Dr. Jimmy Hara, Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows Program Co-Director, inspires by example.

Dr. Jimmy Hara, Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows Program Co-Director, inspires by example.

Often, this blog highlights the work of Schweitzer Fellows — and rightfully so, as these graduate students are on the front lines of the battle to reduce health disparities.

But (as discussed here, here, and here), a key factor in the success of our Fellows’ service projects is the guidance and structure provided by our Program Directors — one of whom, Jimmy H. Hara, MD, FAAFP, just received the Medical Board of California’s 2008 Physician Humanitarian Award.

Click here for more information on the award, which Medical Board Executive Director Barb Johnston presented to Dr. Hara with these words:

“From your days volunteering at the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic while you were in medical school through your decades of service at the Los Angeles Free Clinic and the Venice Family Clinic, you have consistently provided care to the most vulnerable patient populations … yours clearly has been a lifelong career of dedication to helping underserved patients.” 

That quote of Schweitzer’s — “example isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing”? Clearly, Dr. Hara has taken it to heart. Along with Schweitzer Fellow for Life John K. Su, MD, MPH, FAAFP, Dr. Hara is Co-Director of the Schweitzer Fellowship’s Los Angeles Fellows Program.

In addition to serving as a valuable guiding resource for Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows, Dr. Hara is the Family Medicine Residency Director at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center and Lead Physician for Community Benefit for Kaiser Permanente Southern California.  He is Chair of the Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission for the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (the commission that determines health professional shortage areas for the State of California). Plus, he serves as Clinical Professor of Family Medicine for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Though he’s had tremendous professional success, Dr. Hara has maintained his steadfast commitment to improving the lives of the medically underserved.  He has been a volunteer physician at Venice Family Clinic for over three decades and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors. He has also volunteered regularly at the Los Angeles Free Clinic and the Asian Pacific Health Care Venture and the Salvation Army Homeless Shelters.

He has been active with Physicians for Social Responsibilty (PSR), which carries on Albert Schweitzer’s important work to rid the world of nuclear weapons, serving as President of the Los Angeles Chapter, and also on the National PSR Board of Directors. 

Dr. Hara is a brilliant example of someone who has “made his life his argument” — and ASF is thrilled to congratulate him on receiving this well-deserved award!