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Devika Bhushan


Devika Bhushan, MD, is a pediatrician, public health leader, and writer on a mission to drive health innovation, equity, and resilience. Dr. Bhushan served as California’s Acting Surgeon General in 2022, during which time she was a key public health spokesperson and advisor to the California Governor and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Her clinical, research, and policy expertise spans trauma-informed systems, stress and resilience, mental health, and gender and health equity. Dr. Bhushan has served on Stanford’s faculty and her work has been featured in peer-reviewed publications like The Lancet and Pediatrics and in mainstream outlets like National Public Radio (NPR), The Los Angeles Times, The Sacramento Bee, and Healthy Children. Dr. Bhushan advises innovative health and mental health startups, non-profits, and venture capital investment.

As California’s Acting Surgeon General and previously the Office’s inaugural Chief Health Officer, Dr. Bhushan led policy and practice innovation at a statewide level. She co-crafted and launched the first-in-the-nation Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Aware initiative, a $500 million effort focused on healing from the impacts of childhood adversity and enhancing health equity for millions. 

Dr. Bhushan is a leading spokesperson in destigmatizing living with serious mental illness and spreading hope: she has publicly shared her journey with bipolar disorder — including in The Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio (NPR) — reaching and inspiring millions. In 2023, she launched a vibrant community to advance well-being through a newsletter and YouTube channel.

She serves as a senior advisor to entities that aim to advance health, innovation, and equity, including the Weitzman Institute, focused on primary care innovation, GreyMatter, a venture capital fund dedicated to mental health innovation, Health Management Associates, focused on health policy and strategy, and BrainStorm, a documentary aiming to inspire, educate, and reduce stigma around bipolar disorder. 

Dr. Bhushan trained at Columbia (BA, Neuroscience and Behavior, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa inductee), Harvard (MD, Cum Laude), and Johns Hopkins (pediatrics residency).

Having spent her early years between the Philippines, India, and the United States, Dr. Bhushan is an immigrant and a first-generation American. She lives in San Francisco with her long-time partner and their son.

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