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UC Berkeley Launches Kaiser Permanente Community Health Scholars Program
Date:5/12/2009

New $5 Million Effort Aimed at Building Public Health Workforce

BERKELEY, Calif. and OAKLAND, Calif., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of California, Berkeley, announced today the Kaiser Permanente Community Health Scholars Program, an ambitious initiative designed to meet the increasing need for highly educated public health workers.

Funded by a $5 million grant from a fund established in 2004 by Kaiser Permanente at the East Bay Community Foundation, the program - to be based in UC Berkeley's School of Public Health - is expected to expand California's public health workforce, with an emphasis on recruiting students from underserved communities and placing them in health departments and other organizations that serve vulnerable populations.

"Kaiser Permanente's generous gift through the East Bay Community Foundation sends a positive signal to the larger Bay Area philanthropic community about the importance of greater investment in public health," said Stephen Shortell, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. "We must increase our capacity to protect and enhance the health of all Californians, particularly those living in our most vulnerable communities."

In a declining economy, this grant increases enrollment, focuses on diversity, and supports graduates going into public health departments and underserved areas to meet society's health needs. Specifically, the funds will be used to provide scholarships that will help recruit top students from underserved populations to the School of Public Health and provide additional teaching support to UC Berkeley faculty.

"After graduating from UC Berkeley, these public health professionals will play an important role in protecting our population's health, and making our environment healthier for everyone," said Raymond J. Baxter, Ph.D, senior vice president for Community Benefit, Research and Hea
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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