The Los Angeles County Medical Association’s newly elected president is the first Asian American woman in that role in its nearly 150-year history, it was announced Wednesday.

Diana Shiba

Dr. Diana Shiba, a practicing ophthalmologist, will lead LACMA into its 150th year, serving a one-year term that runs through next July 1.

Shiba, 46, said one of the first tasks of her presidency will be to launch a Health Equity Council to address racism and health inequities. Her other areas of focus include physician practice sustainability and support for physician well-being, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

“In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s crucial for us to leverage the expertise and impact of our medical associations and our members,” Shiba said.

“LACMA’s stature allows us to serve as a trusted resource for physicians, patients and policy makers, community organizations and the media,” she said.

“That includes supporting public health, targeting financial support for front-line community programs and medical practices, and mobilizing volunteers for direct, on-the-ground assistance.”

As an advocate for patients and physicians, Shiba has been active for 16 years at the county, state and national levels, as well as within her own specialty. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Medical Association, the Executive Committee of America’s Physician Groups, and the Board of Directors of the California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons.

Shiba is the chief government relations officer and a regional assistant medical director for the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Permanente, and teaches advanced cataract surgical courses at UCLA. She has also taught several courses on physician leadership development.

She attended Georgetown University, where she graduated summa cum laude and as a Rhodes Scholar state finalist. She completed her medical education at UC Davis and ophthalmology residency at UC San Diego.

Shiba is the mother of 7-year-old twins and is married to Dr. Ritchie Yuson, also an ophthalmologist.

Her official installation will be a virtual gathering in mid-August.

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