Monday, May 20, 2019


SDCMS Members Featured in San Diego Physician Magazine

If you would like to be considered — or if you know someone you think should be considered — for our “Featured Member” spotlight, please email Thank you for your membership in SDCMS and CMA!

August 2015: Richard O. Butcher, MD

The National Medical Association ( has awarded longtime SDCMS-CMA member physician Dr. Richard O. Butcher its prestigious Practitioner of the Year Award. Dr. Butcher, who joined SDCMS in 1969, is an institution in San Diego’s medical philanthropic, and sports communities. He’s been in private practice in southeastern San Diego for decades. He is president of the Care View Medical Group and past chief of staff at Alvarado Hospital. He is as well past president of the San Diego County Medical Society and has served on many boards. Dr. Butcher has been a local champion on a variety of fronts combating chronic disease in low-income neighborhoods. African Americans have the highest rates of these diseases locally and across the country. For example, African Americans who live in southeastern San Diego are nearly 80% more likely to die from diabetes compared to all county residents. He co-led the effort to create the Multicultural Health Foundation (, which is dedicated to finding community-based, innovative solutions to health disparities in the San Diego region. “We believe that when the history of this dynamic period of struggle is written, your name will be deeply etched in its fabric as having inspired and challenged physicians and medical professionals nationwide to address critical issues of healthcare and medicine,” said Dr. Lawrence Sanders Jr., president of the National Medical Association, in a statement announcing the award. Dr. Butcher and his wife are community leaders for local and international causes. The couple co-founded the nonprofit organization Water for Children Africa (, which provides safe, sustainable water to rural villages in Africa, in addition to educating people about hygiene. He has volunteered as the team doctor for Granite Hills High School for more than 35 years and as the general physician for the Amateur Boxing Association of San Diego. Dr. Butcher received his award on Aug. 1 in Detroit, where the National Medical Association held its national convention. Representing 30,000 African American physicians, the 120-year association is the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing African American doctors and health professionals in the country. Congratulations, Dr. Butcher!

July 2015: Maria C. Savoia, MD

Maria C. Savoia, MDThe board of directors of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) has appointed Maria C. Savoia, MD, 17-year member of SDCMS-CMA and dean of Medical Education at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, as board chair of the nonprofit organization that oversees the medical resident matching process nationwide. Dr. Savoia received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed her residency training in internal medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine, with subsequent fellowship training in infectious diseases. In addition to her extensive background in medical education research, she maintains a clinical practice with the Division of Infectious Diseases at UC San Diego Health System. Dr. Savoia began her new role as chair on July 1. Congratulations from SDCMS!

June 2015: Stephanie D. Garcia

National Medical Fellowships (NMF) provides scholarships and service-learning programs for underrepresented minorities in medicine and the health professions. Its California Community Service-Learning Program is specifically designed to increase the number of qualified medical providers who have a commitment to improving access to quality healthcare in medically underserved communities in California. Congratulations to UC San Diego School of Medicine medical student Stephanie D. Garcia, SDCMS-CMA member since 2014, for her California Community Service-Learning Program award! Visit for further information.

May 2015: Steven A. Green, MD

Steven A. Green, MDDr. Green, 27-year member of SDCMS-CMA, was selected the California Academy of Family Physicians’ 2015 Family Physician of the Year. CAFP annually honors a family physician that represents the finest characteristics of the specialty. Winners of this award embody the finest characteristics of family medicine, are directly and effectively involved in public service and/or activities that enhance the quality of life in communities, and have been engaged with the CAFP. Dr. Green was recognized on April 25 during the 2015 Family Medicine Clinical Forum Celebration Lunch at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco. Congratulations, Dr. Green!

January 2015: Thomas J. Savides, MD

Thomas J. Savides, MDDr. Savides, SDCMS-CMA member for 15 years, has been named the first chief experience officer at UC San Diego Health System. In the newly created role, Dr. Savides will be responsible for the strategy, leadership, and implementation of the plan to improve the total healthcare experience of patients, families, providers, and staff.




January 2015: Kelly J. Bethel, MD

Kelly J. Bethel, MDScripps Clinic pathologist and researcher Kelly J. Bethel, MD, SDCMS-CMA member for three years, has been selected as a founding editor of Convergence Science Physical Oncologya new journal of IOP Publishing that is the first and only interdisciplinary title dedicated to bringing together all researchers in the field of cancer research from a physical sciences perspective.

