Ellen Skillen Bogen Alkon
1936 - 2021
BORN
1936
DIED
2021
April 1936 - December 30, 2020 Ellen Skillen Bogen Alkon, M.D, 84, former resident of Rolling Hills Estates, died December 30, 2020 of kidney failure in Fort Worth, Texas. She is survived by her brother David Bogen and daughters Cynthia Alkon and Margaret Alkon (Jonathan Marshall) and was preceded in death by her husband Paul Alkon, eldest daughter Kathy Alkon, and sister Elizabeth Bogen Tanner.  Born in Los Angeles, she attended San Fernando High School, Stanford (BA 1955), University of Chicago Medical School (MD 1961) and UC Berkeley (MPH 1968). She was an enthusiastic traveler, shared in her husband's sailing and intellectual pursuits, and loved being "Aunt Ellen," keeping in touch with family and friends. Her family stories intertwined with the history of public health in Southern California, starting with her childhood at Olive View Hospital, then a turberculosis sanatorium, where her mother Jane Skillen Bogen Rost was a surgeon and her father Emil Bogen ran the laboratories and did medical research (and had been an early responder to the 1924 outbreak of the plague in Los Angeles).A pediatrician with a lifeline passion for public health, Dr. Alkon worked at Highland Alameda County Hospital in Oakland, California and at the Minneapolis Health Department, where she became Director of Maternal and Child Health in 1973 and served as Commissioner of Health (1975-1980). At the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health from 1980 until her retirement, she held various positions including Medical Director for Public Health, and Director of Public Health Education for Physicians.  A huge believer in education, Dr. Alkon returned to work with young doctors after her retirement because she was so enthusiastic about educating doctors about public health. She was also Adjunct Professor Emeritus at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.  Dr. Alkon was a strong believer in doing the organizing work that turns good ideas into reality. In 1975, she was working long hours, had three children and two jobs and still found time to testify before Congress on the positive impact and importance of the then-novel WIC Program on the health of mothers and young children. Memorial contributions can be made to the Southern California Public Health Association (https://www.scpha.org) and the American Association of Public Health Physicians (https://www.aaphp.org).
Published by Los Angeles Times from Jan. 5 to Jan. 10, 2021.
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10 Entries
To the Family and Friends of Dr. Ellen Alkon:

On behalf of the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Commission, please accept our most sincere condolences for your loss. Dr. Alkon was a treasured member of the Emergency Medical Services Commission from November 16, 2016, until December 31, 2019. We appreciate having had the opportunity to work with her.

Sincerely,

Denise Watson
EMS Commission Liaison
Denise Watson
Coworker
February 3, 2021
The Rodriguez Family
February 1, 2021
Dr Alkon was a kind compassionate soul who always greeted me with a smile and was a reliable source of what is the best course of action to protect the public’s health. I enjoyed working with her when she was with the county, but more so with the Southern California public health association. Her influence will carry in in her memory. Thank you Ellen. Picture below of Ellen with dr Felix Aguilar....
Michael johnson
Friend
January 17, 2021
Eclectic Readers - AAUW PVP
January 11, 2021
I loved her as a kindred spirit. We shared many joys and sorrows. Anne Destabelle
Anne Destabelle
Friend
January 10, 2021
Ellen was in the book group that I lead for the past ten years, and it was a privilege to get to know her and hear about her life, and I appreciated her insightful comments. Our group was able to continue with her on Zoom in the past few months, and
I am grateful for this. Having her in the book group brought me great joy, and I will miss her greatly.

I am so sorry for your family's loss.
Jan Cofer
Friend
January 10, 2021
Knowing and working with Ellen within the LA County Dept. of Health Services was always a pleasant and satisfying experience while knowing that she would keep the publics health first - always. I'm thankful for having known her as a colleague and friend.
Carl Williams
Coworker
January 7, 2021
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
January 7, 2021
Ellen was a leader in public health, a wonderful physician and a colleague and friend of mine when we worked together at the LA County Dept of Public Health. She was always available to discuss strategies to improve public health practice in the field and in programs.

I was Director of Nursing Professional Practice at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in the mid-1990's. Ellen came one afternoon and did a presentation on her early life at Olive View complete with photos. it was delightful to see her at a younger age and hear her stories.

Ellen was also a lot of fun. We had a few lunches at Taix and always shared a few laughs.

Ellen and I corresponded at Christmas for years and i always enjoyed her letters and updates.

I'm so sorry for your loss and extend heartfelt condolences.
Susan James Carr
Coworker
January 5, 2021
Working with Dr. Alkon from the DHS side was always a pleasure both in EMS and at DHS Headquarters. I will always remember her smiling face; enthusiasm for healthcare and willingness to do anything needed for the County. Rest in Peace.
Carol Meyer
Coworker
January 5, 2021
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