News

rss
August 2, 2019

Two physician legislators to speak at 2019 NEPO Summit

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.

read more

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!

read more

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!

read more

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.

read more

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.

read more

June 24, 2019

PHC announces second application cycle for CalMedForce GME grants

Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) is excited to announce CalMedForce grant program’s second application cycle, which will award approximately $40 million to primary care and emergency medicine residency programs in California. 

The next application will be released by September 23, 2019, and is due by October 28, 2019.

In the inaugural cycle of CalMedForce in January 2019, PHC awarded $38 million to graduate medical education (GME) programs across the state to fund approximately 150 physician residents. In total, PHC received funding requests for nearly 600 residency positions from 131 residency programs, totaling more than $147 million!

“These CalMedForce grants will help California grow and strengthen the physician pipeline to meet the demands of our state’s growing and changing patient population,” said Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, MPAff, PHC president and CEO.

Residency programs that have been awarded in the past application cycle are still eligible to apply.

Please visit phcdocs.org for more information, including eligibility criteria.

read more

May 16, 2019

Applications for First Round of CalHealthCares Student Loan Repayment Program Show Overwhelming Provider Desire to Serve Medi-Cal Beneficiaries

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The first round of applications for the new CalHealthCares statewide loan repayment program attracted more than 1,200 applications from physicians and dentists who agreed to see more of California’s 13 million Medi-Cal patients in exchange for repayment of their student loans.

In all, requests totaled more than $300 million, reflecting tremendous interest in the five-year program, which launched this year. The 2019 awards will be announced by June 30.

 

“The response to this program has been overwhelming,” said Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, president and CEO of Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC). “This shows that California’s physicians and dentists are ready to step up and improve care for low-income patients and in underserved communities across the state.”

 

Individual awardees are eligible to receive as much as $300,000 to repay educational debt incurred in pursuit of a medical or dental degree. The program was made possible by Proposition 56, the 2016 tobacco tax measure that provided a one-time allocation of $220 million for state loan repayment for providers who treat low-income patients. That money will be awarded over the next five years. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised 2019-20 budget proposes an additional $120 million for loan repayments.

 

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) oversees the program and has contracted with PHC to administer the application and award process.

 

“The enormous interest in this program means we will be able to repay loans for providers who are truly committed to Medi-Cal, including in specialties and areas of California that will benefit most from that commitment,” said DHCS Director Jennifer Kent. “This will help to introduce the next generation of providers to Medi-Cal and make it easier for hundreds of thousands of patients to receive the quality care they need and deserve.”

 

The awards create economic incentives for physicians and dentists to commit to serving a substantial number of Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Many providers, coping with huge educational debt, say they can’t afford to serve large numbers of Medi-Cal patients. By reducing or removing student debt, CalHealthCares removes an obstacle from the path of physicians and dentists who are eager to practice in medically underserved areas and serve Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

Awardees must agree to a patient mix that includes at least 30% Medi-Cal patients over five years.

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)
  • Have an existing educational loan debt incurred while pursuing a medical or dental degree
  • Not currently be participating in another loan repayment program
  • Practice in California
  • If awarded, providers must maintain a patient caseload of 30% or more Medi-Cal beneficiaries

 

 

For more information, please visit CalHealthCares.org.

 

read more

February 6, 2019

Physicians for a Healthy California Awards $38 Million in Grants to Expand Residency Programs in CA

New tobacco tax revenues will fund 156 slots for physician residencies statewide

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) today announced that more than $38 million in new state tobacco tax revenues has been awarded to graduate medical education (GME) programs across the state to fund 156  slots for physician residencies. The first “CalMedForce” grants will help address the state’s physician shortage, particularly in underserved communities where patients often lack access to timely and quality health care.

This first round of funding includes awards to 73 separate GME programs located in hospitals, medical centers and community clinics to offer residencies to 156 recent medical school graduates. Under California state law, a physician must complete a minimum of three years of supervised residency before practicing independently. A shortage of available residency slots has contributed to a bottleneck of medical student graduates and exacerbated the state’s physician shortage.

