Board of Supervisors Approve Ground Lease to CDU
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) has been granted unanimous approval by the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors on a ground lease agreement for a parcel of land adjacent to the CDU campus.
The move is a big step toward opening a state-of-the-art Health Professions Education Building on the CDU campus in the heart of South Los Angeles. The proposed multi-level structure will provide a much-needed room for the University’s new and growing programs and will be the home for the just-announced CDU 4-Year Medical Degree Program.
“It’s great to have had the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors’ support for this next step toward the construction of a Health Professions Education Building,” said CDU President and CEO David M. Carlisle. “This is a project that will help CDU achieve its vision of creating a world without health disparities by providing room for our new and expanding programs on our South Los Angeles campus. This new state-of-the-art facility will enhance our ability to train and cultivate the next generation of diverse health professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations across Los Angeles and beyond.”
The current estimated timeline for the building project has a groundbreaking taking place in 2023 and construction being completed in 2025 or 2026. CDU is set to welcome a charter class of 60 students in 2023 to the history-making four-year MD medical degree program, the first and only historically black MD program west of the Mississippi River.
The addition of this program directly impacts the number of doctors of color in California at a time when such health professionals are in dire need to provide culturally appropriate care to Los Angeles County’s diverse population. The program will move from temporary accommodations in CDU’s W. Montague Cobb Medical Education Building to the new facility upon its opening.
“I am proud to support the approval of the County’s lease agreement with CDU, an educational asset in the Second Supervisorial District that has created a pipeline of medical leaders of color in LA County and throughout the U.S.” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, who played a key role in advocating for approval of this ground lease. “With this lease, the only Historically Black College or University in California is expanding its footprint and impact in South LA as it reaches a new milestone with the launch of its medical education program.”
CDU is the second-most diverse university nationally in terms of student and faculty diversity. The University is a minority-serving institution, a Historically Black Graduate Institution (HBGI), and a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. The student body primarily consists of individuals from underserved communities across Los Angeles who have pledged to return to practice in those communities.