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Charles R. Drew University continues comeback, president says

David M. Carlisle, president of Charles R. Drew University. Credit: Office of Statewide Health, Planning and Development.After regaining full accreditation, new leadership and financial support, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science is "stronger than it has been in quite some time" and is continuing its comeback, President and Chief Executive David M. Carlisle said Tuesday during his first "state of the university" speech. 

The school is committed to helping fill the nationwide physician shortage, contributing to cutting-edge medical research and continuing its original mission to reduce health disparities and train students for work in under-served communities, he said to students, faculty and community members on the campus grounds.

After being placed on probation in 2009, the university was reaccredited by the Western Assn. of Schools and Colleges last year. The university also received new accreditation for an urban public health program and a nursing school. 

"There was a time that our future was anything but guaranteed," Carlisle said. "Those days are behind us." 

The university's decline coincided with the problems at King-Drew Medical Center, which closed five years ago and is scheduled to reopen in 2014. Charles R. Drew was forced to close its residency program.

The university is a "hidden gem" that is training diverse and committed professionals who will play a key role in the implementation of healthcare reform, said Robert K. Ross, president of The California Endowment, which has financially supported the university in recent years. 

Carlisle said there is still more work to be done at Charles R. Drew, which was created after the Watts riots. "The story of our survival is still being written," he said.


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Photo: David M. Carlisle, president of Charles R. Drew University. Credit: Office of Statewide Health, Planning and Development

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