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Irvine Pediatrician & ICNV Health Contributor Named Orange County “Physician of the Year”

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Dr. Connie Bartlett, Chair of the Physician Recognition Programs (left) presenting the OCMA “Physician of the Year” award to Dr. Phyllis Agran

Each year, the Orange County Medical Association (OCMA) presents its Physician of the Year award to a medical doctor “who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and extraordinary professional competence in the eyes of their peers. The recipient must also be a proven educator, motivator, and compassionate clinician who has made a difference in the delivery of health care and in the lives of Orange County residents.”

The recipient of the 2024 OCMA Physician of the Year is Phyllis Agran, MD, MPH.

Dr. Agran — who received a Masters Degree in Public Health from Harvard University and a Medical Degree from UCI — has practiced general pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology in Orange County for more than 40 years.  She is a member of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition; a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); and a Fellow and past president of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine.

Throughout her academic career as a professor at the UCI School of Medicine, Dr. Agran has translated clinical experiences and research to inform and advocate for national, state, and local public policies designed to prevent childhood injuries. In the 1980s, Dr. Agran worked closely with her husband, Irvine’s Vice Mayor Larry Agran, a public interest attorney, to secure passage of California’s first law requiring that children under the age of four be transported in car seats.

In 1992, Dr. Agran and her husband founded We Advocate Gender Equity (WAGE), an activist organization to secure wages and promotions for female employees of the University of California system commensurate with what men were receiving.

Dr. Agran’s research and advocacy has led to safety legislation that: prohibits occupant travel in the cargo area of pickup trucks; requires installation of seat belts on school buses; requires bicycle helmets for children; and new measures designed to prevent childhood drownings.

In 2011, she founded Clinic in the Park, which is a nonprofit health collaborative of community health and social service partners to improve the health of our County’s most vulnerable children. The nonprofit has provided thousands of free car booster seats, bicycle/sports helmets, life vests, and books to underserved communities.

In accepting the Physician of the Year award, Dr. Agran said: “There is great satisfaction to be derived from reaching beyond the everyday practice of medicine to engage in local advocacy and to mentor our future leaders.”

We are fortunate here at Irvine Community News & Views (ICNV) to count Dr. Agran as one of our contributors who frequently writes health-related articles for this publication. We congratulate her on this well-deserved honor!

ICNV Staff

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