out of gratitude for everything UC Davis has done for us and because we want to help ensure that current and future generations of Californians have the same amount of opportunity that we did," said Chuck, who is a trustee for the UC Davis Foundation."When we give back to UC Davis, it’s really an investment in something we believe in."