June 2014: Horacio Rodiles, MD

President Obama announced the appointment of Dr. Horacio Rodiles, SDCMS-CMA member since 1973, to the United States Section of the United States-México Border Health Commission, a binational presidential commission co-chaired by the secretaries of health of the United States and México. Dr. Rodiles is joining a diverse group of public health leaders committed to enhancing the health and wellbeing of border residents. Dr. Horacio Rodiles, who is a physician at the Balboa Nephrology Medical Group, a position he has held since 2006, was sworn in by Peter C. Lewis, U.S. Magistrate Judge, on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Congratulations, Dr. Rodiles!

June 2014: Arthur “Tony” A. Blain IV, MD, FAAFP, MBA

SDCMS-CMA member Arthur “Tony” A. Blain IV, MD, FAAFP, MBA, finished his first ultramarathon (100 miles) in May, running in the 7th annual KEYS100, a point-to-point event beginning in Key Largo and ending in Key West. Congratulations, Dr. Blain!


December 2013: James W. Ochi, MD — Helping Kids Heal

For years, Dr. Ochi — SDCMS-CMA member since 1991 — has been using medical acupuncture to decrease pain in children who need to undergo surgery. He is the only pediatric ENT doctor in Southern California trained in medical acupuncture and one of just a handful nationwide. Dr. Ochi is board-certified in both medical acupuncture and otolaryngology, and has been in private practice for over 20 years.

Dr. Ochi recently completed a study which showed medical acupuncture reduced pain in children after tonsillectomy. His article has undergone peer review and has been accepted for publication by the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, the only medical journal entirely devoted to the specialty of pediatric ENT.

Dr. Ochi has an office in Encinitas but also drives two hours east into the desert to serve children in El Centro every week. El Centro, which struggles with the highest unemployment, worst air quality, and greatest rate of childhood asthma in California, has very few doctors but a huge number of children with severe respiratory disease, including enlarged tonsils.

“I’ve been very encouraged by the improvement in pain from acupuncture in the children after surgery,” says Dr. Ochi. Acupuncture is quickly being incorporated into mainstream medicine. Recent research has shown acupuncture is effective in reducing pain and safer than many drugs. Another benefit is acupuncture costs very little, which is no small matter during this time of soaring healthcare costs.

Dr. Ochi hopes to do more research projects to further refine the improvement from acupuncture in his patients: “It’s exciting to be able to offer an effective and safe way for my patients to suffer less pain.”

November 2013: Theodore M. Mazer, MD

Dr. Mazer was elected speaker by the CMA House of Delegates at its annual meeting in October in Anaheim. Dr. Mazer, a board-certified otolaryngologist, SDCMS-CMA member since 1989, and past SDCMS president, runs a small, solo practice. He served on the CMA Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2010 and has chaired various committees, including those focusing on medical services and access to specialty care. Dr. Mazer had served as vice speaker of the CMA House of Delegates since 2011. Congratulations, Dr. Mazer!

July 2013: Carlos J. Sanchez, MD

Carlos J. Sanchez, MD, SDCMS-CMA member since 1974, received the Hispanic Physician of the Year Award at the 17th annual conference of the National Hispanic Medical Association in Washington, DC. In his acceptance speech, he succinctly spoke of his odyssey to become a doctor. Congratulations, Dr. Sanchez!





April 2013: Lewis L. Judd, MD

Congratulations Dr. Judd, SDCMS-CMA member since 2002,
for receiving the Award for Research in Mood Disorders
by the American College of Psychiatrists.


April 2013: Arno J. Mundt, MD

Congratulations Dr. Mundt, SDCMS-CMA member since 2007,
for being inaugurated as the president of the
American College of Radiation Oncology.


April 2013: Deena Tajran, MD

Congratulations Dr. Tajran, SDCMS-CMA member since 2010,
for having been named “2013 Woman of the Year” by the
National Association of Professional Women.


April 2013: Robert N. Weinreb, MD

Congratulations Dr. Weinreb, SDCMS-CMA member since 2005,
for receiving the American Glaucoma Society Innovator Award
at the American Glaucoma Society’s annual meeting on March 1, 2013.


February 2013: Daniel Einhorn, MD, FACP

Dr. Einhorn, SDCMS-CMA member since 1984, has been involved with national leadership in endocrinology for over 20 years, and especially the past eight, being a past president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (2011) and now president of the American College of Endocrinology. Dr. Einhorn is also medical director of the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute and clinical professor of medicine at UCSD (voluntary). He says, “It has been a privilege to be part of creating guidelines for practice, graduate education, public awareness, and certification in endocrinology. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’ve made lasting friendships around the world.”

