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Medical Students Committed to Underserved Local Communities Win Awards.

Kaiser Permanente Mentoring and Scholarship Program Prepares Next Generation of MDs for Uniquely Diverse Population

PASADENA, Calif. -- Kaiser Permanente awarded mentoring scholarships to 12 medical students committed to providing quality and sensitive care to Southern California's uniquely diverse patient population. Each awardee will participate in a mentoring program with a Kaiser Permanente clinician, complete a 4-6 week clinical rotation at a Kaiser Permanente facility, and receive a $5,000 scholarship for their education.

The Kaiser Permanente Oliver Goldsmith, MD, Scholarship program is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of culturally responsive care, and it is named after Dr. Goldsmith, who championed this issue throughout his career at Kaiser Permanente before he retired in 2003 as the medical director of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group (SCPMG). With this year's awardees, the program, which was established in 2004, will have given out 41 awards and a total of $205,000 to assist medical students.

Jeffrey Weisz, MD, executive medical director of SCPMG, created this program, and said, "I am honored to bestow these awards on such an impressive group of young medical students. They have already demonstrated a commitment to serving all population groups, especially those that have traditionally been underserved. Hopefully, this program will nurture them even more before they start practicing in Southern California."

Kaiser Permanente continues Dr. Goldsmith's instrumental efforts in developing culturally responsive care by maintaining initiatives that ensure doctors are prepared to meet the clinical, cultural, and linguistic needs of patients, and that ensure physicians are aware of the varying epidemiologic incidence of disease among different racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. This year's awardees have demonstrated a commitment to diversity through community service, clinical volunteering, or research.

The mentoring scholarship recipients are a diverse group. Nearly all have roots in Southern California and most are attending local medical schools.

For example, one recipient is Jose Luis Ocampo. Jose is a student in the Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program, where he is a mentorship coordinator for the Latino Medical Student Association. Jose has served as planning coordinator for both the Lennox Health Fair and the Harbor-UCLA Summer Urban Fellowship Health Fair. At the Harbor-UCLA fair, he conducted research in community needs assessment and learned how to implement and evaluate programs that empower medically underserved communities.

Jose said he has a "desire to not only address many of the health issues and medical conditions that disproportionately affect minorities and the poor, but also a desire to advance the science and practice of medicine," a sentiment that is shared by his fellow mentoring scholarship recipients.

Attached is a sheet that gives brief profiles of the 12 Kaiser Permanente Oliver Goldsmith, MD, Scholarship program awardees.

Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation's leading integrated health plans. Founded in 1945, it is a nonprofit, group practice prepayment program with Southern California headquarters in Pasadena, California. Kaiser Permanente serves the health care needs of 3.3 million members in Southern California. Today it encompasses the nonprofit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and the for-profit Southern California Permanente Medical Group. Kaiser Permanente's Southern California Region includes more than 55,800 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and more than 6,400 physicians representing all specialties. More information about Kaiser Permanente can be found at
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 16, 2008
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