Munzer AwardBrooke La Duca, M.D. the associate program director at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center’s Family Medicine Program, and the director of the Global Health AOC (area of concentration) was named the 2021 Munzer Family Award Recipient for excellence in teaching and research. The Rudolph J. and Daphne A. Munzer Foundation established this award in 1993 to recognize physician excellence at MemorialCare’s Long Beach Medical Center or Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. In addition, the Munzer Foundation gives a $10,000 gift to support teaching and education through the graduate medical education program.

“The Munzer Family has been a steadfast and consistent partner of both Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s for nearly 40 years,” says John Bishop, chief executive officer, Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s. “For generations, the Munzer Family through their Foundation, has helped us live up to our purpose of caring for infants, kids, adults and grandparents in our community. Each year, we are able to push our resources further into the community thanks to the commitment of the family and the vision of Rudolph and Daphne Munzer.”

This program acknowledges Long Beach Medical Center’s outstanding physician partners who teach the future healthcare workers in the Graduate Medical Education program. The Graduate Medical Education team plays a crucial role in Long Beach Medical Center’s ability to be a teaching hospital – helping to develop and pave the way for future clinicians who are looking to make change and a healthier community.

Dr. La Duca knows this all too well, as she completed her residency training program through Long Beach Medical Center’s Family Medicine Residency herself, as part of her training after graduating from medical school at USC. She then joined the Family Medicine Residency Program full-time after working in private practice in 2009. She also served as the Director of Inpatient Medicine. She serves on many hospital committees such as bioethics and quality review and is now the Vice Chief of Staff.

“I was very happy in private practice,” says Dr. La Duca. “But I’ve always been drawn to academics and I love teaching and wanted to provide a more robust experience to students. One of my mentors told me that I could make a more significant impact in the world with academics – and I’ve been here ever since.”

Under the leadership of Dr. La Duca, she’s been able establish curricula in both global health and point of care ultrasound that she’s grown, through her fellowship training with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health  Institute and University of California, Irvine.

“My favorite thing about my job, is watching these newly graduated doctors come in and many of them feel like ‘imposters,’” says Dr. La Duca. “And to see them grow into amazing physicians in three years is such an amazing transition and completely rewarding and fulfilling. Thank you to the Munzer Family for helping us to continue our important work of cultivating the future healthcare leaders of tomorrow.”