Featured Rotarian: Sumi Kawaratani

Sumi Kawaratani was born July 24 in Montebello, California and is a practicing physician in Los Angeles. For many years Dr. Sumi has put together the Annual Health Fair for LA5.

After a seven-year combined undergraduate and medical education at the UC Riverside Biomedical Sciences Program, she completed a UCSF Fresno Family Medicine Residency based at the Community Regional Medical Center/Fresno County Hospital. Her first Family Practice was in Northern California at the Southern Monterey County Medical Group. In that capacity her practice included Obstetrics, Newborns and apparently she has a namesake “Sumi” there as well.

Her current medical practice is in Little Tokyo where she cares for multi-generational families in the Japanese community. Through her mother, Sumi learned about and sought to cherish her Japanese culture and roots. That produced an awesome doctor with a deep connection to the Japanese community.

Sumi has been involved in many organizations over the years. She joined the Rotary Club of Los Angeles in 1991 and has served on the Board of Directors as Secretary. She was a member of the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors of Goodwill Southern California. Longtime LA5 member Kathy Turner introduced Sumi to that organization. She is currently on the Board of Directors of SOS Mentor, where she mentors high schools students about healthy eating and physical activity. She has also worked with junior high students at St. Charles Borromeo Church In North Hollywood.

She has joined choirs in all churches where she has lived, and has performed with the Madrigal singers at Ramona Convent Secondary School. She and her husband, Lee, also enjoy Ballroom Dancing with teacher Joe Flynn at Westmore Studios.

Sumi is currently training for her fourth LA Marathon. She recommends Douglas Adams’ The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for those who enjoy fiction. Make it a point to introduce yourself to Sumi if you have not already done so. She is one of the most accomplished and most sincere Rotarians you will ever meet.