Health Equity Leadership Awards

PHC's Health Equity Leadership Award Nominations Are Now Open!

Each year, Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) recognizes the outstanding achievements of California's health care professionals. We are thrilled to honor organizations, physicians, residents, and students who have made a positive impact on the health of their communities through their unwavering commitment, compassion, and contributions to health equity. PHC is excited to announce that our annual Health Equity Leadership Awards, to be announced at the Health Equity Leadership Awards Reception, during the Health Equity Leadership Summit are open until May 3 at 11:59 p.m., P.T., Last year, we added three new award categories to honor California medical students, residents and young physicians who have demonstrated their commitment to promoting health equity across the state.

The Health Equity Leadership Summit Planning Committee will review all nominations and select the honoree. Nominees will be notified of the selection decision prior to the summit. Honoree or representative must be present at the Health Equity Leadership Awards Reception.

Learn more and register today for the Health Equity Leadership Summit! 

Robert D. Sparks, M.D., Leadership Award

The Robert D. Sparks, M.D., Leadership Award was established in 1997 in honor of Robert D. Sparks, M.D., Physicians for a Healthy California’s (PHC) first President and CEO. The award honors an individual or organization that has demonstrated outstanding dedication to the health of communities in a manner consistent with PHC’s mission to champion community health, health equity, and diversity of the physician workforce in partnership with leaders in medicine, related health professions and the community.

This award consists of a $1,000 honorarium, plaque, and travel and accommodation expenses for the honoree to attend the awards ceremony at the Health Equity Leadership Summit.

The following criteria will be used in review of all submitted nominations:

  • Demonstrated efforts to improve individual and community health through a partnership of leaders in medicine, related health professions and the community.
  • Embodies PHC’s mission

Nominate an individual or organization now! 

2023 Awardee: Manisha Sharma, MD, FAAFP              

Adarsh S. Mahal, M.D., Access to Health Care and Disparities Award

The Adarsh S. Mahal, M.D., Access to Health Care and Disparities Award was established by 2007 California Medical Association President Anmol S. Mahal, M.D., and his wife Surjit K. Mahal, M.D., in honor of Dr. Mahal’s father, Adarsh S. Mahal, M.D., who spent his career working to improve access to mental health care in India. The purpose of the award is to honor an individual or organization that has shown extraordinary interest and demonstrated efforts leading to a significant contribution toward improving access to health care or reducing disparities in health care in California.

This award consists of a $1,000 honorarium, plaque, and travel and accommodation expenses for the honoree to attend the awards ceremony at the Health Equity Leadership Summit.

The following criteria will be used in review of all submitted nominations:

  • Uniqueness of the nominee’s efforts to address health access and or health care disparities.
  • Length of time the group or individual has been involved in this effort. 
  • Extent of the impact/success of their work. 

Nominate an individual or organization now! 

2023 Awardee: Tonya Fancher, MD, MPH  

Frank E. Staggers, Sr., M.D., Outstanding Ethnic Physician Organization Award

The Frank E. Staggers Sr., M.D., Outstanding Ethnic Physician Organization Award was established in honor of Frank Staggers Sr., M.D., co-founder of the Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO). The award honors an ethnic physician organization that has taken significant action toward improving the health of their communities, consistent with the values of Dr. Staggers (an understanding that the health of an individual and the health of the community are always integrally linked and the principle that health care is a right, not a privilege).

This award consists of a plaque, be honored at the leadership awards ceremony during the Health Equity Leadership Summit and a profile of the organization will be featured in Physicians for a Healthy California publications.

The following criteria will be used in review of all submitted nominations:

  • Contributions to improving the health of their community
  • Success at engaging physicians to be community advocates and work toward reducing health disparities

Nominate an organization now! 

2023 Awardee: Sikh Family Center                

Diverse Physician Leadership Award 

Each year, Physicians for a Healthy California’s (PHC) honors a diverse physician for outstanding leadership contributions to diverse communities. The purpose of the Diverse Physician Leadership Award is to honor the individual physician, inspire other physicians, and promote leadership, caring and compassion in medicine.

This award consists of a $1,000 honorarium, plaque, and travel and accommodation expenses for the honoree to attend the awards ceremony at the Health Equity Leadership Summit.

The following criteria will be used in review of all submitted nominations:

  • Demonstrated outstanding leadership of diverse communities
  • Contributed greatly to the public’s health
  • Embodies PHC’s mission to improve community health, grow a diverse physician workforce, and promote health equity.

Nominate a physician now! 

2023 Awardee: Monica U. Hahn, MD, MPH, MS, AAHIVS 

California Medical Student Health Equity Leadership Award

The California Medical Student Health Equity Leadership Award was established in 2023 by Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) to honor a student whose activities have demonstrated interest and efforts working toward becoming the next generation of leader in promoting health equity within the state of California. The purpose of this award is to give a student the opportunity to highlight their work, passions, and contributions towards being a leader in health equity consistent with the mission of PHC.

This award consists of a plaque, $250 honorarium, a $250 donation to the health-related charity of the recipient’s choice, and travel and accommodation expenses for the honoree to attend the awards ceremony at the Health Equity Leadership Summit.

The following criteria will be used in review of all submitted nominations:

  • Medical Student at a California school (Those who have graduated within the last 12 months will still be considered for this award)
  • Body of work demonstrates interest and efforts working toward becoming a leader in health equity.
  • Embodies PHC mission to improve community health, grow a diverse physician workforce, and promote health equity.

Nominate a medical student now! 

2023 Awardee: Jacqueline Xu   

California Resident Health Equity Leadership Award

The California Resident Health Equity Leadership Award was established in 2023 by Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) to honor a resident/fellow who is working diligently to be part of the next generation of physician leaders dedicated to improving health equity among those Californians facing the greatest barriers to care. The purpose of this award is to highlight the exemplary work in advancing health equity in their communities in alignment with the mission of PHC.

This award consists of a plaque, $500 honorarium, and travel and accommodation expenses for the honoree to attend the awards ceremony at the Health Equity Leadership Summit.

The following criteria will be used in review of all submitted nominations:

  • Enrolled in a California ACGME-accredited postgraduate training program (Those who have completed a residency/fellowship within the last 12 months will still be considered for this award)
  • Body of work completed by the resident/fellow toward the advancement of health equity outside of their program.
  • Embodies PHC’s mission to improve community health, grow a diverse physician workforce, and promote health equity

Nominate a resident/fellow now! 

2023 Awardee: Alyssa Ashbaugh Ortega, MD 

California Young Physician Health Equity Leadership Award

The California Young Physician Health Equity Leadership Award was established in 2023 by Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) to honor a young physician whose work has made a significant contribution to improving access and/or reducing disparities in health care, improving cultural competency and patient advocacy in California aligned with the mission of PHC.

This award consists of a plaque, $750 honorarium, and travel and accommodation expenses for the honoree to attend the awards ceremony at the Health Equity Leadership Summit.

The following criteria will be used in review of all submitted nominations:

  • Practicing physician within five years of completion of residency/fellowship.
  • Body of work completed by the young physician toward the advancement of health equity outside of their practice.
  • Embodies PHC’s mission to improve community health, grow a diverse physician workforce, and promote health equity

Nominate a young physican now! 

2023 Awardee: Melody Tran-Reina, MD