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ARMC Receives $1,280,000 CalMedForce Grant

ARMC Receives $1,280,000 CalMedForce Grant

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center recently announced that Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) was awarded $1,280,000 in CalMedForce grants to support local medical training for the Medical Center’s Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Emergency Medicine residency programs. These funds are utilized to help increase access to health care, and grow the physician workforce in San Bernardino County.

CalMedForce funding is generated by voter-approved Proposition 56 tobacco tax revenues (2016), and the latest award cycle will support 202 residency positions in 101 graduate medical education (GME) programs at hospitals and clinics throughout California, with an emphasis on those serving medically underserved communities. This round of funding also represented the largest applicant pool: 541 residents and 122 applications requesting more than $96 million in funding.

“This award has a tremendous impact on our residency program and will enable us to further expand our physician workforce to meet the needs of our diverse and growing patient population in San Bernardino County,” stated Sam Hessami, M.D., ARMC Chief Medical Officer. “Our resident physicians are committed to improving community health by providing quality care, and with this funding we can accept additional residents and continue to accommodate even more medically underserved communities in the County.”

The California Future Health Workforce Commission estimated that California will need 4,700 additional primary care clinicians by 2025 and approximately 4,100 more by 2030 to meet demand. Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC), in partnership with the University of California (UC), established the CalMedForce grant program to help address California’s looming physician shortage because medical school graduates must continue training in an accredited, specialty-specific GME residency program to obtain a medical license and care for patients independently.

“CalMedForce continues to demonstrate the high demand and need for GME opportunities,” said Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, MPA, PHC president and CEO. “The lack of sufficient residency spots contributes to California’s physician shortage and limits the number of new doctors entering the workforce. With COVID-19 impacting life for the near future, programs like CalMedForce are even more essential to protect access to care for all Californians.”

To date, CalMedForce has released more than $114 million for 261 awards to 121 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 for expanding the physician workforce.