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Dominican Hospital Receives $2 Million Grant from California Department of Health Care Access and Information to Support New Primary Care Residency Program

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Dominican’s new residency program will address critical gaps in care by training more BIPOC clinicians 

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (March 9, 2023) – Dignity Health Dominican Hospital, in collaboration with the Dominican Hospital Foundation, announced that it received $2 million in grant funding from the California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) to benefit the new Morehouse School of Medicine Dominican Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program. HCAI awarded $49.6 million in grants to 54 organizations with primary care residency programs in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics. These grants will support 17 new and expanded programs, including Dominican’s, and create 87 new residency positions across California. This funding is available in part from the $1.4 billion Song-Brown Workforce for a Healthy California for All package that aims to expand and diversify the health workforce.  

“The Song-Brown Healthcare Workforce Training Act is vital to California’s efforts to provide equitable access to health care,” said HCAI Director Elizabeth Landsberg. “These grants will help grow and train the next generation of health care professionals to provide critical care to residents throughout California.” 

Funding priorities for Song-Brown programs include training and placing graduates in medically underserved areas and increasing health provider diversity. “Through these grant awards we will put more doctors in areas of unmet needs and further our goal of increasing access to equitable and affordable health care for individuals throughout the state,” said California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.    

“We’re honored to have been awarded a $2 million HCAI grant to help us launch our new family medicine residency right here in Santa Cruz. I believe Dominican Hospital was chosen because of the extraordinary potential we have to impact patient outcomes in the diverse community we serve,” said Dominican Hospital President Nanette Mickiewicz, MD. “We are laying the foundation for patients to have more access to culturally competent providers and for underrepresented medical students, post-graduate residents and fellows to gain community-based experience that they need to be successful in their work.”

Dominican Hospital is currently working with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) on the accreditation of the new program, with accreditation anticipated in April 2023. The first class of 8 family medicine residents will begin their training in Santa Cruz beginning in July 2024. With Morehouse School of Medicine as the program’s academic sponsor, post-graduate residents and fellows will benefit from training focused on addressing health inequities and underserved patients. 

Dominican Hospital’s new family medicine residency program is a joint venture between CommonSpirit Health (Dignity Health’s parent company) and Morehouse School of Medicine. Dominican Hospital was chosen as one of seven sites that will address two of the most pressing challenges in health care – a shortage of diverse clinicians and the need for more equitable health care. The announcement launches the first phase of the More in Common Alliance, a 10-year, $100 million initiative to increase cultural competency and expand representation to improve both access and quality of care patients receive.  

Announced in December 2020, the partnership between CommonSpirit Health and the Morehouse School of Medicine will increase medical education opportunities for more Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC). More in Common Alliance was established as the partnership name because research demonstrates that patients consistently fare better when treated by clinicians of similar backgrounds who share lived experiences. “We know that, statistically and anecdotally, patients have better outcomes when treated by a clinician who comes from a similar background,” said Morehouse School of Medicine President and CEO Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice. “Yet, in the medical field, there are far too few providers from underrepresented groups, and the impact that has on patient care is astounding. Through the More in Common Alliance, our aim is to change the math and the face of health care in the U.S.''

Many of the programmatic and technological advances made over the past 80 years at Dominican Hospital were possible through the generosity of community members. Community members are invited to connect with the Dominican Hospital Foundation at 831.462.7712 to learn more about getting involved with this project, or to find out how they can help directly impact health care in Santa Cruz County.

Learn more about the Morehouse School of Medicine Family Medicine Residency Program at Dominican Hospital.

About More in Common Alliance

The More in Common Alliance is a partnership between Morehouse School of Medicine and CommonSpirit Health. Morehouse School of Medicine is a historically Black medical school and one of America’s leading educators of primary care physicians, and CommonSpirit Health is one of America’s largest health systems with locations in 21 states from coast to coast. Knowing patients consistently fare better when treated by clinicians of similar backgrounds who share lived experiences, the More in Common Alliance seeks to address critical gaps in care by increasing cultural competency and expanding representation. Together, we are leading a 10-year, $100-million initiative to expand undergraduate and graduate medical education to build a more diverse and dynamic workforce that reflects the communities we serve. Learn more about More in Common Alliance: 

About Dominican Hospital 

Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has been caring for the Santa Cruz County community for generations. Dominican offers emergency services and is a Certified Stroke Center. Dominican’s services include the only comprehensive Cancer Center in Santa Cruz County, a Total Joint Replacement program, advanced neurological and endoscopic services, and an expert heart and vascular team treating some of the most complex cardiac cases in the Monterey Bay area. Dominican Hospital offers a comprehensive, Baby Friendly-designated Birth Center, and provides an on-site Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) through a partnership with Stanford Children’s Health. Dominican has received national recognition for superior patient safety, cardiac care, and stroke treatment from Healthgrades, a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Dominican also has received several awards for environmental excellence. Dominican Hospital is planning a $360 million renovation and expansion to ensure that the growing Santa Cruz County community can access world class health care well into the future. The project will allow for advanced technology, new state-of-the-art facilities, and even more innovative healing spaces. To learn more about Dominican Hospital, please visit

About Morehouse School of Medicine

Founded in 1975, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians, biomedical scientists, and public health professionals. An independent and private historically-Black medical school, MSM was recognized by the Annals of Internal Medicine as the nation’s number one medical school in fulfilling a social mission—the creation and advancement of health equity. MSM faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research, and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care. MSM is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral and master’s degrees. To learn more about programs and donate today, please visit or call 404-752-1500.


Publish date: 

Thursday, March 09, 2023

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