CDU Receives $800,000 Grant from California Endowment to
Help Plan New Four-Year Medical Degree and Medical Education Building

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (December 11, 2019) Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science announced the receipt of an $800,000 grant from the California Endowment that will help the school continue to plan for a new medical degree program and a new medical education building.

Entitled “Diversifying Health Professions Through Medical School Expansion,” the Cal Endowment funding adds to a $1.2 million grant received from Cedars-Sinai earlier in 2019 that is also earmarked for improving health workforce diversity in South Los Angeles through supporting a four-year medical school at CDU.

“We are exceptionally grateful to the California Endowment for their support of our planned medical school and new degree program,” said CDU President and CEO Dr. David M. Carlisle.  “Like CDU, the California Endowment is committed to increasing access to high-quality healthcare, and especially in under-resourced communities.  We know that one of the best ways to do that is to train new physicians in those communities.  This new four-year degree will greatly aid us in doing that.”

“California’s healthcare system providers are not reflective of the state’s diversity and that needs to change in order to help achieve health equity for all Californians,” said Robert K. Ross, MD, President and CEO, The California Endowment. “CDU’s new medical education program holds much promise in expanding  the number of diverse health care professionals and access to culturally sensitive care for California’s diverse and underserved communities.”

CDU’s newly planned four-year independent medical education program will not replace its existing Charles R. Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program, which has been the result of a five-decade partnership with the University of California and UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.  Rather, it will be an additional program offering by CDU’s School of Medicine.

The new medical degree program and new building are presently in the planning stages, with a tentative opening date of Fall 2023.  The University will seek to raise funds for the new program and structure, the cost of which is expected to exceed $100 million.   

A new four-year medical degree program at CDU was specifically cited by the California Future Healthcare Workforce Commission in its February 2019 report as one key solution to the statewide physician shortage. 

The University has already been working diligently to train more physicians.  With two new residency programs (Family Medicine and Psychiatry), in place over the last two years, CDU has put 28 new physicians into the chronically underserved South Los Angeles area. 

A new medical degree program and medical school would dramatically increase the University’s capability to educate and train new physicians for these under-resourced communities.
CDU is a private, non-profit, student-centered, minority-serving medical and health sciences University that is committed to cultivating diverse health professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, research, clinical service and community engagement.
Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated, since its inception, more than 600 physicians, 1,225 physician assistants and nearly 1,600 other health professionals, as well as training over 2,700 physician specialists through its sponsored residency programs. Its School of Nursing has graduated over 1,300 nursing professionals, including over 950 family nurse practitioners.  CDU is a leader in health disparities research with a focus on education, training, treatment and care in cancer, diabetes, cardiometabolic diseases and HIV/AIDS. a focus on education, training, treatment and care in cancer, diabetes, cardiometabolic and HIV/AIDS.
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