LA Care Health Plan commits $5 million to new South LA medical school program – Daily News


LOS ANGELES — As part of its $155 million commitment to attract physicians to underserved areas, L.A. Care Health Plan announced Monday, June 21 that it is giving $5 million to help fund the creation of a South L.A. medical school program focused on serving under-resourced communities.

The donation will support the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, an historically black private medical school in Willowbrook that trains 28 medical students each year through a partnership with UCLA that was formed following the 1965 Watts riots.

The new medical program, which will begin in 2023, will train an additional 60 students per year. According to L.A. Care Health Plan, the program is expected to increase the number of Black medical graduates per year in California by about 30% starting in 2027, when the program’s first 60 students graduate. The program is also expected to increase the number of Latino medical students by about 20%.

“CDU remains the only health professions institution in a service planning area with 1.35 million residents. The forthcoming medical school at CDU is a clear marker of progression in our institution’s 55-year journey, and will serve as a significant step towards improving health outcomes for the residents of South Los Angeles,” said university President and CEO David M. Carlisle.

“We are grateful for the support from L.A. Care as we solidify the legacy of CDU, an institution that stands as a beacon of hope in one of the most densely populated and under-resourced urban areas in the nation,” he said.

The program will recruit students who are interested in alleviating health care disparities and understanding under-resourced communities’ needs. Students will be encouraged to practice medicine in the South Los Angeles area.

“We launched Elevating the Safety Net in 2018 to help address a severe physician shortage and the resulting health disparities in the underserved communities that we serve,” L.A. Care CEO John Baackes said of the health plan’s $155 million commitment.


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