On Tuesday, the Riverside Board of Supervisors will consider pledging $15 million over the next decade to help secure accreditation for UCR’s medical school “and strengthen its financial foundation” as the school prepares to enroll its first incoming class next year, according to a news release from county officials.
Last year, the Board of Supervisors gave the University of California, Riverside, $5 million to help develop the medical school. The county also agreed to provide another $5 million, with the payment anticipated before the current fiscal year ends in June.
But UCR’s request for accreditation was denied last year after $10 million from the University of California system’s budget intended for the medical school was not included in the budget. County supervisors and other community leaders have since focused on ways to help advance the medical school’s development.
“This is probably the most important proposal for our community in decades,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman John Tavaglione. “The economic value and the benefit to health care in our community are immense, and we are committed to making the school a reality.”
The item on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda on Tuesday ( http://rivcocob.com/agenda/2012/04_10_12/03.07.pdf) calls for the county to pay $1.5 million in 10 installments made by July 1, 2020.
The University of California Board of Regents in July 2008 approved establishment of the medical school.
“The school’s mission is to train a diverse physician workforce and develop research and health-care delivery programs to improve the health of medically underserved populations. Riverside County is the only California county with more than one million people to have fewer than 100 medical doctors per 100,000 residents. The shortage is particularly acute in primary care specialties, which results in relatively poor health outcomes for the region’s residents when measuring deaths due to coronary heart disease, diabetes, and chronic lower respiratory disease,” the news release states.
“Training new doctors not only improves access to health care, it stimulates the economy in a region that suffers from some of the nation’s highest unemployment and home foreclosure rates. For example, every primary care physician in California has an annual economic impact of nearly $1 million to the community because of associated jobs that are created and related referrals for diagnostic tests and specialty medical care,” the news release continued. “By 2021, it is estimated the UCR School of Medicine alone could generate more than $150 million in spending, with more than 2,200 jobs supported by that activity.”