Louis A. Vismara, M.D

Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Vismara is a physician (retired interventional cardiologist) and a parent of four children. Since his son, Mark, was diagnosed with autism in 1995, he has dedicated himself to issues of child development, learning differences, diversity, and access to health care for under-served populations. Lou is a founding member of the UC Davis MIND Institute, the State of California’s First Five Commission, and the California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission. 

From 2000 to 2015, Lou worked as a senior policy consultant for three consecutive leaders (Senators Burton, Perata, & Steinberg) of the California Senate. Dr. Vismara  established the Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders and spearheaded a variety of healthcare issues, including California’s landmark Autism Insurance Mandate (SB 946 enacted in 2011) which has the State over $200 million annually.  Lou is the recipient of numerous advocacy awards and was honored by the California Senate with a resolution acknowledging his “lifetime achievements and meritorious service to humanity and the people of California.” 

Dr. Vismara is currently serving as a consultant for AKT Investments, which with the UC Davis Health Systems, is seeking to establish an integrated, health-focused community for individuals of all abilities across the lifespan.  Lou has also been retained by the CA Community College Chancellor’s Office to establish an innovative employment/vocational training program for neurodiverse students, which will provide services and supports for older adults.  Lou has recently served as a member of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission; UCD School of Education Advisory Board; Eskaton Senior Living Advisory Board; Friends of Sacramento Arts Board; & Meristem Board of Directors.

Lou is currently an adjunct professor of medicine at Stanford University;  a member of the UC Davis MIND Emeritus Board; PRIDE Industries Foundation Advisory Board; Creative Living Options Board; & the California Statewide Education Workgroup on Alternative Pathways to A High School Diploma.  Dr. Vismara is also the co-author of The Autism Full Employment Act,”, a recent and highly rated book (Amazon 5 stars) that shows how there can be a place in the job world for the wide range of adults with autism, ADHD, and other learning and mental health differ­ences—many of whom are not employed today. 

Lou (who was born in Italy) received a B.A. in Biology from Stanford University (1960) and his M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in 1968.  He is married to his wife Wendy Vismara, a former occupational therapist. They have two children: Mark and Marissa. Lou also has 2 daughters from a prior marriage: Laurie and Nicole Vismara.  Lou was an avid runner; having completed 21 marathons (including the Boston Marathon) between 1990 and 2003. In 2014, Lou resumed classical violin studies, which he started as a youngster, and currently is a member of the Sacramento Camellia Symphony, Camerata Chamber Orchestra, and the Sacramento Chamber Music Workshop.