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Raul Ayala, MD, MCHM, Adventist Health physician, installed as CAFP President


Adventist Health recognizes the critically important work of its physicians and providers – both inside and outside of its facilities. Adventist Health today is proud to announce one of its physician leaders, Raul Ayala, MD, MCHM, has been installed as the new President of the California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP). Dr. Ayala is the first CAFP president from the Central Valley area, including Fresno, Kings, Madera, and Tulare counties.

Dr. Ayala has been recognized as a leader in health equity and ensuring patients receive not only the medical care they need, but the support to live well. “Dr. Ayala has spent the last ten years caring for rural patients in the Central Valley and collaborating with community partners to tackle health disparities,” says Arby Nahapetian, MD, Adventist Health’s chief clinical officer, and leader of the ambulatory physician enterprise. “He has already been transforming healthcare in this state by implementing screenings and care plans into every clinic visit including those that impact a patient’s overall well-being: food insecurity, mental health, opioids, substance use disorders, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.”

“Dr. Raul Ayala is a great champion for primary care and is committed to serving the needs of rural and underserved California communities,” said Lisa Folberg, CAFP CEO. “Dr. Ayala is an incredible leader and will bring energy and vision to CAFP’s mission to improve the health of all Californians.”

Dr. Ayala believes everyone deserves access to good care and community integration was created through Adventist Health’s mobile care clinics. Mobile care provides the same quality of care found in the clinic system and cares for the unreached and the most vulnerable by traveling to the communities that do not have access. Tackling health disparities is central to his professional and personal mission, he also launched an innovative project with a local non-profit to establish virtual care visits for people living in homeless camps. In addition to his clinical leadership serving as the ambulatory medical officer, Dr. Ayala helps lead the graduate medical education residency programs throughout Adventist Health.

“I have chosen ‘The Power of Community’ to be the core of my message,” says Dr. Ayala, “where we will underline the need to improve access to care, physician wellness, rural health, physician shortages, graduate medical education, and how we focus on health equity throughout our communities in need.”

In 2020, Dr. Ayala was recognized by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) as the California Community Star in rural healthcare on rural health day. Dr. Ayala has served as a board member with the CAFP since 2012.