Supporters Lobby for the UCR School of Medicine in Sacramento

Assemblyman Jose Medina seeks constituent support for Assembly Bill 27, which allocates $15 million in state funds for the UCR School of Medicine

Sue McKee, from UCR’s governmental relations office and UCR Interim Chancellor Jane Close Conoley catch up with Gov. Jerry Brown on a recent trip to Sacramento. PHOTO BY CINDY GIORGIO

California Senator Richard Roth and Assemblyman Jose Medina took their request for $15 million in additional funding for the UCR School of Medicine to the Senate’s Higher Education Committee this week by introducing Assembly Bill 27. It passed the Assembly Higher Education Committee with bipartisan support, the first of several important steps before the funding can become a reality.

Their argument has been backed up with statistics about this area’s physician shortage. Over the past 40 years, the population in Riverside County has increased from 500,000 residents to over two million, driving the demand for health care. The demand for medical care simply does not meet the supply in our area.

California needs to graduate more doctors to be able to treat the millions of residents expected to gain health care next year under the federal Affordable Care Act.
Interim Chancellor Jane Close Conoley has taken the UCR message to Sacramento recently, and had an opportunity to talk with Gov. Jerry Brown about the medical school, as well as other UCR issues.
Establishment of the UCR School of Medicine was approved by the UC Board of Regents in July 2008 and Richard Olds, the founding dean, was appointed in February 2010. Two UCR buildings are completed and ready to accept new medical students and new faculty – the new School of Medicine Research Building and the renovated School of Medicine Education Building.
The medical school also operates a Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences, a long-standing graduate degree program at UCR. Additionally, the medical school will develop a range of residency training programs, the post-M.D. education required for doctors to become board certified in their specialties. The first students in School of Medicine will begin in August of this year.
A video about the need for the school of medicine, plus a petition in support, is available at this link:

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