CMA Doc: Valencia Walker, M.D.
Why improving patient and public health must involve physicians.
Photo: Ari Moshayedi, Physician Magazine.
“The work that needs to be done (in promulgating state legislation for public health), must involve physicians,” she said. “We can translate many of our critical thinking and problem-solving skills from medicine into the public policy arena. Also, we must help people see why and how we are so dedicated to doing the best that we can for our patients and our patients’ families.” – Valencia Walker, M.D.
|Name:||Valencia Walker, M.D.|
A career in medicine was not initially what Valencia Walker, M.D., pictured for herself. In high school, she dreamed of being an archaeologist, but eventually realized she “didn’t want to be in dirt all the time.” Under the guidance of her parents and a supportive high school science teacher, she realized she had a natural curiosity for science. “I fell in love with my biology classes and couldn’t believe how easy it seemed for me,” she said. Armed with a clearer vision of her talents and goals, she set her sights becoming a physician.
“My mom and dad didn’t have college degrees, but they taught us to love learning and helping others. Becoming a physician seemed like the perfect way to do both,” said Dr. Walker. “It is a challenging and rewarding profession that always demands our best.”
Today, she provides round the clock critical care to babies as a neonatologist in Los Angeles. She works tirelessly for her “children” and as an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Her engagement in organized medicine began soon after completing her medical training and moving to California. She has been a member of the California Medical Association (CMA) and the Los Angeles County Medical Association since 2013.
This year, Dr. Walker had an unexpected opportunity to serve as Chair of CMA’s Council on Legislation. She decided to “be fearless and jump into it” because it represented a chance to work closely with incredibly passionate advocates and strong leaders.
“The dedication and commitment displayed by so many who take time away from their practices to participate in shaping the future of health and medicine in California is humbling and inspiring,” Dr. Walker said.
Dr. Walker’s decision to get involved in organized medicine came from her dedication to her patients and was inspired by history. “Physicians have been doing this work for hundreds of years,” she said. She points to Rudolf Virchow as a good example. He was a German physician, anthropologist, pathologist, biologist, writer, editor and politician — known for his advancement of public health, she said. “He firmly believed that physicians were politicians, and he was a very outspoken advocate for his patients.”
As a physician, she says, she can advocate for social and political reform as part of her efforts to improve patient and public health. “The work that needs to be done (in promulgating state legislation for public health), must involve physicians,” she said. “We can translate many of our critical thinking and problem-solving skills from medicine into the public policy arena. Also, we must help people see why and how we are so dedicated to doing the best that we can for our patients and our patients’ families.”
At the recent CMA Legislative Advocacy Day, Dr. Walker shared her personal experience of playing in her high school orchestra. She contrasted the cacophony of noises made by instruments all trying to be heard with the various individual physicians in California. She then reminded CMA members that CMA provides the opportunity for thousands of California physicians to unite their individual voices into a powerful symphony that can move people to effective change. “From cacophony to symphony, we are stronger, more effective and incredibly effective when we find unity within our diverse perspectives,” said Dr. Walker.
Dr. Walker is also immediate past president of the Black Women Physicians Association and finds time to volunteer on medical missions to Guatemala, Tanzania and Haiti.
California’s doctors aren’t just health care and medical experts. They’re also community leaders, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and policymakers dedicated to ensuring that patients receive quality health care at an affordable cost. #CMAdocs showcases California physicians leading the charge to help their communities thrive.
The 2017 Building Healthy Communities Summit was held this past October at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. We are proud to have been able to bring together health providers, community leaders, health advocates, and medical students from across California to share ideas in working to improve efforts to reduce health disparities and increase access to care.
This year’s Summit offered sessions on caring for the undocumented population, pediatric mental wellness, and prioritizing diversity and inclusion. Featured speakers included: Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and Chief Executive Officer at The California Endowment; Senator Ricardo Lara; and Dr. Cara V. James, Director of the Office of Minority Health at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Congratulations to the 2017 NEPO Leadership Honorees:
Ethnic Physician Leadership – Dr. C. Freeman
Outstanding Ethnic Physician Organization – Golden State Medical Association
Let’s Get Cooking! Start the New Year Right with a Free Healthy Soul Food Cookbook
Joint Project Between Transamerica Center for Health Studies and Association of Black Women Physicians Promotes Healthier Eating
LOS ANGELES – January 10, 2018 – The Healthier Traditions Cookbook: Soul Food, a healthy twist on traditional Southern dishes, features 17 classic recipes and is available for complimentary download today. The cookbook, a collaboration of Transamerica Center for Health Studies® (TCHS) with the Association of Black Women Physicians (ABWP), helps promote making simple ingredient substitutions to classic Southern dishes that increase nutritional value while keeping the soulful heartiness of favorite southern dishes. Each recipe was adapted and tested by two nutritionists to ensure an increase in nutritional value and decrease in caloric value.
