L.A. Care Health Plan, a publicly operated insurance agency based in Westlake, announced July 22 it is committing more than $5.2 million to establish 14 new residency positions at five medical facilities in L.A. County.

The agency’s Residency Support Program is part of a larger $31 million initiative it launched in September to address physician shortages in California. That program, dubbed Elevating the Safety Net, has awarded roughly 100 grants and hired dozens of physicians at clinics across the region.

In addition to the new residency positions, L.A. Care also plans to hire new faculty at the five facilities.

According to a recent study released by researchers at UC San Francisco, California will face a shortage of 4,700 primary care physicians by 2025. Across L.A. County, there’s a shortage of hundreds of primary care physicians, according to a Business Journal review of federal health care data.

L.A. Care Chief Executive John Baackes said, “Vulnerable communities in L.A. County are already experiencing a physician shortage, so we have to do all we can to keep physicians here.”

Since the initiative’s launch, the Residency Support Program has given grants to AltaMed Health Services Corp., Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, UCLA Foundation and White Memorial Medical Center Charitable Foundation.

Tammer Bagdasarian is an intern at the Los Angeles Business Journal.

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