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Barry Arbuckle, MemorialCare Medical Center CEO and California Hospital Association Past Chair, Speaks Out on Impact of 3-Year, $32 Million Public-Private Partnership

Governor Schwarzenegger's Allied Health Initiative to Train Thousands of Needed Health Professionals Will Help Stem Critical Shortages, Ensure Continuation of Medical Services

FOUNTAIN VALLEY and LONG BEACH, Calif., April 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With serious staff shortages plaguing the state's hospitals and health care providers, Governor Schwarzenegger's 3-year, $32 million public-private partnership will go a long way in training thousands of much needed allied health professionals that will help ensure health care services are not eliminated and care disrupted in California, says Barry Arbuckle, PhD, president & CEO of MemorialCare Medical Centers and immediate past chair of California Hospital Association.

"Shortages don't result from a lack of interest but insufficient educational capacity," explains Dr. Arbuckle. "Without the governor's previous initiative to address the nursing shortage, his new efforts to combat shortages of allied health professionals and other public-private partnerships like those pioneered at MemorialCare Medical Centers, communities across California will experience cutbacks in services due to lack of qualified health professionals."

California hospitals' aging workforce is facing massive retirements, says Dr. Arbuckle. "By 2010, about 40 percent of the nursing workforce, for example, will be over 50, while nurses under age 30 account for just 8 percent," he says. "When added to an aging population with multiple health care needs and requirements for thousands of additional health specialists, the issue moves from an employment concern to a health care imperative."

MemorialCare Medical Centers, a pioneer in public-private partnerships, has been hailed nationally for dozens of collaborative training programs at colleges and universities throughout California. These include a unique partnership to dramatically increase the number of bachelor-of science prepared registered nurses through training programs at MemorialCare's satellite campuses and hospital facilities. Partnerships with institutions of higher learning increases the number of nursing students, master's prepared nursing instructors, nuclear medicine technicians, cytotechnicians, laboratory technicians, occupational and physical therapists, histology technicians, information technology specialists, surgical technicians and respiratory therapists. MemorialCare also partners with university medical schools to offer extensive physician training programs.

"On any day, hundreds of students learn and train on our hospital campuses," explains Dr. Arbuckle. "The Governor's initiative is another important step to stem the shortages by enrolling more than 700 additional allied health students in 25 community colleges this fall and continuing that program for three years. We applaud and support the governor's efforts and are pleased to have helped set the standard for the training of health professionals."

MemorialCare Medical Centers, a nationally recognized leader in patient quality and safety initiatives, serves Los Angeles and Orange counties through its outstanding hospitals, including Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Anaheim Memorial Medical Center, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Saddleback Memorial Medical Centers in Laguna Hills and San Clemente and Miller Children's Hospital, the state's largest children's hospital located in Long Beach.

SOURCE MemorialCare Medical Centers
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