Recipes in the cookbook include Red Beans and Rice, Gumbo, Pan-fried Catfish, Smothered Pork Chops, and, leaving room for dessert, classics like Peach Cobbler. Each recipe includes a breakdown of the calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, fiber and protein content of the dish. In addition, how-to videos that highlight the preparation of some of the dishes are available on TCHS’s website and YouTube channel.
“This is the third cookbook we have prepared and, consistent with our values, these recipes identify easy steps people can take to improve health and wellness in their day-to-day lives,” said Hector De La Torre, executive director of TCHS. “We have maintained the integrity of the dish while making healthier versions. For example, we had nutritionists make simple substitutions like swapping out regular flour for whole wheat flour in cornbread, and replacing bacon while keeping the smoky flavor with paprika in collard greens.”
With many people starting New Year’s resolutions and others trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle, finding recipes that are both nutritious and flavorful can help to empower positive choices. Soul Food and Southern cuisine have a history as rich as their flavors, and this cookbook includes interesting facts about Soul Food history, in addition to helpful nutrition facts.
“Our patients are always asking for ways to eat healthier, and this cookbook was a great way to highlight the health benefits of certain foods,” said Sherril Rieux, M.D., from the Association of Black Women Physicians. “For example, red beans are high in fiber, which is good for both heart and gut health, while black-eyed peas are high in folate, a vitamin that aids in cell production. The calcium in a serving of collard greens also contains a quarter of the recommended daily allotment.”
The Healthier Traditions cookbook complements other ABWP initiatives like its wellness workshops, which are organized, implemented and facilitated by physician volunteers. The series
is offered in community forums to educate families about diabetes, hypertension, asthma, HIV/AIDS, obesity, and general health and wellness issues. These workshops serve as a bridge between health providers to empower individuals to be more active participants in their own health care. TCHS and ABWP remain committed to empowering consumers to achieve the best outcomes in their personal health and wellness. Please visit our website to download this cookbook for free and browse our previous cookbooks, American Classic and Traditional Mexican.
ABOUT TRANSAMERICA CENTER FOR HEALTH STUDIES® Transamerica Center for Health Studies ® (TCHS) is a division of Transamerica Institute, ® a national non-profit, private foundation. TCHS informs the national healthcare conversation by bringing clarity to the complex decision-making regarding health coverage and personal health and wellness. TCHS is focused on empowering consumers and employers so that they can achieve the best value and protection from their health coverage, as well as the best outcomes in their personal health and wellness.
ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION OF BLACK WOMEN PHYSICIANS The Association of Black Women Physicians (ABWP) is an organized network of African-American women physicians committed to the improvement of public health and welfare, through the advancement of knowledge concerning women and community health. ABWP is a nonprofit organization supporting projects that improve the health and wellness concerns of traditionally under-served communities and assisting in eliminating health disparities. ABWP also endeavors to enhance the personal and professional quality of life for present and future African-American women physicians.
Please click the link below for the entire cookbook in PDF format
By Brian W. Carter, Staff Writer
Published September 14, 2017
Kaiser Permanente (KP) Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Medical opened Thursday, September 7, to the community. The new facility in the heart of South L.A. is a step forward toward bringing easy access to healthcare in an area with specific needs. Hines, M.D., OB/GYN is about bringing those specific needs to the community.
“I am a California native, born and raised in South Central Los Angeles,” said Hines, “born and raised on 45th and Western, so I’m right down the street.” She remembers that this new facility sits on what used to be Santa Barbara Blvd and the many changes that have occurred over the decades.
Hines’ journey towards becoming a doctor is one that started with the influence of her family. Her grandmother was one of the first African Americans to attend Bishop College in Texas. Her grandparents would later move to California with no family or friends and put down roots.
“[Grandmother] absolutely believed in education, she believed in reading, so I, from a very, very young age, knew how to read and write well,” said Hines.
[see Dr. Hines for the complete article]
Council on Concerns of Women Physicians Awards Luncheon was outstanding. The honorees are trailblazers. Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood received the organization award. Dr. Câmara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD had the crowd on their feet with her story about sitting at the table of opportunity. Thank you to Dr. Glenda F. Newell-Harris, national president of The Links, Inc., Dr. Edith Mitchell, Past president of NMA and Kaye Husbands Fealing, PhD for your incredible stories and work in medicine. Congratulations to the award recipients. #NMA2017, #ABWP
So the three decided to study speaker introductions at “grand rounds” — events where doctors, researchers, residents and medical students present medical problems and treatments for discussion. Their research showed that unequal introductions were real — that women were less likely than men to be introduced by professional title when men did the introducing.
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