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Newsom announces CA Health Corps to expand health care workforce to fight COVID-19

March 30, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Public Health Physician Workforce 


Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday announced the creation of a new volunteer corps for California health care workers who want to help during the COVID-19 outbreak. The new program—California Health Corps—is open to physicians (both active and retired), medical students, and a wide range of health care professionals and administrative staff.

Participants will be paid and will be given malpractice insurance coverage.

At the press conference, Newsom was joined by San Francisco pediatrician Shannon Udovic-Constant, M.D., vice-chair of the California Medical Association (CMA) Board of Trustees, who urged all medical professionals who can assist to answer the call during this crisis. Dr. Udovic-Constant noted than many physicians are struggling during the outbreak, including hundreds who have had to close their practices or furlough employees. But that has not deterred hundreds of physicians, medical students and residents from offering their assistance.

“Many of us were drawn to careers in medicine because of the opportunity to help others. Now, we are asking all medical professionals – physicians, nurses, physician assistants, other medical staff members – to join us and helping California through this surge,” Dr. Udovic-Constant said. “For many of us, that means stepping outside our comfort zone. But we are calling on the spirit of health care workers across California to continue to step up and help serve the patients of our state.”

Hundreds of physicians, residents and medical students have already reached out to CMA offering their expertise and assistance during the crisis. CMA will continue to work with state leaders about how best to deploy those who have offered to help.

For more information on how you can volunteer, please visit healthcorps.ca.gov.

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