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Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science placed on probation

The regional accrediting commission that oversees Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science has placed the South Los Angeles institution on probation because it has failed to meet certain assessment standards, the latest blow in what has been a tumultuous year for the university.

In its report, the commission said there were problems with the university’s systems of educational assessment and quality control.

University officials said the panel recommended improvements in “campus-wide communication, financial and budgetary systems and data-based systems … greater stability at the university presidential level and increased board involvement in fiduciary and strategic planning.”

The commission scheduled a special visit in the spring of 2011 to evaluate the university's progress.

Interim President Keith C. Norris, who along with other school officials was notified of the probation ruling last week, said he plans to use the commission’s recommendation to “strengthen the university and ensure the highest level of quality education for our students.”

University officials stressed that the school maintained its accreditation and that they are committed to serving poor, minority communities.

The probation ruling is only the latest in a series of setbacks for the school.

Former President Susan Kelly resigned in May after three years on the job. She had announced earlier that the university would have to lay off 10% of its faculty and staff and suspend contributions to all employees’ retirement funds.

The private, nonprofit medical and health sciences university, which serves predominately black and Latino students, was created after the Watts riots in 1965. It is located in the Watts-Willowbrook area.

Last month, the university announced that it had begun hiring faculty and recruiting students for its new school of nursing, which is under construction and expected to open early next year.

The Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing, housed in a nearly completed $43-million research and education building, will offer an entry-level Master of Science nursing program.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

Comments () | Archives (4)

Well, hello --after what happened to the hospital and the horrifuc staff and incompetencies that were rampant there, why would anyone think the university would be any better. This is NOT what Dr. King had in mind when he made his infamous speech!

I think the neighborhood should be outraged. Clean house, both in the University and the Hospital/Clinic. Don't be fooled, there are many employees who caused the downfall of the Medical Center still employed there. I don't have any connections with the Medical School so I cannot comment albout them, only that since they had to perform a miracle to continue it's program, I am amazed they want to take on the challenge of starting a Nursing Program. Why not just try to fix whats there first.

Having seen what passed for "doctors" and "nurses" trained by this school personally, I can honestly say I am shocked the school is open at all. There is so much blame to go around, but much of it, quite frankly, goes to the community leaders and politicians (the likes of Maxine Waters, for example) who cared more about keeping a "black hospital" open than in the quality of care provided by it. The five-part LA Times series exposed the horrors of the hospital brilliantly, and yet Waters dismissed its meticulous documentation as nothing more than a way to "get a Pulitzer," (which it won). I normally agree with her on certain issues, but she should be ashamed at how she did nothing but keep incompetent doctors and sub-par "professionals" on staff, which resulted in injuries and deaths.

The black community, as a whole, should be honest with themselves and recognize that the hospital and the school are a joke, and that it needs to bring in outside people who actually know what the hell they're doing. The school has such a bad reputation (and from what I have seen, it's justified) that I would run from a hospital room if I found found out that the nurse or doctor had a degree from Drew.

Matthew, you do realize the medical school is a joint program with UCLA (i.e., all Drew medical students also get a UCLA medical degree, many get national honors in the process and go on to residency at some of the best hospitals in the country)? That Drew does not yet have a nursing school (so I'm not sure where you encountered ' "nurses" trained by this school')? And that the former county-run hospital and the privately run medical school were and are two separate entities?

Most of the commission's reservations had to do with the university's financial health, problems with the then administration of Dr. Kelly and problems with its allied health school, not the medical school.

I guess it's easier to throw stones and spread misinformation while ignoring the fact that there is a shortage of doctors willing to work in medically underserved, minority communities, a gap the university is trying to fill. I don't see anyone else falling all over themselves to address the fact that the health status and access to primary care physicians for many in South LA is close to that of citizens of Bangladesh. L.A. is one of the unique cities with first world and third-world medical outcomes for people living within a 30 mile distance of each other. A crying shame.


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