FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Central Valley doctor will head California's organization of family physicians.
Dr. Raul Ayala, with Adventist Health, worked his way up the ladder with the California Academy of Family Physicians. He's been part of the 10,000-member organization since he was in medical school and started serving on the board in 2015.
He was recently appointed to lead the organization as president-elect, shaping the future of California's healthcare system.
"Some good positive energy to healthcare, and especially right now in these times, that I was voted by my peers to represent them," said Dr. Ayala.
Dr. Ayala is the academy's second Hispanic president-elect and the second to come from the Fresno-Kings-Madera chapter.
As Adventist Health's medical director, Dr. Ayala is familiar with the challenges rural communities face when it comes to healthcare.
"What I've seen in our rural markets is our physician shortages, the retirement of our physicians," he said.
He hopes to address current healthcare inequities by supporting the education of the state's future doctors.
"Making sure that we can support the funding that happens with our residency programs and our medical schools," Dr. Ayala said.
After years of being a voice for patients and healthcare workers in the Central Valley, Dr. Ayala said he is ready to spend the next three years advocating for all of California.
"Bringing more of that one unified voice to better serve our communities," he said.