AltaMed Health Services Awarded $450,000 to Increase Access to Health Care and Address Physician Shortage

January 28, 2021

LOS ANGELES AltaMed Health Services, one of the nation’s largest community health centers, has been awarded $450,000 from CalMedForce to support its Family Medicine Residency Program that will help increase access to care and grow the physician workforce.

The AltaMed Family Medicine Residency Program offers residents the opportunity to learn and practice in a federally qualified community health center setting. This experience allows residents to become familiar with the specific needs of the community and the multi-ethnic, diverse patient population as AltaMed continues to eliminate health care disparities and improve outcomes.

“The funding we receive from CalMedForce allows our teaching health center to participate in the important work of increasing and diversifying our physician workforce in order to improve and expand care to underserved populations in California and beyond,” said Dr. Cecilia Florio, medical director of the AltaMed Family Medicine Residency Program.

CalMedForce funding is generated by voter-approved Proposition 56 tobacco revenues and the latest award cycle will support 202 residence positions in 101 graduate medical education (GME) programs at hospitals and clinics throughout California, with an emphasis on those serving medically underserved communities.

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 foreseeable future, programs like CalMedForce are even more essential to protect access to care for all Californians.”

“We understand the vital statewide need for this program and the funding it provides to support California’s future physicians,” said Cathryn Nation, M.D., Vice President for Health Sciences at UC Office of the President. “The annual demand for funding reflects the importance of this program and its focus on the needs of medically underserved groups and communities.”

To date, CalMedForce has awarded over $114 million to 121 programs across California to retain and expand GME programs in primary care (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology) and emergency medicine.

To learn more about AltaMed, visit: www.altamed.org.