Paul Torrens, MD – Lifetime Achievement Award
Partners in Care Announces 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Partners in Care Foundation is pleased to award a Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Paul Torrens, Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Management at UCLA and founder of the Paul Torrens Health Forum at UCLA.
“More than anything else, Dr. Torrens is treasured as a mentor and guide to hundreds of essential healthcare leaders,” said June Simmons, President and CEO of Partners in Care Foundation. “His impact is immeasurable and is continuing to grow.”
A physician by initial training, Dr. Torrens focused his career on health care management and health care policy. In his 40 years at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Dr. Torrens taught courses in health services organization and financing, health services organization and theory, managerial processes in health service organizations, and managed care.
Named in his honor, the Paul Torrens Health Forum at UCLA brings together public health leaders, community groups, faculty and students. It is a respected source of discovery and conversation about the prevailing public health issues of the day.
Dr. Torrens is perhaps best known among his colleagues in the healthcare world for patiently guiding, mentoring and advising generations of students, helping to shape many distinguished careers in public health.
“There are so many people who can say that they owe their career to Paul Torrens and that he was their biggest influence and their biggest mentor,” said Paul Viviano, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“The prominence of the school of public health at UCLA today is largely due to Paul Torrens,” said Thomas Gordon, former Executive Vice President of Cedars-Sinai Health System. “The faculty members, the students and the administrators that he mentored and cared about are the reason that we are in the top 10 of schools of public health in the United States.”
“There are people who are leading health systems around the world who studied under him at one point,” said Jack Schlosser, Founder and Principal at Desert Vista Advisors in Los Angeles.
“I’m one of hundreds of people who look to him as a very special person in their professional lives and also in their personal lives. I can’t think of anybody who has had a greater impact on Southern California healthcare and the delivery system than Paul Torrens.”
Diana Hilberman is Adjunct Professor of Health Services and Director of the Masters in Public Health Programs in Health Policy and Management at UCLA. Dr. Torrens was one of her first teachers when she was studying for her doctorate.
“He has always been an outstanding, natural-born teacher,” she said. “Healthcare can be very complex and he’s able to take all the complexities and synthesize it down to crucial understanding, making things easy to understand without being either pedantic or patronizing.”
Jonathan Fielding, Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management and of Pediatrics in the Schools of Public Health and Medicine at UCLA, says Dr. Torrens has been “incredibly helpful” to many students and former students. “Whenever I sent a student of mine to Paul, they were always overjoyed with the kind of attention he would give to their problems and to advising them about potential different careers and that aspect of public health. He is tireless in helping students with their career goals.”
“Paul Torrens has what I would describe as a limitless commitment to the field of healthcare and the field of healthcare leadership development, and by extension a limitless commitment to the students,” said Tom Priselac, President and CEO, Cedars-Sinai Health System. “He also has an ability to identify and develop and mentor talent in ways that I think very few people do.”
Dr. Torrens has shared his health policy expertise with a wide variety of governmental and non-governmental organizations in all parts of the United States and in 18 foreign countries. He has served on the governing boards of numerous health care organizations, including Blue Shield of California and PacifiCare Behavioral Health of California.
In 2019, an endowed chair at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health was named in his honor. The Paul Torrens Chair in Healthcare Management supports the teaching and research activities of a faculty member with healthcare management expertise.
The co-editor of “Introduction to Health Services,” a widely used textbook, Dr. Torrens earned his M.D. at Georgetown University and his master’s degree in public health at Harvard University. He lives in Newport Beach with his wife, Jacqueline.
Partners in Care Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Fernando. Its mission is to shape the evolving health system by developing and spreading high-value models of community-based care and self-management for diverse populations with chronic conditions. This is only the second time that Partners in Care Foundation has presented a Lifetime Achievement Award.