Drew University of Medicine on financial mend

A year ago, the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science was teetering on the brink of insolvency. Today, it is poised for a rebound, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The medical school, based in South Los Angeles and responsible for educating and training many prominent African-American physicians and healthcare professionals since the 1960s, began slipping into financial distress early last decade. It was forced to shut down its residency program completely in 2006, not long before the adjacent Martin Luther King-Harbor Medical Center was closed. It also opened a new nursing school last year, but did not have the means to pay for it.

However, a coalition of charitable foundations, hospitals and the University of California has given the university a $13.5 million lifeline. That assisted in its renegotiation of the terms of a $43 million loan it used to build the nursing school.

The former board of trustees resigned en masse in exchange for the financial aid, and a new board was appointed. That board is close to appointing David M. Carlisle, a physician and longtime director of California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, as its new president. OSHPD is California's financial and building regulator for all hospitals.

"I think everybody understands that Drew has had some problems in its recent history. ... I want people to know that this is a new institution and judge us how we perform and what we do moving forward," said Roy M. Wilson, MD, chairman of Drew's board and its acting president.

For more:
- read the Los Angeles Times article
- read Drew University's press release about David M. Carlisle