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December 2, 2019

State Tobacco Taxes Helping Expand Health Care Workforce - CalMedForce Awards $38 Million from Prop 56 Funds

Revenues Will Help Address Physician Shortage, Increase Access to Care

Sacramento, Calif. – Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) announced more than $38 million in CalMedForce awards to support medical training and residency programs across the state and to help grow the physician workforce.

The funding, generated by the voter-approved Proposition 56 tobacco tax in 2016, will pay for 198 residency positions in 89 Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs at hospitals and clinics, with an emphasis on programs serving medically underserved groups and communities.

Medical school graduates must continue training in an accredited, specialty-specific GME residency program to care for patients independently. The lack of sufficient residency opportunities contributes to the state’s physician shortage and limits the number of new doctors entering the workforce.

The California Future Health Workforce Commission estimates California will have a 4,100-clinician shortfall by 2025. PHC established the CalMedForce grant program to create additional GME opportunities. 

“CalMedForce helps grow and strengthen our physician workforce to meet the demands of California’s growing and changing patient population,” said Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, MPAff, PHC president and CEO. “Research also shows that physicians are more likely to practice where they complete residency programs, demonstrating an opportunity to address access to care challenges in underserved communities.”

The University of California (UC) is the designated recipient of Proposition 56 funding and has contracted with PHC to administer CalMedForce. All accredited residency programs in the state that meet guidelines are eligible to apply for funding. Of the CalMedForce awardees, approximately 25% of GME programs are sponsored by the University.

For the 2018-2019 award cycle, CalMedForce released an initial round of awards also totaling more than $38 million to 72 GME programs across California to retain and expand GME programs in primary care (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology) and emergency medicine.

However, even with the additional funding, the shortage of California residency programs poses an ongoing challenge to expanding the physician workforce. “CalMedForce received funding requests this grant cycle for 528 slots seeking more than $93 million, underscoring the long-standing need for additional investment to train and retain physicians,” said Cathryn Nation, MD, Vice President for Health Sciences at UC Office of the President. “We continue to face a long road of needed investment to improve access to quality care across the state.”

For more information, visit PHCdocs.org/CalMedForce.

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November 26, 2019

CalHealthCares loan repayment program cycle begins Jan. 13, 2020

The 2020 application cycle for the CalHealthCares loan repayment program is approaching. The program—which aims to increase access to care for California’s 13 million Medi-Cal patients—will award $340 million in loan repayments to encourage and incentivize physicians to provide care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries. The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has contracted with Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) to administer this program.

CalHealthCares has approximately $58.6 million for physicians in this application cycle. Physician awardees can receive loan repayments of up to $300,000 in exchange for a five-year service obligation.

To answer any questions about the applications process, PHC is hosting several webinars that will provide an overview of the CalHealthCares requirements, deadlines and the application. Register for your choice of dates today.

Applications will be accepted from January 13 to February 7, 2020. Please visit CalHealthCares.org for more information.

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October 31, 2019

CMA and PHC Launch Wildfire Relief Campaign to Support Impacted Physicians

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – The active wildfires across California have destroyed thousands of homes, structures and medical practices, as well as displaced thousands of residents and your physician colleagues.

In response, the California Medical Association (CMA) and Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) have launched a donation page to help impacted physicians and their families.

Physicians serve their neighbors so when medical practices are disrupted and physicians displaced, it sends a negative ripple effect throughout the entire community. CMA and PHC will continue to leverage our significant resources to help rebuild homes, medical practices and communities.

SEE ALSO: CMA to Organize Physician Volunteers for Wildfire Response

One hundred percent of donations will directly support relief efforts. To donate, please click on the enclosed link:

Wildfire Relief:
 PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

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September 30, 2019

CalMedForce now accepting applications for cycle 2

Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) is now accepting applications for the second cycle of the graduate medical education (GME) grant program, CalMedForce. The program will award approximately $38 million to primary care and emergency medicine residency programs in California. All eligible residency programs are encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to programs in medically underserved areas and programs who serve medically underserved populations. Applications are due by October 28, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (PST).

To help program with the application process, PHC is holding several webinars throughout the open cycle to answer any questions.  To register, click on the date and time that works best for you:

Please share this information with colleagues who may benefit from this funding. (If you would like to be added to our distribution list for future updates, please email CalMedForce@phcdocs.org with “subscribe” in the subject line).

Visit CalMedForce.org to see updated materials for the 2019-20 grant cycle.

