Your Neighbor, The Problem-Solver
Dr. Richard Pan is a proud Sacramento father, small business owner, educator, physician and Asian-American, who has dedicated his life to building healthy communities no matter how difficult the challenge.
He is the child of Taiwanese immigrants and attended public schools. He lives with his wife – a dentist and small business owner – with their two young sons in Natomas.
Dr. Pan studied biophysics at Johns Hopkins University, earned a medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh, and completed a masters degree in public health at Harvard University. At each stage in his academic career, Dr. Pan was professionally trained to make quick, clear, strong judgments based on the data and facts.
Action in the Community
Dr. Pan moved to Sacramento 25 years ago to lead the UC Davis’ Pediatric Residency Program.
As he put down roots as a community leader, Dr. Pan founded Communities and Physicians Together, a grassroots program partnering pediatricians with local communities. He also co-founded Healthy Kids Healthy Future, which secured health, dental and vision coverage for over 65,000 children in the Sacramento region.
In partnership with the Sacramento City Unified School District, he worked with school nurses and teachers to get children with special needs help so they can learn in school.
Dr. Pan led a local coalition to establish Federally Qualified Health Centers in Sacramento and established a pediatric clinic in Oak Park as one of the first sites. But as the Great Recession hit, the prospect of significant budget cuts loomed over the programs he built with the community.
He knew he had to do something to protect Sacramento communities.
Winning Tough Fights
Dr. Pan doesn’t back down from the fights worth winning.
Against the tremendous odds of unseating an entrenched political operative with a million-dollar campaign, Dr. Pan organized a coalition of the community members, small businesses, unions, and health professionals to win election to the State Assembly in 2010. As a legislator, Dr. Pan worked to build confidence in California at a time when critics called the state “ungovernable” by stabilizing the budget and building reserves that staved off further budget cuts that threatened the health and safety of Sacramento families.
One of his first actions in the Legislature was to keep the City of Sacramento’s fire stations open after the city’s budget deficit threatened to shutter several public safety services. Dr. Pan worked with firefighters and then Vice Mayor Ashby to secure $90 million in new federal funds for emergency responders, including $2 million for Sacramento neighborhoods.