October 2012: Steven A. Green, MD

Dr. Green, SDCMS-CMA member since 1999, was one of five members of the La Jolla Cove Swim Club who endeavored to swim the English Channel in August, which extends approximately 21 miles from the white cliffs of Dover in England to Cap Gris-Nez in France. Four of the five swimmers, including Dr. Green, successfully swam the Channel, with the normal success rate being 50%. Dr. Green crossed in 19 hours and 25 minutes, landing at Cap Blanc-Nez after swimming 45 miles due to strong currents. Congratulations and kudos, Dr. Green!

July 2012: Arthur L. Gruen, MD

EA Health announced that Dr. Gruen, SDCMS-CMA member since 2010, received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Award in the Life Sciences and Health Care category in the San Diego Region. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Dr. Gruen was selected by an independent panel of judges and was presented with his award at a special gala on June 13, 2012. As a San Diego Region award winner, Dr. Gruen is now eligible for consideration for the National Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Award, to be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on Nov. 17, 2012. Congratulations, Dr. Gruen!

May 2012: Russell W. Engevik, MD

Dr. Engevik, SDCMS -CMA member since 2003, is a senior partner at California Emergency Physicians, practicing emergency medicine at PPH . He has lived in San Diego County since 1969. After medical school (George Washington University, 1983) and military service, he returned home in 1990. Dr. Engevik has been affiliated with Sharp (Cabrillo, Grossmont, Chula Vista, and Coronado), but over the past 13 years, he has been almost exclusively at Palomar/Pomerado Health, where he was named the Palomar Physician of the Year in 2011. Additionally, Dr. Engevik is currently doing an emergency medicine ultrasound fellowship at UCSD in order to gain skills unavailable during his residency in the 1980s. Dr. Engevik has been named “Top Doctor” for the past eight years (2004–11).

April 2012: R. Larry Schmitt, MD

Retired SDCMS-CMA member who first joined in 1971, Dr. Schmitt is a retired child and adolescent psychiatrist with 36 years of practice in San Diego. Dr. Schmitt has volunteered at the UCSD Student-run Free Clinic for more than seven years, an experience that continues to enrich his life, and has more recently sought out other arenas in which to volunteer. Thank you for your support of organized medicine, Dr. Schmitt, and for your continued work volunteering in the community!

February 2012: Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

SDCMS and CMA member since 2004, Dr. Liang, who is executive director of the Institute of Health Law Studies, California Western School of Law, and director of the San Diego Center for Patient Safety, UC San Diego School of Medicine, has been appointed to the Core Group, Global Drug Safety Roundtable of the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Liang has also been appointed to the American College of Chest Physicians Mass Critical Care Task Force, which will be revising the Consensus Statement on Critical Care and Disaster Management. Congratulations, Dr. Liang!

December 2011: Rosemarie Marshal Johnson, MD

Dr. Johnson, who has been a member of SDCMS-CM A since 1978 and who currently represents retired physicians on SDCMS’ board of directors, serves the SDCMS Foundation as its medical community liaison for Project Access San Diego. PASD has recruited more than 600 physician specialists to volunteer their time and skills in this unique program for adult uninsured San Diegans. At the 2010 SDCMS and SDCMS Foundation White Coat Gala, Dr. Johnson received the 2010 Presidential Recognition Award for her work on behalf of SDCMS physicians. In March 2010, Dr. Johnson was also honored by LEAD San Diego and Channel 10 for her volunteer contributions throughout San Diego. Congratulations, Dr. Johnson!

November 2011: Doris Howell, MD

Dr. Howell, retired SDCMS-CMA member (first joining in 1993) and pioneer of the modern hospice movement, was honored for her legacy on October 14 at the San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine’s inaugural “Transforming Healthcare” awards program. Dr. Howell, founding member of San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine, received the first Kaye Woltman Legacy award in recognition of her transformational contributions to the field of hospice care and palliative medicine. Dr. Howell was first introduced to the hospice concept as a young oncologist in 1968. She recognized its potential and embraced this radical departure from the way medicine had previously treating dying people and their families. Congratulations, Dr. Howell!

October 2011: Dr. Stuart A. Cohen

Dr. Cohen, SDCMS-CMA member since 1988 and current chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) delegation to CMA, was recently appointed vice-chair of the AAP delegation to AMA. Congratulations, Dr. Cohen!

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