Dr. Francisca Mata received care at the former King/Drew Hospital as a child. Now, she’s providing healthcare in the community where she grew up, completing a new medical residency program at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU).
In partnership with the Los Angeles County Health Agency, the residency programs will train a new generation of doctors to serve patients in South Los Angeles and surrounding communities. For Dr. Mata and her colleagues, the need is great and the calling is personal.
Acting on a motion by Supervisor Janice Hahn and Board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Board of Supervisors approved startup funds to establish residency programs in both psychiatry and family medicine. Dr. Mata is part of the first class.
“We have a dramatic shortage of primary care and mental health clinicians in this nation, and this shortage is most acutely felt in communities such as South Los Angeles,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “It is vital that we empower doctors-in-training to become medical leaders who promote wellness and healthcare equity in a compassionate manner.
“This residency program will create a new pipeline for our homegrown LA County physicians,” added Supervisor Hahn.
The Family Medicine residents will rotate through Department of Health Services facilities in the southern region of the County, including the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, which will be their home base for inpatient rotations.
The Psychiatry residents will focus on ambulatory services in communities that comprise the County’s Service Planning Area 6, which includes Athens, Compton, Crenshaw, Florence, Hyde Park, Lynwood, Paramount and Watts. Their primary training site will be the Kedren Community Health Center in South LA.
CDU is an accredited Graduate Medical Education Sponsoring Institution. The Family Medicine residency started off with eight residents, but is expected to enroll 24 residents by 2020. The Psychiatry residency had four residents to begin with, but is expected to enroll 16 residents by 2021.