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Published: July 30, 2021

Boundary Breaker: Jay W. Lee, MD, MPH, FAAFP

Jay W. Lee is chief medical officer for the “Share Our Selves Community Health Center” in Costa Mesa. His mobile unit cares for homeless and other marginalized communities around Orange County, and his food pantry assists the more than 1-in-4 who are hungry in Southern California.

This year he has been a tireless advocate for fair and equitable COVID-19 vaccine access for his community health center by meeting with local public health leaders, legislators, and health plans. And if that didn’t work, you would find him literally driving to public health departments and other sites picking up whatever vaccine he could find for the low income patients his clinic serves to ensure they were not wasted.

Many of his colleagues know Dr. Lee for his extensive leadership at the national, state and local levels. He is an influential voice at AAFP in his role as CAFP Alternate delegate. This year he has taken on additional responsibilities in AAFP committee service. As an AAFP Media Ambassador he has worked with media outlets in an effort to, among other things, increase flu vaccination rates and highlight the dangers of E-Cigarettes.

Dr. Lee was the driving force that started the #FMRevolution movement in 2011 to regain control of the family medicine story and recapture the joy in family medicine. Witnessing colleagues fall apart due to stress and lack of self-care and connection, Dr. Lee continues to devote countless hours to helping his colleagues regain their sense of purpose and mission. His much quoted mantra of “becoming the physician you wrote about in your personal statement” has inspired so many of his colleagues to become leaders and take control of their family medicine stories.

Dr. Lee epitomizes the best of family medicine. He has been a source of inspiration for future family physicians, peers, patients, and his community and has empowered many to be champions for family medicine.

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