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August 27, 2019

PHC announces second application cycle for CalMedForce GME grants

Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) is excited to announce the second cycle for the graduate medical education (GME) grant program, CalMedForce, which will award approximately $38 million to primary care and emergency medicine residency programs in California. The application will be released September 23, 2019, and is due by October 28, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (PST). Priority will be given to programs in medically underserved areas and programs who serve medically underserved populations.

All applications submitted will receive a preliminary score. The preliminary scores will be sent to the primary contact and program director as provided in the application. Applications submitted by October 11, 2019, 11:59 p.m. (PST) will have the opportunity to edit their application, if needed. Early application submission is strongly encouraged. Applications submitted between October 12, 2019 and October 28, 2019 will be considered final, and, no supplemental information or changes can be made to the application.

Programs that plan to apply for funding are encouraged to start gathering the needed information now to ensure they are ready to complete the application by the deadline. While the application itself is not lengthy, it may take some time to collect and prepare the required information. Among the information needed is:

  • Health professional shortage area (HPSA) score
  • Structure of residency program, including the number of residency positions overall and the number of positions for which you are requesting funds
  • ACGME/AOA accreditation letters for both the sponsoring institution and specialty
  • Information about program graduates, including where they are practicing, in what specialty and in what type of practice from the past three years
  • Details about your patient population payor mix
  • Justification of your funding needs

Please share this information with colleagues who may benefit from this funding. (If you would like to be added to our distribution list for future updates, please email CalMedForce@phcdocs.org with “subscribe” in the subject line).

For more information about CalMedForce, visit phcdocs.org.

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August 2, 2019

Two physician legislators to speak at 2019 NEPO Summit

Speakers

We are pleased to announce that Senator Richard Pan, M.D., and Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, M.D., will be featured speakers at the 2019 Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) Summit, held August 23-24 at the Westin Pasadena. To see our full lineup of speakers, download the tentative agenda here.

The two-day summit is an innovative educational event for physicians, public health professionals, advocates and community leaders that offers policy and best practices for reducing health disparities, building diversity in the workforce and increasing cultural competency in clinical care.

Dr. Pan was first elected to the Assembly in 2010, where he served as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health and led implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act in California. In 2014, he was elected to the state Senate, where he is Chair of the Senate Committee on Health.

TIME magazine called Dr. Pan a “hero” when he authored landmark legislation, SB 277, to abolish non-medical exemptions to legally required vaccines for school students. This year, Dr. Pan introduced SB 276 to strengthen oversight of the medical exemption process and combat the proliferation of fraudulent medical exemptions.

Dr. Arambula is the first Latino physician elected to the California State Assembly. Dr. Arambula’s experiences as an emergency room doctor in Fresno County forged his determination to improve health care for all people, especially the most vulnerable.

Dr. Arambula believes health care is a fundamental human right. Since his election, he has been a forceful advocate in addressing the dire shortage of doctors and other health care professionals in the Central Valley.

NEPO—a project of Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC)—is a coalition of more than 40 ethnic physician organizations in California. The two-day summit is an innovative educational event for physicians, public health professionals, advocates and community leaders that offers policy and best practices for reducing health disparities, building diversity in the workforce and increasing cultural competency in clinical care. 

Click here to register.

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July 11, 2019

Nominate leaders in health for PHC Leadership Awards

Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) and the Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) are seeking nominations of extraordinary individuals and organizations for the 2019 Leadership Awards, which celebrate the efforts of those who make a difference in the health of Californians. These awards will be presented during the 2019 NEPO Summit, held August 23-24 in Pasadena. Nominations are due on August 2, 2019. The four prestigious awards include:

Ethnic Physician Leadership Award
This award recognizes an individual physician for his or her contributions toward improving the health of ethnic communities. Download the description and nomination form.
 
Frank E. Staggers, Sr., M.D., Outstanding Ethnic Physician Organization Award
This award honors an ethnic physician organization that has taken significant action toward improving the health of their communities. Download the description and nomination form.
 
Adarsh S. Mahal, M.D., Access to Health Care and Disparities Award
This award honors an individual or organization that has demonstrated extraordinary interest and efforts toward improving access to health care or reducing health care disparities in California. Download the description and nomination form.
 
Robert D. Sparks, M.D., Leadership Achievement Award
This award recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated extraordinary interest and efforts in improving community health to champion improved individual and community health through a partnership of leaders in medicine, related health professions and the community. Download the description and nomination form.

Early-Bird Rate Extended!

Please join us for this year’s NEPO Summit to learn more about “Standing Up for Health Care in California.” Early bird registration has been extended through the end of July ($75 for medical students and $299 for all others). After that, registration goes up to $100 and $399, respectively.

