Riverside, Merced Keep Up Efforts To Launch New UC Medical Schools
UC-Riverside has spent more than $350,000 for a public relations effort to help the university launch a medical school, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
In April 2008, UC-Riverside contracted O'Reilly Public Relations to lobby the UC Board of Regents to support the medical school. Although the board approved UC-Riverside's request in July 2008, the university continued to pay O'Reilly $20,000 per month to finish out its $280,000 contract.
After obtaining the regents' approval, UC-Riverside paid O'Reilly an additional $75,000 to retain the consulting services of Jim Brulte, a former Republican state senator.
Brulte advised the university on how to pursue state funding for the school through various legislative channels.
UC-Riverside's medical school is scheduled to open in 2012. It has not received any public funding for the 2009-2010 fiscal year (Quan, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/6).
UC-Merced Medical School
Today, the Valley Coalition for UC-Merced Medical Center is holding a meeting in Fresno to share information about establishing a new medical school at UC-Merced.
The meeting is the first of nine to allow area residents to offer feedback and suggestions about the medical school project. The coalition also hopes to build broad community support for the initiative.
Lynn Forhan, co-chair of the coalition, said her group aims to establish an independent, fully accredited medical school in Merced by 2015.
She added that the California Endowment granted the coalition $147,000 for public outreach (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 7/4).
The group will hold another meeting Thursday in Modesto (Stockton Record, 7/7).
San Joaquin Valley has 31% fewer primary care physicians and 51% fewer specialists than California as a whole, a Fresno Bee editorial states, adding that it is "time to attack that problem by 'growing our own' doctors."Establishing a medical school at UC-Merced would help ease the physician shortage because many medical students decide to practice in the geographic area where they attend school, the editorial states. However, it continues, the medical school project "needs community support to keep public dollars flowing" (Fresno Bee, 7/5). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.