Recipients of Outstanding Physician Awards by the Medical Board of California
Individual physician: Jacob Eapen, M.D. is a pediatrician for Alameda County Health Services where he treats children and juveniles in the county's retention center in San Leandro. He has spent his entire professional career caring for uninsured and poor patients throughout the world. He has taught and practiced in Nigeria; was appointed Health Advisor by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to the Republic of the Philippines where he worked with refugees in Battan; and served as the Director of International Affairs for Stop AIDS Worldwide, where he met Mother Theresa in Calcutta to promote the work of this organization. In 1990 he was appointed Director for Research and Public Health Programs at International Health Services in Mountain View, California.
Physician group: "Kids Care/Community ENT" is a volunteer partnership of approximately 25 physicians from Orange and Shasta counties. These family practitioners, ENTs, and anesthesiologists provided surgical attention to low-income children in the Redding area of California who had waited as long as two years for tonsillectomies, placement of ear-drainage tubes, and other medical procedures. Most of these children had been unable to hear, smell or speak normally. From December 2000 to February 2003, the "Kids Care" physicians and other health care workers treated approximately 166 children. This creative partnership resulted from a shortage of pediatric specialists in Redding, in part due to low Medi-Cal reimbursement rates.
Individual physician: Appannagari "Dev" GnanaDev, M.D. is a surgeon from Colton. Dr. GnanaDev is the Medical Director and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC). His commitment to the underserved spans 23 years of work in a public hospital setting. In the mid-1990s, he spearheaded a grassroots campaign to win approval for a new, state-of-the-art hospital that would replace the existing county hospital, which had fallen into disrepair. In 1999, the 373-bed Medical Center in Colton opened, providing the residents of San Bernardino County with one of the most modern health care facilities in the world. He also established a free tattoo-removal program for former gang members in 1996, and in 2003 worked to create the Inland Empire Burn Institute to aid burn victims in the Inland Empire.
Physician group: "Sacramento Physicians' Initiative to Reach out, Innovate, and Teach (SPIRIT) Hernia Repair Program." The SPIRIT hernia-repair physicians are part of a non-profit organization of 40 active, volunteer physicians who seek to improve access to health care for Sacramento County's working poor who do not receive benefits through their employer and who cannot afford to buy health insurance, yet who are ineligible for Medi-Cal. The SPIRIT physicians pre-operatively and post-operatively evaluate these patients in their private offices, and operate on them with the full cooperation of their hospitals, which assist their efforts by donating necessary support services and staff. After their surgeries, most of the patients are able to return to work to support themselves and their families.
Individual physician: Craig Jones, M.D. is an allergist from Los Angeles. Dr. Jones is the chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center. He is the director of the center's Allergy/Immunology Residency Training Program. To help combat asthma in children, Dr. Jones, with the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, Southern California Chapter, developed the concept of the Breathmobile program, which he serves as its volunteer medical director. The Breathmobile is an asthma clinic on wheels, and brings free treatment and medicine to disadvantaged children at over 120 schools, resulting in significantly fewer emergency room visits, and a dramatic decrease in school absenteeism. The Breathmobile is the first project in the country to exclusively treat children with asthma at their school site. Each Breathmobile is staffed by a team from the Division of Allergy and Immunology at LAC +USC, visits about 20 targeted schools every six weeks, and enrolls about 1,000 new patients per year.
Individual physician: Ramon Jimenez, M.D. is an orthopedic surgeon from Salinas and Monterey. He is a senior orthopedic consultant with Monterey Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute. In the last 30 years, he has worked to improve access to health care for farm workers and the Latino population in the Central Valley and Mexico. He grew up in San Jose, where he worked as an orthopedist in a practice that was almost half Latino. He still serves on the Board of Trustees for National Hispanic University, where he mentors young people to guide them in their careers and education. He returns to Guadalajara annually to provide arthroscopic procedures and total joint replacements to those who otherwise would not have access to these necessary medical services. He also has worked on the state and federal level to sensitize physicians treating multicultural patients -- an issue of particular interest to the Medical Board. He has been involved with diversity issues for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons for the past eight years and is the Chairman of their Diversity Advisory Board.
Individual physician: Dr. Clyde Ikeda is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon from San Francisco. He is a team leader of "Hospital de la Familia," a group of volunteer doctors and nurses, 109 of whom are California physicians. He has been on its board of directors since 1996 and serves as its medical director and vice president. This charitable medical organization provides services four times a year to a hospital in Guatemala. Since 1976, volunteers in this small hospital have treated nearly 290,000 patients. Dr. Ikeda performs reconstructive and plastic surgery on many patients, especially children. In addition, he developed one of the foremost burn centers in Northern California, the Bothin Burn Center (opened in 1967); was on the board of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in San Francisco; and volunteers his time to teach residents in plastic surgery at St. Francis Memorial Hospital.
Individual physician: Dr. Ron Bangasser died on May 2, 2007 of colorectal cancer. His death is a loss not only for his family and friends, but also for the patient population of Redlands. He was a family practitioner and the director of the Wound Care Center at Redlands Community Hospital. He introduced hyperbaric chambers to the wound-care ward at that hospital in 1982, and that unit now treats more than 4,000 patients a year. He was a member of numerous organized-medicine associations and societies, and participated in causes ranging from domestic violence awareness to the United Way. He was an outspoken advocate of access to medical care for all, regardless of income, and participated in medical organizations where his voice could be heard. For two decades served as team physician for San Bernardino Valley College and the San Bernardino Stampede Professional Baseball team.
