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AltaMed Health Services, the nation’s largest federally qualified health center (FQHC) has partnered with the California Medical Association (CMA) and Los Angeles County Medical Association (LACMA) to impact universal access to health care and address physician workforce issues such as recruitment, retention and burnout.  

“This partnership is about advocacy for community health center patients and providers alike,” said Cástulo de la Rocha, president and CEO of AltaMed. “By working together, we can provide a great deal of support to our providers, but it will also help AltaMed access a wider network and become a stronger voice in support of the state’s FQHCs.”

The impact of the alliance between the organizations will be shared with other FQHCs in the Los Angeles metropolitan region to inspire additional collaboration and partnerships among institutions in medicine. Priorities include:

  • Recruit and train culturally-competent primary care physicians 
  • Advocate for increased Medi-Cal reimbursement rates 
  • Support ACA expansion 
  • Fight for $1B in Prop 56 funds (tobacco tax) to be directed to physician services annually 
  • Graduate Medical Education (GME) and loan repayment initiatives

To complement AltaMed efforts to provide physicians an economically viable career, the CMA Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) announced a commitment to pay off $58.6 million in student loans for 247 physicians under the CalHealthCares loan repayment program. 

Another key objective is to honor the legacy and life of Dr. Frank Meza, former physician leader with AltaMed and longtime Kaiser Permanente physician.  Dr. Meza faced cyber bullying on a national level before taking his own life in mid-2019.  The organizations will introduce a legislative bill in 2020 to fight for digital decency. 

“CMA and LACMA are able to bring both well-established and newly designed resources to help the physicians who have dedicated their practice to serve the patients and communities that need help the most,” said Gustavo Friederichsen, CEO, LACMA. “We look forward to working together to tackle the challenges that have hindered so many other health care providers.”

The multi-year agreement between AltaMed, CMA and LACMA kicked off at the AltaMed Physician Holiday Dinner on December 9.

About AltaMed Health Services

AltaMed understands that when people receive care that considers their individual health needs and respects their cultural preferences; they grow healthy—and help their families do the same. Since 1969, we have delivered complete medical services to communities across Southern California. Our team of qualified multicultural and bilingual professionals—from these same communities— is focused on eliminating barriers to primary care services, senior care programs, and essential community services. With nearly 50 accredited health centers and service facilities, we remain committed and ready to help you grow healthy at any age.

California Medical Association 

The California Medical Association (CMA) is a professional organization representing California physicians. The association was founded in 1856 by a small group of physicians who understood it was their duty to fight for their patients and profession. Confronted with the challenges of rampant quackery, epidemics of contagious disease, and a desperate need to establish standards for the profession, physician leaders of the time called upon their colleagues to help them form the Medical Society of the State of California (as it was called back then) “to develop, in the highest possible degree, the scientific truths embodied in the profession.”

Los Angeles County Medical Association 

LACMA is an organization of dedicated physicians who advocate for quality healthcare for all patients and serve the professional needs of its members.  With nearly 7,000 members, the organization serves to represent its professional members in public policy, government relations, and community relations. LACMA was founded in 1871 and today has more than twenty corporate partners, the first member marketplace, an innovative civic engagement platform (Docs4LA) and strives to preserve and protect the noble pursuit of healthcare delivery. 

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