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Concordia University Irvine Awarded $5 Million Workforce Development Grant from CalOptima Health

IRVINE, CA, April 8, 2024 — On April 4, CalOptima Health’s Board of Directors awarded Concordia University Irvine a $5 million grant as part of the Provider Workforce Development Initiative. Concordia was one of seven institutions selected in a highly competitive process, which awarded a total of $24.6 million in the first round of funding through the initiative.

The five-year, $50 million CalOptima Health Provider Workforce Development Initiative is designed to increase access to high-quality, equitable care for members by investing in strategies that aim to close gaps and shortages in Orange County’s healthcare workforce. Through a competitive process, grantees will receive funds that increase opportunities for education, training and development, recruitment, and retention of health professionals needed to serve CalOptima Health’s diverse members.

“CalOptima Health recognizes that our mission to serve members begins with having a strong health care workforce to deliver quality care,” said Michael Hunn, CEO of CalOptima Health. “The challenge of health care worker shortages at organizations across Orange County drove CalOptima Health’s landmark community investment in a $50 million Provider Workforce Development Initiative. Our grants to Concordia University Irvineand other educational institutions will tackle the problem at its roots by funding training and education for tomorrow’s caregivers for the Medi-Cal population. Closing workforce gaps and building provider diversity is the foundation of health care equity for our members.”

In support of this important mission, Concordia’s successful grant proposal, entitled “Concordia Nursing Pipeline Program,” aims to increase community outreach for Concordia’s Nursing programs, to make nursing education more affordable by providing scholarships to students in Orange County, and to provide increased academic support to students entering Concordia’s Nursing program.

We are extremely honored and privileged to partner with CalOptima Health in addressing the healthcare profession workforce shortages in Orange County. With this grant, Concordia will continue our efforts to diversify enrollment in our Nursing program and increase our reach within the community. The grant will allow us to provide more robust scholarships and increased academic support to aspiring healthcare professionals so they can live out their callings. Through this partnership with CalOptima Health, we are confident that the grant will make a significant difference in the lives of those we serve and create lasting positive change for healthcare outcomes in our community,” states Dr. Terry Olson, Dean of the School of Health & Human Sciences at Concordia University Irvine.

Joining Concordia University Irvine as award recipients are Coast Community College, Santiago Canyon College, the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing at University of California Irvine, Chapman University, CSU Fullerton, and Orange County United Way.

About CalOptima Health
A county organized health system, CalOptima Health provides quality health care coverage for low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities in Orange County, California. CalOptima Health’s mission is to serve member health with excellence and dignity, respecting the value and needs of each person. CalOptima Health serves more than 934,000 members with a network of nearly 10,700 primary care doctors and specialists and 39 acute and rehab hospitals.

About Concordia University Irvine
Concordia University Irvine, a private, non-profit Christian university, is proud to be one of the founding institutions of higher education in Irvine, CA. For nearly 50 years, we have prepared “wise, honorable, and well-educated students to serve the church and society.” Today, we educate approximately 5,000 students annually as a comprehensive university, offering more than 60 degrees and awarding bachelor’s, master’s, EdDs, and PhDs through our on-campus and online programs, and our alumni network has grown to over 25,000 worldwide. U.S. News & World Report recently recognized Concordia as a top-ranked university for Social Mobility, and we are now federally designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Concordia is also the only NCAA Division II school in Orange County. Learn more about our mission, values, community, and heritage.

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