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KGI and L.A. Care Health Plan Celebrate Community Medicine Students At Reception

At a special reception in Claremont, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) and L.A. Care Health Plan celebrated students from KGI’s groundbreaking Master of Science in Community Medicine (MSCM) program, a two-year online degree program that is transforming the future of healthcare.

L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the country, committed $5 million to KGI as part of their Elevating the Safety Net initiative, which looks to address a looming physician shortage in Los Angeles County.

The reception, located on KGI’s campus, featured more than 60 guests. KGI President Dr. Sheldon Schuster kicked off the event, thanked everyone for attending, and spoke about KGI’s MSCM program and School of Community Medicine (SOCM).

“We are honored to finally thank L.A. Care for their generous gift,” said Schuster. “KGI’s founding mission is to use education to translate the science of the 21st century to the benefit of society, and our KGI SOCM does this.”

KGI Dean Dr. Cynthia Martinez then discussed the grant and its impact on KGI students.

“I strongly believe in the mission and vision of KGI’s MSCM program to provide a new model in health professional education and delivery to leaders in underserved communities,” Martinez stated.

“Through the creation of our innovative program, we are creating the change we want to see for how students prepare for careers in healthcare, and our students will create impact in their communities.”

L.A. Care CEO John Baackes spoke about L.A. Care’s history and the partnership with KGI.

“What KGI is doing with the MSCM program aligns with L.A. Care and our mission,” said Baackes. “Our commitment to this program fulfills added value for the L.A. Care members that we serve.”

L.A. Care Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Seidman, a member of KGI’s Board of Governors, then touched on the scholarship and the Elevating the Safety Net initiative.

“Our elevating the safety net program is dedicated to growing the workforce,” Seidman stated. “The MSCM program is incredible and the change that it offers students and the impact they will have on so many lives once they finish the program is indescribable.”

Dr. David Lawrence, former KGI Dean, closed out the event with some final words.

“I want to thank the students for joining this effort,” Lawrence stated. “It is scary and uncertain to join something as new and radical as the MSCM program. I want to thank you for your confidence in our MSCM program and thank you in anticipation of your future careers.”

Photo and video opportunities between KGI students, leadership, and L.A. Care concluded the formal portion of the event. Attendees then enjoyed food and drinks during a networking reception.

KGI’s MSCM program helps to address shortages in physicians and healthcare workers in underserved and underrepresented populations in the United States. The program prepares aspiring health professionals from underserved and underrepresented populations to collaborate with their communities to improve overall health.

Learn more about the MSCM program at