Health + Behavior

New America Alliance Institute Donates $78,000 to the UCLA International Medical Graduates Program

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The New America Alliance Institute,a national organization that promotes philanthropy in the Latino community,announced today a $78,000 donation to the International Medical Graduatesprogram at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

UCLA's program brings bilingual graduates of medical schoolsoutside North America and Puerto Rico to the United States and helps them compete for primary care residencytraining positions in Californiateaching hospitals. The hope is that they will eventually work in the state'sunderserved Hispanic and other minority communities upon completion of theirresidency training. There are currently sixInternational Medical Graduates, or IMGs, involved inUCLA's clinical observership portion of the program.

"Californiahas 261 physicians per 100,000 population but only 30Hispanic physicians per 100,000 Hispanics in the state, which leads to culturalmisunderstandings and language barriers to care," said Dr. Patrick Dowling,chair of UCLA's family medicine department, which oversees the program. "More than one-third of the state's Hispanics now live incommunities without adequate access to primary health care.

"This generous donation allows us to move forward with aunique program to prepare immigrant bilingual physicians already residing hereto compete for residency training positions in family medicine in the state,"Dowling said. "Once they are trained they will be obligated to practice in oneof the state's many medically underserved communities. Because of their uniquebackgrounds they will be ideally suited to care for our immigrant populationand they will help train all of us to better understand the unmet needs of thispopulation."

The observership allows IMGs to work in conjunction with a UCLA physician. Although IMGs cannot examine apatient, they can take patient histories, observe physical exams andparticipate in arriving at diagnoses. In doing so, they better understandthe U.S.approach to medical care. The program's goal is to assist them to becompetitive in family medicine training in California.

New America Alliance members pledged the donation to the IMGprogram following a presentation by Dowling at the group's June 2006Philanthropy and Human Capital Conference, which gathered top scholars ineducation, health care and immigration to discuss issues affecting Latinos inthe United States.

"There is a severe shortage of physicians providing servicesto the American Latino population," said Regina Montoya, CEO of the New AmericaAlliance. "Members of the New America Alliance were delighted to collaboratewith UCLA and felt compelled to contribute to the IMG program because it is atangible solution to address the gap. The Institute is proud to contribute to aprogram that will directly impact health care in the Latino community and thenation as a whole."

This is the second donation the IMG program has received.The first, a $100,000 donation, came from Long Beach, Calif.-based MolinaHealthcare Inc. and Dr. J. Mario Molina, president and CEO of the company, in August2006. That donation helpedinitiate the IMG program.

"We are very supportive of the International MedicalGraduates program and Dr. Dowling's efforts to help medical students becomedoctors in the United States,"Molina said. "The donation made today by the New American Alliance shows thecommitment to providing solutions for the growing healthcare needs inunderserved communities throughout the United States."

The New America Alliance Institute is a501(c)(3) philanthropic organizationthat focuses on enhancing human capital, education and strategic philanthropyto promote the advancement of the Latino community and to improve the qualityof life in the United States.The Institute's mission is to become the premier organizationpromoting strategic philanthropy in the Latino community and leveraging thesignificant resources of large charitable organizations to make a greatercontribution to the Latino community. The Institute provides local knowledge ofthe issues and causes that affect Latinos and of organizations that areeffectively addressing those issues and causes.

The David GeffenSchool of Medicine at UCLA ranks among the nation's elite medical schools,producing doctors and researchers whose contributions have led to major breakthroughsin health care. With more than 2,000 full-time faculty members, nearly 1,300residents, more than 750 medical students and almost 400 Ph.D. candidates, themedical school is ranked seventh in the country in research funding from theNational Institutes of Health and third in the United States in research dollarsfrom all sources. 

 

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