Partnership addresses long-term healthcare needs of Coachella Valley
The School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, and Eisenhower Health have formally established an affiliation for the joint training of future physicians to address the Coachella Valley’s medical workforce shortage.
Deborah Deas, the Mark and Pam Rubin Dean of the UCR medical school and chief executive officer of clinical affairs, and G. Aubrey Serfling, president and chief executive officer of Eisenhower Health, signed the affiliation agreement in an informal ceremony attended by leadership, faculty, and staff of both institutions in the Annenberg Health Sciences Building on the Eisenhower Health campus.
UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, who attended the event, described the new partnership as an investment in the long-term healthcare needs of the region.
“It’s about shared values, an improved quality of life in the Coachella Valley, and a world-class medical education — but it is also about a deeper vision,” he said. “The commitment is really a focus on the future, designed to serve upcoming generations, not only treat the patients of today. It is about helping to create a different Coachella Valley in 10, 20, 30 years from now, as these physicians become part of the environment here in the region.”
“With this affiliation, the future of health care in the Coachella Valley is moving forward,” Serfling said. “Establishing an affiliation with such a respected institution like UCR underscores our commitment to provide the very best care to our patients now and for years to come.”
Initially, the two institutions will partner to expand residency and fellowship training opportunities in the Coachella Valley. The UCR School of Medicine sponsors a variety of residency training and fellowship programs, including in psychiatry, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and cardiovascular medicine. Eisenhower Health currently offers residency training programs in family medicine and internal medicine, a fellowship in sports medicine and, beginning next July, a residency training program in emergency medicine.
Together, the two institutions will start additional graduate medical education programs. The strategy of expanding residency training in the Coachella Valley capitalizes on the primary driver of where physicians practice: where they complete their medical training.
This partnership “will allow us to be an example for other communities of similar demographics, communities that have so few physicians, of how we can come together to make something great,” Deas said. “We all share the common vision of providing the best quality care for the people of our communities. We will epitomize the African proverb, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ I’m sure we will go far together.”
“From the very start, our discussions were predicated upon the notion that this has to be a win-win situation for both institutions, and I believe we’ve achieved that,” said Dr. John Stansell, designated institutional officer of Eisenhower Health, who will work directly with Dr. Gerald A. Maguire, UCR’s associate dean for graduate medical education.
About UCR School of Medicine
Opened in 2013, the UCR School of Medicine’s mission is to expand and diversify the physician workforce of inland Southern California and improve the health of people living in the region. It currently enrolls about 250 medical students, 32 biomedical sciences Ph.D. students, and more than 100 resident physicians and fellows.
This news release was written jointly by Kathy Barton at the UCR School of Medicine and Lee Rice at Eisenhower Health.