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AAP-CA3’s Pediatrician Spotlight: Stuart Cohen
A general pediatrician with a career of service

Dr. Stuart Cohen has been a general pediatrician for Children’s Primary Care Medical Group since 1996. He is also a senior shareholder and serves on the board of the Independent Physicians Association (IPA). Dr. Cohen holds a long history of activity in organized medicine along with service to the national, state and local American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Cohen is the Immediate Past District Chair for the American Academy of Pediatrics-California and serves on the National AAP Committee on Development (philanthropy committee) and celebrated 30 years of service on the AAP-CA Board in January 2023. He continues to serve on the host faculty committee for the AAP-California annual regional CME Pediatric Update meeting, the Las Vegas Seminars. He was a long time AAP-CA3 Board member and helped the Chapter move to being a project-based hub in addition to a professional organization.

Dr. Cohen served for 25 years as an AAP delegate to the American Medical Association with expertise in health care financing, coding and reimbursement and vaccine issues. Dr. Cohen also served for over two decades as a pediatric delegate to the California Medical Association and chaired the California Medical Association Advisory Committee to the Board of Trustees on Medi-Cal for many years. He recently served a term on the San Diego County Health Services Advisory Board. He was President of the San Diego County Medical Society from 2008-2009 and President of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation from 2012-2015. Dr. Cohen was co-director of a large Healthy Tomorrows grant from the federal Maternal Child Health Bureau- San Diego Kids Health Assurance network (SD KHAN) in the early 2000’s, which was the first attempt to link public health and private pediatric practice in increasing enrollment for Medi-Cal eligible underinsured and uninsured children in San Diego County.

Dr. Cohen said his proudest achievements were during his tenure as California District Chair working with Senator Richard Pan and in close collaboration with CMA to pass SB277 (it removed personal belief as a reason for an exemption from the vaccination requirements for entry to private or public elementary or secondary schools in California, as well as day care centers in California), legislation providing coverage to Medi-Cal eligible undocumented children, and Proposition 56 providing enhanced Medi-Cal payment rates for primary care e/m codes to 100% RBRVS Medicare.

Melding his career and home life, Dr. Cohen spent years as a summer camp physician at Riverway Ranch Camp in Northern California where his kids attended camp. He was the inaugural camp physician at Camp Mountain Chai near Big Bear, California and help co-found the camp with the late Dr. Jack Bark.

Dr. Cohen has been a clinical investigator for the original RSV palivizumab immunoprophylaxis study and for the asthma controller therapy Montelukast. He has been a consultant and speaker for Pharma in the topics of vaccines, vaccine coding and reimbursement, otitis media and eczema. He is currently on the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Eczema Association. Dr. Cohen has been a local representative on the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committees for Community Health Group and for Molina HealthCare for many years.

Dr. Cohen and his wife Dana, a Labor and Delivery nurse manager, have 4 sons and 3 dogs and enjoy travelling, time at the beach, fishing, and avidly following the San Diego Padres and L.A Chargers. They are also part owners of three horses at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Racing Club. Dr. Cohen and Dana continue to be actively involved in supporting their local and state legislators on both sides of the aisle that support policies promoting improved child health and welfare.