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A Consistent Influence

For more than 100 years, the SMCMA has been a
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Dr. Marci Bowers named 2024 recipient of Dr. James Hutchinson Award for Diversity & Inclusion in Medicine

On June 18, 2024, the SMCMA Board of Directors named Dr. Marci Bowers the recipient of the 2024 Dr. James Hutchinson Award for Diversity & Inclusion in Medicine. This award celebrates individuals engaged in efforts to create a more inclusive culture that promotes success for all. It also recognizes efforts to advance the understanding of health equity, health disparities, cultural competency in medicine, and greater access and opportunities in San Mateo County.

Dr. Bowers was selected for her pioneering work in gender affirmation surgery and tireless advocacy for inclusive healthcare practices. Dr. Bowers is a highly regarded surgeon specializing in gender-affirming procedures and has practiced in Burlingame since 2010. While Dr. Bowers is the only surgeon to have completed over 2,000 deliveries and 2,000 vaginoplasties, she also provides pro bono surgeries for victims of Female Gender Mutilation and has performed over 50 pro bono procedures to improve the quality of life for those victims. Dr. Bowers actively engages in research and has revolutionized surgical techniques across a spectrum of gender-affirming surgeries, improving surgical outcomes and enhancing the quality of life for transgender patients. Her commitment extends beyond the operating room as she actively engages in educational initiatives, seminars, and community outreach programs aimed at raising awareness and understanding of transgender healthcare needs. Her pioneering work in transgender surgery has not only transformed the lives of countless individuals but has also impacted the global transgender community. Dr. Bowers' contributions to medicine and her dedication to providing compassionate and comprehensive care to the transgender community embodies the spirit of diversity and inclusion in medicine.


“Negro MD Gets Permit in San Mateo”, read the front-page headline of the Advance-Star newspaper on March 3, 1953. In fact, Dr. James Hutchinson was the first African-American doctor on the Peninsula and persisted in the face of staunch racism when no one would rent him space. Despite many barriers, Dr. Hutchinson challenged the status quo to create and maintain his practice on North San Mateo County Drive, where he practiced for 68 years before passing in 2021 at 98 years old. In 2019, the corner of San Mateo Drive and Tilton Avenue was named “Dr. Hutchinson Corner” in his honor.

Dr. Hutchinson was a pillar in the San Mateo County community and was a proud SMCMA member for 69 years. The social impact and meaningful change he contributed to throughout his life truly made him a trailblazer that changed the fabric of San Mateo County and opened the door for so many after him. Dr. Hutchinson was known as a voice for the underserved and marginalized communities, serving as President of the San Mateo Chapter of the NAACP and helped establish the NAACP Credit Union. He was also a founding member of the San Mateo County Planned Parenthood and the Bay Area Urban League, the latter of which established Project 90 - a program that provides substance abuse treatment in San Mateo.

We can only imagine the type of scrutiny and hatred he encountered during his life in medicine, and he remained optimistic, humble, and carried himself with honor, grace, and understanding. SMCMA honored Dr. Hutchinson in 2019 as the first recipient of the award that bears his name.