2008 Ehrlich Faculty Award

Campus Compact has selected Dr. Richard Pan, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of California-Davis, as the recipient of the 2008 Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning. This national award is presented to one faculty member each year for outstanding contributions to the community through service-learning, a teaching and learning method that integrates community work into the curriculum.

Pan is founder and director of Communities and Physicians Together (CPT), a partnership between the University of California-Davis Health System and ten Sacramento-area community organizations. The group’s mission is to “give all individuals a healthy present and future by teaching physicians, both in training and in practice, how to make a difference through active community partnerships.” CPT pairs physicians-in-training with a specific community during their residency education to learn about the community and its health needs. Medical residents work over a three-year period to implement projects that promote health in the community. Since its founding in 1999, CPT has trained more than 100 future physicians using this asset-based community development approach.

“Dr. Pan is an innovative, inspiring, and high-impact leader in service-learning in medical education both at our institution and nationally,” says Claire Pomeroy, Vice Chancellor, Human Health Sciences, and Dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis. She notes that “Dr. Pan and CPT have had a positive and inspiring impact on the UC Davis Health System” as well as on the community.

In addition to education, CPT facilitates community-based research and community service at the UC Davis Health System. Among other activities, Pan and the CPT staff direct community engagement activities for the National Children’s Study in Sacramento County, part of the largest study of the environmental influences on child health in the history of the United States. CPT also works to bring additional resources to the community, including applying for VISTA volunteers and partnering with the university’s Trauma Prevention Program to fund passenger safety education in area communities.