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Riverside hospitals awarded $1.125 million to increase access to health care and address physician shortage


Last updated 4/1/2021 at 1:43pm

medical staff

Village News/Courtesy photo

Residents in the UHS Southern California Medical Education Consortium Residency Program celebrate its CalMedForce award.

RIVERSIDE COUNTY – Universal Health Services Southern California Medical Education announced it has received $1.125 million in CalMedForce awards to increase access to health care and address physician shortages.

Of the total grant, $225K will support Emergency Medicine Residency Program training, $225,000 will support Internal Medicine Program training and $675,000 will support Family Medicine Program training. The local residency program will help increase access to care in the region and expand the physician workforce.

UHS Southern California Medical Education Consortium Residency Program works directly with local UHS hospitals in Riverside County: Corona Regional Medical Center, Southwest Healthcare System and Temecula Valley Hospital.

CalMedForce funding is generated by voter-approved Proposition 56 tobacco tax revenues in 2016, and the latest award cycle will support 202 residency positions in 101 graduate medical education programs at hospitals and clinics throughout California, with an emphasis on those serving medically underserved communities.

This round of funding also represented the largest applicant pool: 541 residents and 122 applications requesting over $96 million in funding.

"We are incredibly grateful to CalMedForce and the state of California for their support of UHS SoCal MEC's residency programs and GME training across the state," Dr. Michael Nduati, chief academic officer of UHS Southern California Medical Education Consortium, said. "We have a significant physician shortage in our region of Riverside County, and this grant allows us to grow the programs needed to train physicians who will stay in the region and help improve the overall health of the community. This is one of the best investments the people of California could make for the future of robust quality health care in our state, and we at UHS are honored to train the next generation of health care leaders."

The California Future Health Workforce Commission estimated that California will need 4,700 additional primary care clinicians by 2025 and approximately 4,100 more by 2030 to meet demand.

Physicians for a Healthy California, in partnership with the University of California, established the CalMedForce grant program to help address California's looming physician shortage because medical school graduates must continue training in an accredited, specialty-specific GME residency program to obtain a medical license and care for patients independently.

"CalMedForce continues to demonstrate the high demand and need for GME opportunities," Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, president and CEO of Physicians for a Healthy California, said. "The lack of sufficient residency spots contributes to California's physician shortage and limits the number of new doctors entering the workforce. With COVID-19 impacting life for the foreseeable future, programs like CalMedForce are even more essential to protect access to care for all Californians."

To date, CalMedForce has released over $114 million for 261 awards to 121 GME programs across California to retain and expand GME programs in primary care, such as family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology, and in emergency medicine.

"We understand the vital statewide need for this program and the funding it provides to support California's future physicians," Dr. Cathryn Nation, vice president for health sciences at University of California office of the president, said. "The annual demand for funding reflects the importance of this program and its focus on the needs of medically underserved groups and communities."

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Submitted by Temecula Valley Hospital.


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