Individual physician: Dr. Margaret McCahill is board certified in family medicine and psychiatry. She is the Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Psychiatry at UCSD's School of Medicine; the founding director of UCSD's Combined Family Medicine and Psychiatry Program; and the medical director of the St. Vincent de Paul Village Family Health Center in San Diego. Her innovative residency training program for physicians not only trains them for eligibility for board certification in both family medicine and psychiatry, but also provides a five-year immersion experience in training and service to the homeless and other patients who live in poverty.
When her program needed to expand, she partnered with Father Joe Carroll and Vice President of the St. Vincent de Paul Village, Mathew Packard, and they created The San Diego Health & Faith Alliance, a nonprofit corporation, to bring together community service and faith-based organizations, practitioners from many disciplines, and institutions of higher learning to deliver high-quality, comprehensive health care free of charge to poor and disadvantaged patients. This lead to the creation of a clinic in the City Heights area of San Diego that now serves about 1,000 patients annually, almost all of whom would otherwise have no other source of care. Her program became so successful that its services were expanded in 2006 to create "The Mobile Clinic," a 40-foot, cutting-edge primary care clinic on wheels that serves patients at various sites around San Diego County every week. The Mobile Clinic now serves an additional 1,300 underserved and working poor patients.
Individual physician: Jimmy H. Hara, M.D. is a family practitioner from Los Angeles. He serves as residency program director for the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Family Medicine Residency and is the lead physician for Community Benefit for Southern California Kaiser Permanente. For the past 35 years, Dr. Hara has served as a physician volunteer at the Venice Family Clinic, where he is currently board chair, and at the Los Angeles Free Clinic for more than 20 years. Dr. Hara also inspires and directs other physicians, medical students and residents to join him in his work with the medically underserved. From his days volunteering at the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic while he was in medical school through his decades of service in Los Angeles clinics, he has consistently provided care to the most vulnerable patient populations. In addition to his practice in these clinics, the Board recognized and applauded his work with many patient-advocacy organizations such as Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Commission for the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, the Health Professions Education Foundation for California, the Los Angeles Chapter of the California Academy of Family Physicians, and the California Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.
Individual physician: Richard Pan, M.D. practices general pediatrics at UC Davis Children's Hospital. He is the director of the Communities and Physicians Together program and is the associate director of the Primary Care Outcomes Research Fellowship, part of the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research Center. He is a leading child-health advocate, medical educator, and health care reform activist, focused on bringing community and health care organizations together. He is a well-known voice for children's health, serving on numerous boards and commissions, including the First 5 Sacramento Commission; the Healthy Kids Healthy Future Program; the Sacramento Health Improvement Project, the United Way of California Capitol Region, and the Impact Council. Dr. Pan has served as a medical consultant to the Sacramento City Unified School District since 2003. He also established a partnership between the UC Davis pediatric residency program and school nurses at six elementary schools in the district to teach students about nutrition. For these efforts he received the Lydia Smiley Award from the California School Nurses Organization. Dr. Pan founded and serves as director of the nationally recognized Communities and Physicians Together program at UC Davis School of Medicine. The program received the 2005 Community Campus Partnerships in Health Award, and Dr. Pan received the 2008 Campus Compact Thomas Ehlrich Faculty Award for Service Learning.
Individual physician: Richard Kammerman, M.D., is board certified in family medicine and past chair and current Clinical Professor of the UC Irvine Department of Family Medicine. Since the early 1960s, he given many hours to Orange County Medical Association (OCMA); they recognized him as Physician of the Year in 1997. He has served on the hospital staffs of St. Joseph’s Hospital of Orange, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, and Western Medical Center, serving as chair of the Family Medicine Department for each of these organizations. Dr. Kammerman has given his time to multiple volunteer and service groups, including the Discovery Science Center, the Santa Ana Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the Lion’s Club. He has received commendations for service from Boy Scouts of America, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the California State Senate, the California State Assembly, and the House of Representatives of the United States Congress. A few years ago, the Department of Family Medicine at UC Irvine created the Richard Kammerman Award, presented each year to a volunteer faculty member in recognition of outstanding service to the department and community; Dr. Kammerman was the first recipient for displaying the characteristics that form the selection criteria for this honor.
Individual physician: Rodney W. Borger, M.D., is board certified in emergency medicine and Director of the emergency room at Arrowhead Region Medical Center in Colton. He has repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to public health and safety through the development of innovations that improve the operation of emergency departments. Dr. Borger served on the California Department of Public Health Advisory Committee to advise on policies and procedures impacting California’s health and safety, help improve program effectiveness, and identify emerging public health trends. Dr. Borger was instrumental in forming the San Bernardino County Medical Reserves Corps (MRC), a component of Citizen Corps, a national network of volunteers dedicated to ensuring hometown security. Since 2003, he has served as the MRC Commander and worked consistently to bring together the knowledge and skills of 120 health professionals and community volunteers to address public health crises. In 2005, Dr. Borger received the CMA Young Physician Community Service Award; in 2008 he received the Molina Healthcare of California’s Community Champions Award; and has since been recognized with additional awards for his leadership and impressive work.