The two-day summit is an innovative educational event for physicians, public health professionals, advocates and community leaders that offers policy and best practices for reducing health disparities, building diversity in the workforce and increasing cultural competency in clinical care. 

Hotel Information

Make your hotel reservations now (expanded room block coming soon!).

Stay tuned for more information on this year's agenda and speakers!

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July 8, 2019

Assemblyman Dr. Joaquin Arambula to speak at 2019 NEPO Summit

We are excited to announce that Assemblyman and physician Joaquin Arambula, M.D., will be a featured speaker at the 2019 Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) Summit, held August 23-24 at the Westin Pasadena.

Dr. Arambula is the first Latino physician elected to the California State Assembly, representing the Central Valley. Dr. Arambula’s experiences as an emergency room doctor in Fresno County forged his determination to improve health care for all people, especially the most vulnerable.

Dr. Arambula believes health care is a fundamental human right and has been a forceful advocate in addressing the dire shortage of doctors and other health care professionals in the Central Valley.

Early-Bird Registration Extended
Please join us to learn more about Standing Up for Health Care in California. Register early and save! Early bird registration has been extended through the end of July ($75 for medical students and $299 for all others). After that, registration goes up to $100 and $399, respectively.

The two-day NEPO summit is an innovative educational event for physicians, public health professionals, advocates and community leaders that offers policy and best practices for reducing health disparities, building diversity in the workforce and increasing cultural competency in clinical care. 

Stay tuned for more information on this year's agenda and speakers!

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July 2, 2019

CalHealthCares awards to pay $58.6M in loans for 247 physicians who commit to serve Medi-Cal patients

SACRAMENTO –  Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) announced a commitment to pay off $58.6 million in student loans for 247 physicians under a new program created to expand access to care for Medi-Cal patients.

Nearly 1,300 health care providers applied to the CalHealthCares loan repayment program, which pays up to $300,000 in debt relief in exchange for meeting certain criteria such as maintaining a patient caseload of at least 30% Medi-Cal patients, being in good standing with state licensing boards and other service time obligations.

The awards are intended to improve access to care for low-income patients by creating economic incentives for physicians and dentists to provide care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Awards for dental applicants will be announced later this summer.

“The overwhelming response we received shows that providers are eager to serve communities that need more access to care,” said PHC CEO Lupe Alonzo-Diaz. “We want to thank all of the awardees for their commitment to bring quality health care to medically underserved communities.”

The awardees will be providing services to Medi-Cal patients in 39 counties throughout California. They represent 40 specialty areas of medicine including pediatrics, psychiatry and OB/GYN. Additionally, the awardees vary in different practice settings including academic, community clinic or Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), government, group practice, hospital and private practice.

A total of $340 million has been allocated to the CalHealthCares program from Proposition 56 revenue. The recent announcement of awardees is the first of at least five rounds of funding.

In 2018, SB 849 established the Proposition 56 Medi-Cal Physicians and Dentists Loan Repayment Act Program and appropriated $220 million for the loan assistance program for recently graduated physicians and dentists. An additional $120 million was added to the program in Governor Newsom’s revised 2019-20 budget.

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) administers the CalHealthCares program, with PHC contracted to manage daily activities.

CalHealthCares will accept applications for its next round of awards in January 2020.

All awardees must:

  • Have an unrestricted license and be in good standing with their licensing board
  • Be an active enrolled Medi-Cal provider without suspensions, disbarments or revocations; or have submitted an application to DHCS to become a Medi-Cal provider
  • Have graduated from a physician residency program and/or completed a fellowship within the past five years (on or after January 1, 2014)
  • Not currently be participating in another loan repayment program
  • Practice in California
  • Have existing educational loan debt incurred while pursuing a medical or dental degree (those applying for the loan repayment program)
  • Have an existing dental practice and expand and/or relocate to a targeted county (those applying for the practice support grant)
  • Maintain a patient caseload of 30% or more Medi-Cal beneficiaries

For more information, visit calhealthcares.org.

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June 24, 2019

Register by July 31 for the 2019 NEPO Summit and save

The 2019 Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) Summit—Standing Up for Health Care in California—will be held August 23-24 at the Westin Pasadena. Register by July 31 and save up to $100.

NEPO—a project of Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC)—is a coalition of more than 40 ethnic physician organizations in California. The two-day summit is an innovative educational event for physicians, public health professionals, advocates and community leaders that offers policy and best practices for reducing health disparities, building diversity in the workforce and increasing cultural competency in clinical care. Stay tuned for more information on this year's agenda and speakers.

Click here to register.

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