Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science will receive $1.5 million to educate more low-income students who are interested in becoming health professionals, President David Carlisle said Monday.
The grant comes from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which also awarded nearly $2 million to health clinics and first-responder agencies throughout Los Angeles County. Saban Community Clinic, Venice Family Clinic, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and the Maple Counseling Center all received grants.
The funding comes just as President Obama’s healthcare law is set to begin. Enrollment for new, federally subsidized insurance options begins Oct. 1, and experts predict that there will be a shortage of doctors and other medical providers to treat newly insured residents.
Charles Drew University plans to use most of the money to provide scholarships for its undergraduate and graduate programs. “This is at an especially acute time,” Carlisle said. “The demand for physicians and other types of healthcare professionals will go up significantly.”
The funding to the safety net clinics is also critical as they prepare for the Affordable Care Act, said Arthur J. Ochoa, Cedars-Sinai’s senior vice president for community relations and development. Clinics will be treating large numbers of newly insured, as well as those who remain uninsured after the law takes full effect in 2014.
Ochoa said the clinics are facing “opportunities and challenges” and the additional funding will help them meet the needs of the community.