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donor of the month

Brent Sugimoto, MD, MPH is the Family Physicians Political Action Committee (FP-PAC) February Donor of the Month! Brent is a member of the CAFP Member Engagement Committee and was recently elected as the co-President of the Alameda-Contra Costa Chapter of CAFP. He is also active as a Legislative Key Contact and donates to both FP-PAC and AAFP’s national political action committee, FamMedPAC. “I choose to leverage my money both with our own state PAC and with the AAFP PAC because I believe these are the best avenues for improving health care in our nation.”




Why do you contribute to FP-PAC? What inspired you to become a first time donor?


I first contributed because I was accosted by Adam with promises of great things... This is true, but seriously, our national dialog somehow turned from a discussion of health care policy to a consideration only of the politics of health care, with profound implications for the health of our society. Somehow it has become a question whether we will choose to protect needy children through CHIP, or whether someone’s religious beliefs trump (pun unintended) someone’s right to health care. It is a reality that our bullhorn is powered by dollars, and I want that voice to be loud and clear.


What would you say to someone who may be hesitant to contribute to a Political Action Committee?


I can think of so many ways I’ve spent my money poorly in the past month. Comfort burgers after a rough clinic day quickly add up and leave me no better off. I have never regretted contributing to our PAC. I liken it to putting money away in a savings account with a future return.



Have you ever attended an FP-PAC event or represented FP-PAC at a fundraiser? If so, what did you learn by attending the event?


FP-PAC events are great places to meet fantastic, engaging people and are the perfect venue for building your network of colleagues who could become your friends, but certainly can be a rich part of your professional life throughout your career.



What was one of the earliest advocacy or PAC activities you undertook in medicine? What was meaningful to you about that experience?


One of my most meaningful advocacy activities happened in Kansas City with BBQ. More specifically, at the AAFP National Conference of Special Constituencies (now NCCL). Gathered in a single place was so much passion and energy put to use to drive meaningful change. It really helped me understand what physicians can do when organized for good. It also underscored how dynamic our own chapter is, where many fellow Californians have been leaders on the national stage.



Anything else you’d like to add?


I’ve met really nice folk from state chapters all over the country. No bias: the CAFP is one of the strongest. I feel fortunate that we have a chapter that has the ability to put our dues and donations to good use.