Bent to lead physicians’ academy

Dr. Tom Bent, medical director and chief executive of the Laguna Beach Community Clinic, has been named president of the 7,000-member California Academy of Family Physicians, according to a news statement. His term began April 17.

Bent is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UC Irvine and serves on the Academy’s Committee on Continuing Professional Development.

Bent said he believes the time is right for health-care reform.


“We have an opportunity to place primary care at the center of national health-care reform," Bent said in a statement. “At the same time we face the challenge of a budget crisis that threatens to decimate state-funded health care. We have a responsibility to advocate for our patients on these and other issues. I welcome this opportunity to represent my colleagues across the state as we do so."

Bent is advocating legislation that would encourage a “medical home" for every person in California, according to the statement.

“One of my primary goals as president is to advocate for every patient to have a medical home," he stated. “When patients have a care team that delivers excellent preventive and primary care, they stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease can be well controlled and patients’ care can be coordinated throughout the health-care system to ensure the best possible outcomes."

The California Academy of Family Physicians is sponsoring AB 1542, to encourage implementation of the “medical home" model in California.


Bent said he wants to address the increasing family physician shortage, advocating for increased medical school loan repayment and other incentives to encourage medical students to choose family medicine as a specialty.

“Once our health-care delivery system is designed to reward primary care physicians and to emphasize wellness and prevention instead of episodic, complaint-based care, we will see interest in family medicine increase," Bent said.

Bent received his medical degree from Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Mexico, and completed his family medicine residency at UC Irvine.

First ‘HIP’ event draws crowds

Laguna’s “HIP District" "” the commercial strip of South Coast Highway between Anita Street and Blue Bird Canyon Drive "” was bustling with shoppers and revelers during the area’s inaugural promotional event April 18.

More than 50 attended William Lobdell’s signing of his new book, “Losing my Religion," at Laguna Beach Books, according to organizer Dennis Myers. Laguna Nursery hosted an afternoon workshop on raising fruit and citrus trees, followed by an evening cabaret with Broadway performer Saif Bayati Eddin playing a grand piano inside the gardens. Several local artists joined in at the piano.

Vintage Poster raffled an original Laguna Beach poster, while Upside Down Fashions offered a 50% discount on fashions.

“Everyone knows Laguna Beach downtown is where Laguna Canyon opens to the ocean," Myers said. “Few know that before that location was established, there was an earlier business area formed at Blue Bird Canyon with a post office, a general store, and land parcels for homes."


More “HIP" events are being planned.