Irene Tovar, executive director of the Latin American Civic Assn., has received the Dr. Ruth Temple Award from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Programs and Services.
The annual award is presented to an individual who has contributed to the advancement of public health in the county at a grass-roots level.
Tovar of Mission Hills became executive director of the San Fernando-based LACA in 1993. LACA is a community service organization that manages Head Start education programs in the San Fernando Valley.
The award is presented in memory of Dr. Temple, the first African American woman to practice medicine in Los Angeles County. Temple helped establish the Southeast District Health Center and was appointed the first health officer of Los Angeles in 1942.
In 1945, Temple initiated the California Community Health Week, an annual event focusing on health awareness.
Tovar, a graduate of San Fernando High School and Cal State Northridge, was formerly a special assistant to Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr. and also worked at the San Fernando Valley Partnership.
She received the award at a ceremony held last week at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and attended by health officials, community service representatives and other guests.