Filipino American Dr. Rick DeLeon awarded California’s Plessner for rural service

Dr. Rick DeLeon  California's Plessner
Dr. Recto “Rick” DeLeon is the 2021 recipient of the California Medical Association’s Frederick K.M. Plessner Memorial Award. Screengrab from CMA video.

Filipino American Dr. Recto “Rick” DeLeon has been awarded the California Medical Association’s (CMA) most prestigious honor, the Frederick K.M. Plessner Memorial Award for his service to the rural community of indigents.

Dr. DeLeon received the award, presented by the CMA to a California physician who best exemplifies the practice and ethics of a rural practitioner, during CMA’s virtual House of Delegates meeting on October 23, 2021.

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The retired Modesto family physician was honored for spending nearly four decades of his medical practice serving the indigent in the heart of California’s Central Valley.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Dr. DeLeon graduated in 1964 from Far Eastern University (FEU) before coming to Modesto, California, in the United States, where he completed his residency in Family Medicine at Scenic General Hospital.

After his residency, Dr. DeLeon and his wife, also a physician, remained in Modesto, where he opened his private practice in 1973.

Dr. DeLeon was determined to give back to the community where he was born and regularly travelled back to the Philippines on medical missions to help those in need.

Colleagues of Dr. DeLeon describe him as a compassionate and dedicated physician. “Dr. DeLeon is an exceptional person and an excellent physician. He dedicated his life to his patients, to the community, and to care for people, whether in the United States or outside the United States,” said Modesto gastroenterologist Magdy Elsakr, M.D.

Dr. Rick DeLeon has served for many years on the Board Directors for the Stanislaus Medical Society (SMS) and has held memberships in many other worthwhile organizations, both nationally and locally.

Overseas Filipino medical practitioners who have been receiving recognition abroad include nurse Dan Lester Dabon who was recently named a Top 100 Healthcare Leader by the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare (IFAH) in Las Vegas, U.S.A.

In the United Kingdom, Filipino nurses Jose Ariel Lañada, Minnie Klepacz, and Charito Leonardo-Romano were recognized for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Filipino American Dr. Recto “Rick” DeLeon who has been awarded the California Medical Association’s (CMA) most prestigious honor, the Frederick K.M. Plessner Memorial Award.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.