Founded in 1947, The Japanese American Medical Association (JAMA) is a Southern California non-profit, tax-exempt organization, comprised of physicians and spouses. JAMA's physicians are involved in multiple medical specialties and subspecialties, and practice either in a private practice-based or university-based setting.
JAMA's purposes are to maintain and advance the professionalism of its physicians in the communities of Southern California and to promote the social relationships of its members and spouses.
JAMA's members are active in:
- Providing excellent medical care to their communities
- Providing a social network for its members
- Supporting physicians of the future, by providing yearly scholarships for medical students
- Supporting community events in health-related endeavors
- JAMA's history during and after the internment period; the final product, Silent Scars of Healing Hands, is unfortunately out of print, but efforts are under way in partnership with Japanese American National Museum, to have this very important work re-published. We'll keep you up to date about the progress of this re-publication, which hopefully will be available again for purchase by the end of 2023!
The mission of JAMA is to preserve and transmit the legacy of our founding members who embodied the importance of providing excellent health care & service to our communities. JAMA actively supports medical students & physicians-in-training and provides its members with a setting for professional networking and social interaction.
History of JAMA
The Japanese American Medical Association was established in 1947 and is the oldest Japanese American professional group in Southern California. JAMA was founded to create a social and professional network for members to share information, to establish referrals for patients, and to socialize with spouses and other physicians. At the time of JAMA's establishment, Japanese physicians were not permitted to practice in most Los Angeles hospitals, making cooperative communication imperative.
JAMA has obtained a tax-exempt status that permitted it to become a charitable organization for sponsorship of a Scholarship Fund. The first Scholarship Awards were presented on April 29, 2007 to two outstanding medical students. JAMA has also completed its book, Silent Scars of Healing Hands, to record the oral histories of some of its pioneering members of the World War II internment period. The publication, funded by the California Civil Liberties Education Program, represents a medical legacy for future generations.
On June 10, 1997, the Japanese American Cultural Community Center presented the President's Award to JAMA for 50 years of distinguished service to the community. JAMA has enjoyed a significant history, reflective of its members and their achievements, and looks forward to continued growth in our organization.
Our next Spring Banquet will be on Sunday 4/28/2024, and our auxiliary secretary, Karen Arase, has graciously offered to host the banquet at her house in La Canada on 4/28/24, Sunday, at 11am! I will keep you updated as the date draws near.
Koreisha Senior Care & Advocacy and JAMA are also planning another Nikkei Health Fair in November of 2024, and our host will be the Maryknoll Catholic Church, and I will keep you posted as the date draws near.
For many years, the Taisho Club use to provide an annual Nikkei health fair, but due to its aging members, the Taisho club disbanded ~5 years ago. In attempt to resurrect the tradition of the Taisho club, JAMA provided physician support for the Nikkei health fair (picture above), in coordination with Koreisha Senior Care & Advocacy (www.koreishasca.org), and on 10/29/23 Sunday at the Maryknoll Japanese Catholic Center, provided general health information to the Nikkei community! This would not have been possible without the work of Toshiko Sugiyama (KSCA volunteer), John Kanai (president of KSCA), Dr. Kenji Irie (KSCA board advisor), Dr. Keiko Ikeda (VP of KSCA), Dr. Takeshi Matsumoto (KSCA board advisor), Masano Siu (KSCA volunteer), and Michael Toji (secretary of KSCA). Much thanks to our KSCA colleagues, physicians, medical staff, Japanese translators, volunteers, and all of our sponsors, which included Keiro, who made all this possible.
The annual JAMA Scholarship Spring Banquet was on 4/23/23, Sunday, at Tam O' Shanter in Los Angeles, which is a subsidiary of Lawry's Prime Rib. See the pictures below, and in the scholarship section. Below also is a picture from the 2022 Spring Banquet, which was held at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC), and a prior health fair at JANM in 2022.