Biography

Dr. Richard Pan is a pediatrician, former UC Davis educator, and State Senator proudly representing Sacramento, West Sacramento, Elk Grove and unincorporated areas of Sacramento County.  He chairs the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, the Committee on Public Employment and Retirement and the Senate Select Committees on Children with Special Needs and on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs. He also serves on the Senate Committees on Agriculture; Business, Professions, and Economic Development; and Education.  Dr. Pan continues to practice pediatrics at WellSpace Health in Oak Park.

First elected to the State Assembly in 2010, Dr. Pan strives to keep our communities safe and healthy.  When local governments planned to close fire stations during the recession, Dr. Pan authored legislation to bring over $100 million in federal funds for fire departments including $6 million for the Sacramento region.  He partnered with law enforcement and local businesses to establish a statewide database to catch thieves attempting to sell stolen property to pawnshops, and he authored legislation to allow campus police to use body cameras.

TIME magazine called Dr. Pan a “hero” when he authored landmark legislation to abolish non-medical exemptions to legally required vaccines for school students, thereby restoring community immunity from preventable contagions.  Dr. Pan also authored one of the most expansive state laws regulating health plans eliminating denials for pre-existing conditions and prohibited discrimination by health status and medical history. He demands transparency and accountability in state health programs; holding hearings on reducing fraud, investigating poor access to dental care, and ensuring children with cancer and other serious conditions have access to pediatric specialty care. Dr. Pan provided leadership in enrolling families for health coverage, resulting in halving the number of uninsured in California, and he sponsored numerous health fairs providing resources including free glasses, dental screenings, and vaccines.

Dr. Pan has devoted his career to solving problems and helping everyone in the community.  Prior to serving in the legislature, Dr. Pan was a UC Davis faculty member and Director of the Pediatric Residency Program where he created a nationally recognized service learning curriculum, Communities and Health Professionals Together to build partnerships between health professions students and neighborhoods to build healthier communities. 

Dr. Pan co-founded and served as chair of Healthy Kids Healthy Future, where he helped secure health, dental and vision coverage for over 65,000 children in the Sacramento area. He helped create the Sacramento Health Improvement Project, bringing together doctors, hospitals, clinics and community leaders to ensure that all Sacramento County residents have access to primary health care. Dr. Pan also serves on the United Way California Capitol Region Board and served on the BloodSource board and the Sacramento First Five Commission. For his leadership in education and community development, Dr. Pan has been recognized with the Campus Compact's Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning and the Physician Humanitarian Award from the Medical Board of California.

Dr. Pan and his wife are raising two young sons and run a dental practice where they balance expenses, meet a payroll and understand the challenges of running a small business.  The son of immigrants, Dr. Pan attended public schools and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University, a Medical Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters of Public Health from Harvard University.