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Fresno emergency physician receives CMA’s Compassionate Service Award



October 14, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Cultural Competency Physician Leadership 

Fresno emergency physician Kenny Banh, M.D., was selected as the 2018 recipient of the California Medical Association (CMA) Compassionate Service Award, which honors a CMA member physician who best illustrates the association’s commitment to community and charity care. The award was presented today at CMA’s annual House of Delegates meeting in Sacramento.

Dr. Bahn was honored his role in creating the first medical student-run mobile health clinic in the central Valley, with the ultimate goals of training the next generation of San Joaquin Valley physicians, increasing the diversity of the medical profession and providing a significant and positive impact to the valley for those who do not have the normal access to care. 

California’s central valley has one of the highest underserved populations in the state, with one of the lowest ratio of physicians to population.  Dr. Bahn’s hope for the mobile clinic was to reach some of those patients who are overlooked or do not have a way to access care on their own—all while giving medical students (and soon undergraduates) hands-on experience and to learn first-hand about the challenges and rewards of patient care and community medicine.

Today his mobile clinic concept has come to reality, providing 100 percent free services to its patients. The clinics focus on several areas, including pediatric school outreach in rural areas, LGBT communities, undocumented and homeless communities.

The first clinic Dr. Bahn developed was for gender health, working with the LGBT Communities focusing on transgender health by providing a safe, supportive environment at every stage of the coming out or transition process. Another clinic provides health care and screenings services to the homeless population in the central valley, offering them what is often their only access to health care. 

“The reason I felt Dr. Banh deserved this award is because he did all off this own his own!” said Nicole Butler, Executive Director of the Fresno Madera Medial Society. During his own downtime he worked on applying for grants, reaching out for donations and coordinating with the communities involved on how to make the clinics happen. “The overall concept is modeled after the UC Davis student-run clinics, but if it wasn’t for Dr. Banh’s passion to care for his community, this program would have never been developed here.”

Dr. Bahn is board certified in Emergency Medicine. He earned his medical degree at Drexel University College of Medicine and completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at UCSF Fresno. He has stayed in the area where he was trained and has been practicing and giving back ever since. 

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