Major Progress Made in Effort to Establish San Joaquin Valley Medical School

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2018
Contact: Adam Capper
Phone: (916) 319-2021


Major Progress Made in Effort to Establish San Joaquin Valley Medical School


SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D – Merced) today announced that his bill to fund the creation of a San Joaquin Valley medical school passed its first committee vote with unanimous, bipartisan support. Gray also praised the University of California for the release of a complementary report which highlights the health care shortages that exist in the San Joaquin Valley and suggests a path towards the establishment of more robust medical infrastructure in the Valley, including the establishment of a fully independent medical school at UC Merced. The report was funded by a budget item Gray secured in 2015.


“Today marks a renewed effort to undertake the construction of major new medical infrastructure projects in the Valley,” said Gray. “The UC’s report highlights the compelling access to care failures that families in the Valley know all too well. We simply are not providing adequate health care for one of the fastest growing, poorest, and least healthy regions of the state.”

Gray’s bill, AB 2202, appropriates a currently unspecified sum of money to the UC Regents for the construction of a branch campus of the UCSF School of Medicine in partnership with UC Merced and the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program.


“The establishment of a branch campus is a near-term solution that is a proven pathway to opening a fully accredited medical school,” said Gray. “In this bill, we have taken the lessons learned from medical schools in other regions and applied what we have learned for the Valley.”


The University of California report, titled Improving Health Care Access in the San Joaquin Valley, details the numerous health challenges faced by the residents of the San Joaquin Valley and provides a number of recommendations to improve access to care. The report highlights the importance of leveraging existing infrastructure at the UCSF Fresno Medical Center to provide new access to care options like telehealth and residency expansion while recommending the establishment of a branch campus as the most proven track to a fully independent medical school.


“This report gives us a road map to follow,” continued Gray. “We will highlight these recommendations at a health summit at UC Merced with Chancellor Leland and President Napolitano in early summer and continue the hard work necessary to ultimately establish a school of medicine at UC Merced.”


The report is available at


4.24.18 UC Merced Medical School Study Press Release (2).pdf