L.A. Care Commits $625,000 to Help Recruit Five New Physicians into Los Angeles County

Since 2018, the Health Plan Has Invested Nearly $20 Million Resulting in 149 Active Physicians 

LOS ANGELES – A recent report by the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates the U.S. could see a physician shortage of as many as 124,000 physicians by 2034, and the shortage is already significant in marginalized communities. Over the past five years, L.A. Care Health Plan has invested $19.9 million dollars in a series of grants to recruit new physicians into the safety net, those clinics and practices that care for people regardless of their ability to pay. Today, the health plan announced its latest round of Provider Recruitment Program grant awards — $625,000 to three clinics and one medical group to hire five new physicians to serve in the Los Angeles County safety net. Each physician will be able to serve up to 2,000 new patients in the county.

The grants are part of Elevating the Safety Net (ESN), a $155 million initiative L.A. Care launched in 2018 to recruit highly qualified primary care physicians into the Los Angeles County safety net clinics and practices, which treat many Medi-Cal beneficiaries and those who are uninsured. 

“California always leads the nation in the government lists of health professional shortage areas and medically underserved areas,” said John Baackes, L.A. Care CEO. “We couldn’t just sit back and watch the situation worsen in communities where our members live. And our efforts are working. Our grants have helped bring 149 new physicians into the L.A. County safety net.”

Paula Wilson is the President and CEO of Valley Community Healthcare, one of the clinics that received funding in this round of grants. The funding allowed her to recruit two new physicians.

“Like many other community health centers, the recent shortage of healthcare workers makes it difficult for Valley Community Healthcare to hire and retain talented care professionals,” said Wilson. “Because of L.A. Care’s Provider Recruitment Program, we can offer competitive compensation to our dedicated women’s health and pediatrics providers, ensuring a lasting continuity of care for our most vulnerable patients.”

Grant awards in this round are designated to the following organizations:
•    Fairway Children’s Medical Group, West Covina
•    Herald Christian Health Center, El Monte, Rosemead, San Gabriel
•    Saban Community Clinic, Los Angeles
•    Valley Community Healthcare, San Fernando Valley

The Elevating the Safety Net initiative is part of L.A. Care’s commitment to advancing health equity for members and their communities.