Honoring Outstanding Women in the 39th Senate District

March 9, 2023

Toluwalaṣé “Laṣé” Ajayi, MD
39th Senate District “Woman Making Herstory”

Dear Neighbor:

Every year in celebration of Women’s History Month, we have a tradition in the Legislature of celebrating women from each Senate and Assembly district who are accomplishing amazing things in their communities. This year, the California Legislative Women’s Caucus is celebrating Women Making Herstory with a ceremony at the Capitol on March 20.

Today, I want to take a moment to introduce you to our 39th Senate District Woman Making Herstory – Dr. Toluwalaṣé “Laṣé” Ajayi – as well as recognize the 23 incredible women that we are honoring as our Women of the District, who were nominated by you, our constituents of the 39th Senate District! 

When asked to introduce herself, Dr. Ajayi said, “I’m a first-generation immigrant, mother of three, physician spouse, researcher, and Black woman physician who cares for patients at both ends of the life spectrum. I'm a pediatrician who practices adult and pediatric medicine in the hospital, in the clinic, and in the home – in both an academic and community practice setting. I use my voice and my perspective to shatter barriers to quality, physician-led care for all patients while ensuring my colleagues regain their joy in the practice of medicine.”

Here is a little bit more information about our inspiring Woman Making Herstory: Dr. Ajayi is a community pediatrician, adult and pediatric palliative medicine physician, and clinical translational researcher. She is a Trustee of the American Medical Association, President of the San Diego County Medical Society, and Chair of the Council on Medical Services of the California Medical Association (CMA). She is the ninth woman, and first Black woman, to be elected president in the Medical Society’s 152-year history.

When she was seven years old, Dr. Ajayi immigrated to the United States as a political refugee from Nigeria and grew up in Lawrence, Kansas. She completed medical school at the University of Kansas and a pediatric residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center prior to training in adult and pediatric palliative medicine at the Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice.

Dr. Ajayi is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UC San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, where she works as a hospitalist and pediatric palliative medicine physician. She serves as the Director of Diversity Initiatives, Director of Clinical Research, Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine, and a Senior Staff Scientist in Digital Medicine at the Scripps Research Translational Institute. She is also the co-medical director of adult palliative medicine at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego.

Dr. Ajayi has a long history of leadership in policy-making and organized medicine at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and is an AAP delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA), where she advocates for the needs of children and those with serious illness. She is a former Chair of the AMA and CMA Young Physician Sections.

Dr. Ajayi lives in San Diego with her partner, Dr. Kyle Edmonds, their three children, Ayokárí, Tiwalolá, and Palmer, and a rambunctious Bernedoodle named Dùnní.

Congratulations Laṣé – we are looking forward to celebrating with you on March 20 in Sacramento!

I would also encourage you to visit our 2023 Women of the District webpage, where you can learn more about these impressive women and their contributions to our community


Toni Atkins signature
Toni Atkins
Senator, 39th District