Dr. Richard Pan is a pediatrician and educator who dedicated his life to solving problems and helping everyone in the community he serves. As a pediatrician, he cares primarily for low income and uninsured children. As a teacher, he taught future physicians the importance of community in health. Dr. Pan has been a catalyst for positive change in the community creating innovative educational programs, expanding access to health care for children, and bringing people together to address community priorities.
In 2010, Dr. Pan was elected to the California Legislature where he is a leader in health, especially public health. He authored legislation to outlaw discrimination by health plans of people with pre-existing conditions, cut the number of uninsured by over half including expanding coverage to all low-income children, and expanded newborn screening.
When California faced a large measles outbreak in 2015, Dr. Pan authored legislation to abolish non-medical exemptions to school vaccinations to restore community immunity that protects children from preventable diseases. A study found that after 2015, unscrupulous doctors were selling medical exemptions and endangering vulnerable children, leading Dr. Pan to author legislation keeping schools safe and holding doctors accountable. TIME magazine called Dr. Pan a “hero” for persisting against threats and intimidation by anti-vaxxers and a failed recall attempt.
After completing his education in pediatrics and public health at Harvard University, Dr. Pan became a UC Davis professor teaching pediatrics and community development for over a decade. He led the pediatric residency program where he founded Communities and Health Professionals Together to teach resident physicians how to form partnerships with community members and organizations to improve community health. Dr. Pan partnered with community organizations to expand access to care including serving as medical consultant to Sacramento City Unified School District.
Dr. Pan co-founded and chaired Healthy Kids Healthy Future securing health, dental, and vision coverage for over 65,000 children in Sacramento, Colusa, El Dorado, Placer, and Yuba counties. As Sacramento County cut funding for county clinics and public health, Dr. Pan worked to bring together physicians, hospitals, clinics, and community leaders to create the Sacramento Health Improvement Project to ensure people in Sacramento are able to access primary health care. As a community pediatrician, Dr. Pan received the Physician Humanitarian Award from the Medical Board of California for his community health advocacy.
After election to the legislature, Dr. Pan continued to practice at the WellSpace Health (formerly The EFFORT) Oak Park Community Health Center.
Now, anti-vaccine extremists are at it again, trying to recall Dr. Pan once more for applying science to protect our children and public health. Dr. Pan knows that with the support of voters like you, he will beat this second recall attempt and continue his important work on behalf of California’s children and families.