L.A. County Medical Association Recognizes L.A. Care with Innovation Award

Monday, December 3, 2018

L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly-operated health plan in the country, is proud to be the recipient of the Innovation Award for Community Service at the 2018 Los Angeles Healthcare Awards presented by the Los Angeles County Medical Association.

L.A. Care at the Los Angeles Healthcare Awards

L.A. Care has been recognized for Elevating the Safety Net, a long-term initiative to address a growing physician shortage, which is especially acute in areas that serve the Medi-Cal population. 


California is facing a shortage of nearly 9,000 primary care physicians by 2030. Part of our mission at L.A. Care is to support the safety net — those clinics and providers that serve Medi-Cal patients, and the uninsured. If we don't, who will?

--John Baackes
CEO, L.A. Care

Elevating the Safety Net launched in July with three initial grant programs:
  • Provider Recruitment Program - provides grants of up to $125,000 to contracted Medi-Cal providers to recruit new physicians into the Los Angeles County safety net 
  • Physician Loan Repayment Program - provides new recruits with up to $5,000 per month for three years, as long as they continue service in the safety net
  • Scholarship Program - provides eight medical school scholarships of up to $350,000 to students who have expressed a desire to work in underserved communities. Four scholarships were given to students at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and four to students at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
"This year's awards program is a recognition of leadership and commitment to quality, community health and innovation, but it's much more," said Gustavo Friederichsen, L.A. County Medical Association CEO. "We honor those who strive to make medicine better, accessible and ultimately vital to the entire region of Los Angeles County."  
Proceeds from the awards dinner and reception will benefit medical student programs at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. Other awards presented at Friday night's awards ceremony include:
  • Healthcare Champion of the Year – Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, the Public Health Director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health 
  • Independent Physician Leadership Award – Toni Johnson Chavis, MD, MPHG, FAAP, the Chief Medical Director of Managed Care and Quality Improvement at Omnicare Medical Group
  • Hospital Physician Leadership Award – Donald W. Larsen, MD, MBA, MHA, FACHE, the Chief Medical Office at Providence Saint John's
  • Quality in Medicine Award-Health Systems – Kaiser Permanente Southern California Permanente Medical Group
  • Innovation Award for Healthcare Delivery – Cedars-Sinai Medical Network

About L.A. Care Health Plan

L.A. Care Health Plan serves more than 2.2 million members in Los Angeles County, making it the largest publicly-operated health plan in the country. L.A. Care offers four health coverage plans including Medi-CalL.A. Care Covered™L.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan and the PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan, all dedicated to being accountable and responsive to members. As a public entity, L.A. Care’s mission is to provide access to quality health care for L.A. County's vulnerable and low-income communities, and to support the safety net required  to achieve that purpose. L.A. Care prioritizes quality, access and inclusion, elevating health care for all of L.A. County. For more information, visit lacare.org or follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.


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Penny Griego Media Relations Specialist
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