Kaiser Permanente honored two African American doctors with its 2022 “Family Physician of the Year” award in their service areas for their commitment and dedication to their profession and for providing excellent care and service to their patients.
Dr. Vanessa Gavin-Headen and Dr. Resa R. Caivano, who practice family medicine at Kaiser Permanente South Bay and West Los Angeles Service Areas, respectively, were recently recognized for their contributions to improving the health in their communities.
Gavin-Headen has been with Kaiser Permanente at the Long Beach Medical Office for the past 24 years. Her commitment to service always extended beyond the walls of her medical practice. Early in her career, she was involved in creating the African American Heart Health Workshop and was awarded Kaiser Permanente’s “Everyday Hero Award” for her work with this project.
Also, Gavin-Headen has also been active in the community serving as a co-director for the health ministry at the Brookins-Kirkland Community AME Church, sponsoring health fairs, workshops, and health screenings for her church and community. Additionally, during the pandemic, she’s conducted virtual presentations to local African American churches to promote COVID-19 vaccines, answering questions and helping to dispel myths about COVID-19.
“Dr. Vanessa Gavin-Headen is truly an amazing physician and role model,” said Dr. Sunit D. Mistry, assistant area medical director, Kaiser Permanente South Bay. “It’s our honor to recognize her for her dedication and contributions to the community.”
Said Gavin-Headen: “I’m grateful to be recognized with this award. I’ve always felt it’s my duty to help improve the health of our community. It is part of my being.”
Caivano, born and raised in Boston, has been practicing medicine at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles for the past eight years. Her distinguished medical career also includes working in federally qualified health centers.
Additionally, she’s been involved in advocacy efforts for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIOPC) communities through her work with the California Medical Association’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee. Dr. Caivano also serves as Tri Chair for the Los Angeles County Medical Association Health Equity Council.
As part of her work at Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Caivano is a leading team member of the Kaiser Permanente Sickle Cell Center of Excellence in Inglewood, where she helps treat patients suffering from this illness that’s predominant among the Black community.
Dr. Kirk Tamaddon, area medical director and chief of staff for Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles, noted, “Dr. Caivano is an invaluable member of the hospital’s medical staff. I can’t praise Dr. Caivano’s commitment to improving the health of our community enough. She’s truly well-deserving of this award and is a shining light to all of us.”
“I’m truly honored to receive this award,” said Caivano. “It only reinforces my commitment and dedication to serving my patients and community the best way I can.”