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Charles R. Drew University to Receive $50 Million Allocation from the State of California for New Medical Degree Program

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (July9, 2021) – Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) has been selected to receive a one-time funding of a $50 million allocation which will be used to support the University’s upcoming new four-year medical degree program.  This funding, which was first approved by the California State Legislature in early June, will benefit the state by increasing the number of Black and Latino medical graduates in the health care workforce. 

“We are deeply appreciative of this support from Governor Newsom and the State Legislature. With this funding, CDU aims to increase the number of Black medical graduates practicing in the State of California by almost 30% and the number of Latinx graduates by nearly 20%,” said CDU President and CEO Dr. David Carlisle. “This will not only enhance our attractiveness and reputation as a health professions university, but it will also help us address our mission in a very direct way by providing us the additional resources and infrastructure necessary to train the health professionals who will address the medical needs of the communities where they live and work.” 

Currently, CDU shares a longstanding relationship with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA via the Charles R. Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program, which has successfully trained 28 medical students per year since 1979. The upcoming independent four-year medical education program at CDU is the natural addition to that partnership and will begin training 60 students annually starting in Fall 2023. The new building that will house the program is expected to be 100,000 GSF and will contain classrooms, virtual and standard anatomy laboratories, staff and faculty offices, as well as common spaces to support all students in the University’s three schools and colleges. Construction is slated to begin in Spring/Summer 2022. 

The University has already contributed significantly to the diversity of the nation’s healthcare workforce over the last five decades. More than 70% of University graduates since 2000 are people of color, and a California Wellness Foundation report estimated that one-third of all minority physicians practicing in Los Angeles County are graduates of the CDU medical school and/or residency training programs. 




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CDU is a private, non-profit student-centered minority-serving medical and health sciences University that is committed to cultivating diverse health professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, research, clinical service, and community engagement. 

Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated, since its inception, more than 600 physicians, over 1,270 physician assistants and over 1,700 other health professionals, as well as training more than 2,700 physician specialists through its sponsored residency programs. Its Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing has graduated over 1,400 nursing professionals, including over 1000 family nurse practitioners, since it opened in 2010.  CDU is a leader in health disparities research with a focus on education, training, treatment and care in cancer, diabetes, cardiometabolic and HIV/AIDS. (www.

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