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Drew University receives funds for South LA health services


The California State Legislature included a one-time $7.5 million allocation in the 2019 budget for South Los Angeles health professions and science institution Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU).

The appropriation specified that $5 million is earmarked for enrollment growth and student support services and $2.5 million for academic facilities upgrades.

“Our team made the case that CDU is a good investment for the state, especially with California facing a shortage of physicians and other health care professionals,” said University President/CEO Dr. David M. Carlisle. “The legislature agreed, and we are very grateful for their allocation.

“We’d like to thank specifically Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-30), Sen. Steven Bradford (D-35) and Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-64) for their efforts. They’ve all been long-time supporters of the University, and we appreciate their help. Thanks, also, to Senator  Richard Roth (D-31), chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee—No. 1 on Education—before whom our team gave testimony. He was highly complementary of CDU.”

“I am proud of the governor and my legislative colleagues today for granting this appropriation to Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science,” Mitchell said. “This is an institution, that, for over 50 years, has worked to eliminate health disparities in medically underserved communities, including the South Los Angeles area in which the University is located. Access to high-quality, affordable healthcare is an essential human right.

“We believe that CDU is, indeed, a ‘good investment for the state,’ and this investment will help ensure they can continue to graduate highly diverse medical professionals who will be California’s healthcare workforce of the future.”

“There is a fundamental right to quality healthcare, yet structured inequities have deprived those in South Los Angeles from this right,” Bradford said. “This historic investment from the state will allow CDU to address health disparities, which communities of color bear a disproportionate burden from, through cutting edge research and the cultivation of diverse health profession leaders. The state has an obligation to ensure that every person, regardless of race and income has access to quality healthcare and this funding is a step to creating a lasting impact on generations to come particularly for those in South Los Angeles.”

Gipson concurred: “I express how thrilled I am that we have been successful in getting $7.5 million in the 2019-20 Budget for Charles R. Drew University,” he stated. “The University plays a vital role not only in my district, but in California—creating the next generation of medical professionals that will do the necessary work in addressing health disparities in communities across the State. With these additional resources, I look forward to celebrating Charles R. Drew’s continued success in increasing diversity, so that when people are sick and in need of healthcare, we can ensure that our medical professionals look and share the same experiences as the people they serve.”

The appropriation was technically part of Assembly Bill 74, The Budget Act of 2019, which is a revised—but final—version of California’s fiscal year 2019 budget.

CDU is noted for the diversity of its students, over 80 percent of whom are from communities of color. This is particularly important as the state’s population becomes more diverse, and surveys show patients seek out and prefer culturally appropriate physicians and other health care providers.

For more information, visit, and follow CDU on Facebook, Twitter (@cdrewu), and Instagram (@charlesrdrewu).