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seven of the scholarship recipients with Richard Seidman and John Baackes of L.A. Care onstage at launch event

Elevating the Safety Net

A new $31 million initiative to address the physician shortage in Los Angeles County.

Elevating the Safety Net

A looming physician shortage threatens the safety net that provides health care to vulnerable and low-income communities in Los Angeles County. To address this crisis, L.A. Care has launched Elevating the Safety Net, an initiative to recruit highly-qualified primary care physicians to the L.A. County safety net.


The initiative is launching with three initial grant programs:

Provider Recruitment Program
  • To include salary subsidies, sign-on bonuses, and/or relocation costs for highly-qualified physicians recruited into the safety net
  • Individual grants of up to $125,000 each

Apply for Recruitment Grants

Physician Loan Repayment Program
  • For physicians recruited into the safety net
  • Up to $5,000 per month for up to five years
  • Up to 25 physicians to benefit in year one

Apply for Loan Repayments

Elevating the Safety Net Scholarship Program
  • 4 students at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
  • 4 students at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
  • Chosen by schools based on financial need and desire to serve vulnerable populations

Learn About Scholarships



L.A. Care logo with a doctor with wings icon and the words Elevating the Safety Net, An L.A. Care Health Plan Initiative to Strengthen the Provider Safety Net in L.A. County

The initiative was prompted by a growing physician shortage that threatens L.A. Care members. A UC San Francisco study found that California faces a shortage of 8,800 primary care physicians by 2030. Low-income areas which are dependent on the safety net are especially vulnerable.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital already reports a shortfall of 500 primary care physicians and 700 specialists. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 60 primary care physicians per 100,000 people, with 80 being preferable, but the number is just 56 in L.A. County.

As part of our mission to provide access to quality health care and protect the safety net, the L.A. Care Board of Governors committed up to $31 million for the initiative, which will expand in the coming years. Each new physician could treat up to 2,000 new patients in L.A. County.


 July 19 Launch Event

L.A. Care held a launch event and "white coat" ceremony to announce Elevating the Safety Net and to honor the eight students who were the first to receive full medical school scholarships.



The launch of Elevating the Safety Net received widespread media coverage. Take a look at some of these stories that echo the importance of the effort to end the physician shortage.

To read more stories, visit L.A. Care's Latest News.