Grants Will Help Bring up to 14 New Physicians into the L.A. County Safety Net
LOS ANGELES –California has the country’s largest number of medically underserved areas and, not surprisingly, the largest number of areas that have a shortage of health professionals. The Health Resources & Services Administration reports that Los Angeles County alone has nearly 300 health professional shortage areas. This has been a growing problem for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to exacerbate the problem as many health professionals are burned out and thinking about quitting.
Today, L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, announced it has awarded $1.75 million in its latest round of Provider Recruitment Program (PRP) grants. The funding, which is going to nine clinics and four independent provider offices, could bring up to 14 new physicians into the Los Angeles County health care safety net.
These grants are the latest in L.A. Care’s $155 million Elevating the Safety Net initiative that has a goal of recruiting highly qualified primary care physicians into the county safety net.
”Our PRP grants are currently funding 142 physicians working in the L.A. County safety net,” said John Baackes, L.A. Care CEO. “These physicians offer health care access to the most vulnerable populations in the county – those on Medi-Cal or the uninsured. They are helping to advance health equity for L.A. Care members and their communities.”
The $1.75 million in grants announced today brings the total award amount offered since the program launched in 2018 to approximately $26.8 million.
This round of awardees are:
Angeles Community Health Center, Los Angeles
Clinica Romero, Los Angeles
Comprehensive Community Health Centers, Sunland-Tujunga
Eisner Health, Sherman Oaks
JWCH Institute, Pasadena/Lynwood
MLK Community Health Foundation, Los Angeles
T.H.E. Health and Wellness, Los Angeles
Universal Community Health Center, Los Angeles
Via Care Community Health Clinic, Los Angeles
Newly recruited physicians to the safety net are eligible for the Provider Loan Repayment Program, another part of Elevating the Safety Net. Under the program, physicians receive medical school loan repayments of up to $5,000 per month for up to 36 months, as long as they continue to work within the safety net. To date, 108 physicians have been approved for loan repayment grants.
For information about the other programs in Elevating the Safety Net, please visit our Elevating the Safety Net web page.