Remarks by Assemblymember Akilah Weber, MD: Inspire CSA Members and Residents at ANESTHESIOLOGY 2021

  • Conte, Antonio, MD, MBA, FASA
| Nov 01, 2021

By Antonio Hernandez Conte, MD, MBA, FASA, Chair, CSA Legislative and Practice Affairs Division, Chair, GASPAC Board and Felipe Perez, MD, FASA, Chair, CSA Legislative Affairs Committee

The California Society of Anesthesiologists hosted its first ever All Member Reception during the recently concluded ANESTHESIOLOGY 2021 - the American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting held October 9-13 in San Diego. Titled “Margaritas, Mariachis and Membership,” the reception was attended by approximately 200 CSA members, residents, and special guests.

One of those special guests was State Assemblymember Akilah Weber, MD (D-San
Diego) whose 79th Assembly District includes the cities of Bonita, Chula Vista, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City and San Diego. 

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Drs. Pearl and Yost with Assemblymember Akilah Weber, MD

One of only three physicians in the state legislature, Dr. Weber is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist and Founder & Director of the Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology Division at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Dr. Weber was elected to the California Assembly in a special election to replace her mother, Shirley Weber, after her appointment as California’s Secretary of State.  Prior to her election, Dr. Weber also served as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at UCSD

In her comments to CSA members, Dr. Weber said she is often asked why she entered politics. “The answer is simple,” she said. “As physicians, we are natural advocates for our patients, we are listeners, we analyze their needs and provide them with necessary treatment, while also giving them with comfort and encouragement. I apply the same set of advocacy tools when representing my constituents in the California State Assembly.”

PSX_20211021_154326 (002)Dr. Weber also remarked that she is drawn to medicine and to politics as a way to address health disparities among underrepresented Californians -- disparities which frequently adversely impact individuals’ educational and economic achievement. 

Dr. Weber noted, “Achieving equity in healthcare services and outcomes is essential if all Californians are to achieve their full potential in life, which is essential if California is to achieve its full potential as a state.”

Through its political action committee GASPAC, CSA helped support Dr. Weber’s election campaign. It is gratifying to know that GASPAC can now make these types of significant contributions due to the success of ‘the GASPAC fix’ as well as significant contributions by individual CSA members and practice groups which have enabled CSA’s PAC to accumulate a balance of just over $1 million since 2018.

The CSA All-Member Reception also featured a formal, in-person presentation of the

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Daniel Cole, MD, FASA, receives the Distinguished Service Award


2019 CSA Distinguished Service Award to former CSA and ASA President Daniel J. Cole, MD, FASA by current CSA President, Ronald G. Pearl, MD, PhD, FASA. During his remarks, Dr. Cole also stressed the primary importance of advocacy for all physicians, not just those actively engaged in organized medicine. “As Dr. Weber mentioned, we as physicians must advocate for our patients and our practices, Dr. Cole said. “For if we don’t advocate for patient safety, healthcare access, truth in credentialing and adequate reimbursement for our services, no one will.”

During his concluding remarks, Dr. Pearl spoke for CSA members in attendance when he thanked Dr. Weber for her attendance and inspiring comments. “Dr. Weber’s leadership as a citizen, as a physician and as an elected official are an inspiration for all of us and a clear demonstration that our active engagement in public policy can indeed make a significant difference in the lives of our patients and our constituents.” 


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