lacma partnership

AltaMed Health Services, California Medical Association, Los Angeles County Medical Association Partner to Address Physician Workforce Challenges and Patient Access to Care

December 10, 2019

LOS ANGELES — AltaMed Health Services, the nation’s largest federally qualified health center (FQHC) has partnered with the California Medical Association (CMA) and Los Angeles County Medical Association (LACMA) to impact universal access to health care and address physician workforce issues such as recruitment, retention and burnout. 

“This partnership is about advocacy for community health center patients and providers alike,” said Cástulo de la Rocha, president and CEO of AltaMed. “By working together, we can provide a great deal of support to our providers, but it will also help AltaMed access a wider network and become a stronger voice in support of the state’s FQHCs.”

The impact of the alliance between the organizations will be shared with other FQHCs in the Los Angeles metropolitan region to inspire additional collaboration and partnerships among institutions in medicine. Priorities include:

  • Recruit and train culturally-competent primary care physicians
  • Advocate for increased Medi-Cal reimbursement rates
  • Support ACA expansion
  • Fight for $1B in Prop 56 funds (tobacco tax) to be directed to physician services annually
  • Graduate Medical Education (GME) and loan repayment initiatives
  • Educate physicians and patients alike on the importance of participating in the 2020 Census and elections

To complement AltaMed efforts to provide physicians an economically viable career, the CMA Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) announced a commitment to pay off $58.6 million in student loans for 247 physicians under the CalHealthCares loan repayment program.

Another key objective is to honor the legacy and life of Dr. Frank Meza, former physician leader with AltaMed and longtime Kaiser Permanente physician. Dr. Meza faced cyber bullying on a national level before taking his own life in mid-2019.  The organizations will introduce a legislative bill in 2020 to fight for digital decency.

“CMA and LACMA are able to bring both well-established and newly designed resources to help the physicians who have dedicated their practice to serve the patients and communities that need help the most,” said Gustavo Friederichsen, CEO, LACMA. “We look forward to working together to tackle the challenges that have hindered so many other health care providers." 

The multi-year agreement between AltaMed, CMA and LACMA kicked off at the AltaMed Physician Holiday Dinner on December 9.