October 22, 2019

The American Academy of Pediatrics, California has established an annual award to honor an early career California pediatrician who excels in advocacy on behalf of California children. The award has been named for Richard Pan MD, a practicing pediatrician and California State Senator, in recognition of his leadership, dedication and exemplary contributions to advancing public policies and programs grounded in evidence and innovative best practices to improve the health and well-being of all children in California, particularly the underserved and those made vulnerable by challenging  circumstances. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics is committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults living in California.

Dr. Pan has exemplified these values working as a pediatrician, an educator, and a legislator to empower communities and individuals to act in the best interest of children.

This year, Dr. Pan successfully authored SB 276 to strengthen oversight of the medical exemption process and combat the proliferation of fraudulent medical exemptions, offering greater protection to children at school and to their communities.

Dr. Pan has also authored important new laws in the areas of care for special needs children, newborn screening, gun violence prevention and much more, resulting in his  being an unprecedented three-time recipient of the American Academy of Pediatrics, California “Legislator of the Year”. 

“Dr. Pan brings together community leaders, parents, health professionals and others and empowers us all to achieve the changes we know will make better, healthier lives  for California’s children.” said Yasuko Fukuda, MD FAAP, and statewide Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA). “He sets the standard for collaborative, effective advocacy in our state, and this award is a testament to his dedication and vision.”

The new award will be given each year beginning in 2020 to a California early career pediatrician, a board-certified pediatrician who is within 10 years of having completed their training, for excellence in advocacy contributing to measurable improvements in policies, programs or laws that support the health and well-being of children in California

“Dr. Pan serves as a tremendous inspiration to pediatric residents and early career pediatricians.  He provides an accessible, real-world example of how they can go beyond the important work they do in their practices to accomplish policy change through advocacy that affects social determinants of health, like poverty, gun violence and trauma, on behalf of the children they care for,”  said Kris Calvin, CEO of AAP-CA.

Co-Chair of the AAP-CA’s State Government Affairs Committee Dr. Jacques Corriveau said, “Through this award, the pediatric leadership in our state has established, in perpetuity, a means to provide formal recognition of extraordinary early career pediatricians in California who demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to integrate advocacy for children into their lives, as Dr. Pan has done.”

“Advocating for the health and well-being of children is a core value of pediatricians and of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatricians are an invaluable resource for lawmakers to determine what is best for children and youth,” said Dr. Richard Pan. “I am moved and honored to be recognized by my pediatrician peers in California not only as  the sole third-time recipient of the Legislator of the Year Award, but also to have an award named in my honor to recognize early career pediatricians for exceptional advocacy for children. Successful advocacy is a team effort, and I am deeply grateful to fellow pediatricians who work with me to make California a better place for all children.”