Two Local Foundations Impact Future of Health Care in Stanislaus and Merced Counties

Thursday, February 1, 2018 General News
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TURLOCK, Calif., Jan. 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Legacy Health Endowment (LHE) and the Stanislaus Community Foundation (SCF)

have teamed up to fund a critical piece to solving healthcare provider shortages in Stanislaus and Merced Counties, providing a combined $1.9 million grant
for a new family nurse practitioner degree program at California State University (CSU), Stanislaus.

Specifically, LHE is working with and providing a $1.6 million grant to Livingston Community Health (LCH), to help CSU Stanislaus launch a Master's Degree in Family Medicine (Nurse Practitioner Program).  A major part of this grant will fund tuition relief for students in the program who agree to live and work as nurse practitioners within the Greater LHE Region for at least three years after graduation.  In this way, LHE and LCH hope to increase the number of medical professionals in the underserved local area.  SCF is providing an additional $300,000 to support outreach to area high schools and career navigation as well as debt relief for nursing graduates, bringing the combined total gift to $1.9 million

The Greater LHE Region covers 19 zip codes in Southern Stanislaus County and Merced County, including the communities of West Modesto, Ceres, Turlock, Newman, Patterson, Crows Landing, Hughson, Keyes, Gustine, Newman, Hilmar, Livingston, Atwater, Denair, Winton, Ballico and Delhi. These areas suffer from an acute shortage of medical providers.

Research has shown that nurse practitioners play a key role in improving access to healthcare, allowing physicians' offices to provide care to a greater number of patients. The new degree program at CSU Stanislaus will graduate nurse practitioners each year, with the first class starting in January 2018 and graduating by December 2019, thereby, going a long way to expand access to care in the northern Central Valley.

Jeffrey Lewis, President and CEO of LHE, said, "We are proud to partner with Stanislaus Community Foundation and Livingston Community Health to tackle the acute shortage of medical professionals in Stanislaus and Merced Counties. Congress refuses to confront the healthcare perils facing women, men and children in rural communities. Republicans and Democrats have created a patchwork of efforts, filled with gaping holes and layers of obstacles."

Lewis continued, "By starting with a program to educate Nurse Practitioners, we can work toward ensuring that every person in this community has access to medical care professionals. For LHE, this is just the first step.  We are fortunate to have Livingston Community Health, a nonprofit healthcare facility, as partner in helping lead this effort."

Marian Kaanon, President and CEO of SCF, said, "Stanislaus Community Foundation views this partnership as the first step in addressing the healthcare needs of our residents.  SCF also recognizes we need to build a coordinated education infrastructure to ensure that we have programs in place to educate our residents and provide access to well-paying and in-demand healthcare jobs."

Leslie McGowan, President of LCH, said, "We are honored to work with Legacy Health Endowment and begin to rebuild the healthcare infrastructure in Stanislaus and Merced Counties. As we build programs to educate, retain and recruit physicians, it is also important to ensure that we recognize the value and importance that Nurse Practitioners can contribute. The future of healthcare in the Central Valley will not be solved in Washington, D.C.  It will take the collaboration, vision and commitment that LHE and LCH can bring."

Legacy Health Endowment (LHE) provides funding to help develop and implement effective healthcare solutions for the benefit of residents of the Greater LHE Region.  Founded in 2014, Turlock-based LHE was created as a result of the sale of Emanuel Medical Center, Inc. to Doctors Medical Center of Modesto, Inc.

CONTACT: Jeffrey Lewis, 703-403-9695  Marian Kaanon, 209-573-3110

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/two-local-foundations-impact-future-of-health-care-in-stanislaus-and-merced-counties-300591318.html

SOURCE Legacy Health Endowment



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