The California University of Science and Medicine (CUSM) received $1.2 million dollars from the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) to use towards educational scholarships for incoming medical students. The commitment is part of IEHP’s Healthcare Scholarship Fund (HSF) that aims to address the growing workforce needs in the Inland Empire by partnering with local academic institutions to remove the barrier of debt for medical students.
The support from IEHP comes at a critical time when students are experiencing the far-reaching effects of COVID-19 and the financial impact imposed by these challenging times. “We often see qualified students decline acceptance to medical school simply because they cannot afford it; and given the current circumstances, we will see that happen even more” said CUSM CEO Dr. Tae Kim. “These scholarships will allow us to support those students from the community, that want to serve their community, but until now could not afford to”.
As the regional need for physicians continues to grow, both CUSM and IEHP are committed to reducing the financial barriers keeping qualified, motivated students from attending medical school. “Sometimes, the only thing standing between ambition and opportunity is a solid bridge,” said IEHP CEO Jarrod McNaughton. “Removing debt as an obstacle allows graduates to pursue additional paths of study. This will help them become leaders in their fields or allow them to devote themselves fully to patient care, which is critical to the physician shortage in our two counties.”
To supplement the long-range impact of the award, all scholarship awardees will be actively engaged in workshops, conferences, and engagement activities to ensure graduates are prepared to care for the Inland Empire’s growing Medi-Cal population. CUSM will also prioritize students from the region who are passionate about serving the underserved in the Southern Inland Empire.