The University of California, Riverside School of Medicine has received a grant of just over $2.9 million from the California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) that will allow the school to strengthen and expand its 11 pathway programs, further helping the school in its mission to improve access to and diversify Inland Southern California's healthcare workforce.
The UCR SOM Pathway Programs provide high school through college students with experiences and background education that can ease their entry into postgraduate medical training. These distinct yet related programs are specifically designed to enhance students' readiness for medical school or other healthcare-related fields.
"This grant will allow us to expand and strengthen our existing programs and grow our partnerships," said Teresa Cofield, director of UCR SOM Pathway Programs and a co-PI on the grant. "As we grow program enrollment, we will maintain our commitment to inspire and encourage underrepresented and disadvantaged students to pursue healthcare careers."
The five-year grant is funded through HCAI's designed Health Professions Pathways Program (HPPP), which focuses on students entering the fields of primary care, behavioral health, geriatrics, nursing, and oral and allied health. The major program components supported by the grant are academic enrichment, career development, mentorship, MCAT prep, and paid summer internships.
"We are ecstatic to receive the HPPP grant because it allows the school to continue to expand our pathway programs and deepen our investment in our regional high schools, community colleges, and universities," said Daniel Teraguchi, associate dean for student affairs and co-PI on the grant. "We expect to reach thousands of more mission-fit aspiring physicians and be able to support them at different phases of the educational journey with the ultimate goal of them becoming a physician and caring for our underserved communities in Inland Southern California."
In all, HCAI funded $40.8 million in awards that will support 32,800 participants in 30 counties across the state.
“To build the healthcare workforce California needs, we must reach out to the next generation to support them to become healthcare professionals,” said HCAI Director Elizabeth Landsberg. “HCAI is pleased to provide this financial support for pipeline programs, internships, and fellowships that will open the door to needed healthcare professions for students, and in turn help the state create a more diverse and linguistically competent healthcare workforce.”
Cofield said that the Cal State University San Bernardino's Health Professions Advising Center and the Academic Success & Undergraduate Advising Office are "key partners in achieving our objectives to support students throughout Inland Southern California."