Gray's San Joaquin Valley Medical School Fund Becomes Law
ASSEMBLYMEMBER ADAM C. GRAY
21ST ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
For Immediate Release: September 27, 2018
Contact: Adam Capper
Phone: (916) 319-2021
San Joaquin Valley Medical School Fund Becomes Law
(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) applauded Governor Brown today for signing legislation into law establishing the San Joaquin Valley Regional Medical Education Endowment Fund. The establishment of the fund provides a dedicated opportunity for the collection of public and private donations to support the construction and operation of a medical school in the San Joaquin Valley.
“The promise of a medical school in the Valley has been just talk and no action for too long,” said Gray. “I am committed to seeing this project through to the end. We need students from here and trained here so they will choose to practice medicine here.”
Despite expressing concerns with an earlier version of Gray’s bill, the University of California actively supported the final version and urged the Governor’s signature.
“Everyone is rowing in the same direction,” continued Gray. “With the support of UC President Napolitano and Valley leaders from north to south, we have made significant progress this year. Now with a fund in place, it is time to put our money where our mouth is.”
The new law comes just months after Gray and community leaders held a medical education summit at UC Merced to highlight the severe doctor shortage and access to care issues that exist in the Valley. A UC report completed this year and presented at the summit identified the construction of a medical school branch campus in the Valley as a key solution to the problem which has persisted for decades. The UC announced in July that the PRIME medical education program for Valley residents would switch hosts from UC Davis to the UCSF School of Medicine in preparation for the establishment of the branch campus.
Earlier this month, Governor Brown signed another one of Gray’s bills (AB 2204) to increase the limit on operating hours for certain health clinics in rural areas to 40 hours per week. In 2015, Gray carried similar legislation to increase operating hours to 30 hours per week. Prior to Gray’s efforts, clinic operating hours had been capped at 20 hours per week for more than four decades.
“As medical insurance coverage has expanded, access to care has not always followed suit,” said Gray. “We have doubled the operating hours of these clinics so that they can be open longer and during times that make sense for working families.”
“Taken together, these wins illustrate that we need both short and long-term solutions to improve medical care in the Valley,” finished Gray.