Funding for this new GME program comes from Proposition 56, the $2-per-pack tax on tobacco products approved by California voters in 2016.

“These CalMedForce grants will help California grow and strengthen the physician pipeline to meet the demands of our state’s growing and changing patient population,” said Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, MPAff, PHC president and CEO. “This  investment will improve access to care and increase timely access to a physician for patients in underserved communities.”

The 73 programs that received awards in this cycle represent 156 residency slots in both urban and rural areas. Programs that focus on medically-underserved areas and populations were given priority.

While the $38 million in grants will serve as a down payment on increasing graduate medical education, the available funds did not meet demand for these residency slots. In its first award cycle, CalMedForce received 131 applications totaling more than $147 million in requests to support 594 residents.

“The demand for these funds is a clear indicator of the statewide need for this funding and an example of how the new tobacco tax will help improve access to care in California,” said Cathryn Nation, M.D, Associate Vice President for Health Sciences in the UC Office of the President. “This is an important step in providing better access to care by training more California physicians for future careers in areas of unmet need. We look forward to announcing future grants in years to come.”  

About the CalMedForce Program
Under Proposition 56, the University of California (UC) received $40 million to support a statewide graduate medical education program. UC has contracted with PHC to administer the annual $40 million in grants.

PHC gathered feedback from various stakeholders as it developed the program processes and award criteria. This included surveying the GME directors of primary care and emergency medicine residency programs in October 2018. The survey gathered information on potential opportunities and challenges in sustaining, retaining and expanding their residency programs. The PHC Advisory Council took great lengths to validate the application, eligibility criteria and scoring criteria aligned with the statute.

For more information about the CalMedForce program, visit PHCdocs.org/programs/CalMedForce.

read more

December 20, 2018

A message from the PHC President and CEO: Looking ahead to 2019

I am honored and pleased to join Physicians for a Health California as its President and CEO. Following a rebranded name and image that is more descriptive of our mission and focus, PHC has reinvigorated its commitment to its three priorities of community health, health equity and diversifying the physician workforce. As I look ahead to 2019, we will largely focus on strengthening our leadership in workforce development – by administering the Proposition 56-funded Graduate Medical Education (GME) and Loan Repayment Programs (LRP) – and focus on internal organizational development priorities. Regarding our internal priorities, PHC is welcoming a few more board members, developing its 2020-2022 Strategic Action Plan and working with CMA to reinvigorate the Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO).

The recent November elections and federal actions are a reminder that our work is not over. Issues like community health, health disparities, and access to care continue to challenge our most underserved communities. Our physicians stand ready to lead in this regard. I look forward to working with you towards a healthier California.

Lupe Alonzo-Diaz
President and CEO

read more

December 20, 2018

Donate to PHC and take advantage of a year-end tax deduction

Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) invites you to join our mission to improve the health of all Californians. Since 1963, we have improved community and individual health by providing a vital link between physicians and their communities.

We have launched ground-breaking efforts such as tobacco education in the mid 1990s and public education programs to increase diversity in clinical trials. Most recently, we have launched unprecedented health workforce development programs to address physician shortages. By partnering with the University of California and the California Department of Health Care Services, we are launching the $40 million Graduate Medical Education grants program and the $220 million loan repayment program for physicians and dentists.

By donating to PHC, you will can take advantage of a year-end donation! PHC does not receive funding from dues and is largely dependent on the generosity of our donors to continue the important work we do. Every dollar of your donation will help support critical initiatives like funding medical student grants, the Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) and rebuild physician communities impacted by the wildfires. Our medical student grants support the next generation of physicians. NEPO mobilizes more than 53 ethnic physician organizations across to the state to support physician-led efforts to address health disparities in underserved communities. With the recent wildfires in Butte County, we are taking the lead in helping those physician communities rebuild so that they in turn may continue providing invaluable public and medical health services to impacted communities.

Please visit www.phcdocs.org/donate or call (916) 551-2566 to make a donation today. Let’s build a healthier California…together.

read more