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“Grow Our Own” Medical School Bill Introduced by Asm. Bains

For immediate release:

(Sacramento, CA) Feb. 14, 2024 – Kern County, home to some of the worst health outcomes in the state, could be home to a new a medical school thanks to a bill introduced Tuesday by Assemblymember Dr. Jasmeet Bains (D-Delano).

The “Grow Our Own” bill, officially titled AB 2357, would require the University of California to build a medical school in Kern County if certain funding thresholds are met.

“A medical school can do a lot of good for our community. We can address health care shortages, we can train more doctors and nurses, we can create more good paying jobs and diversify our economy. This is the way that we start to tackle our health care issues in the valley,” said Dr. Bains.

According to the University of California, the valley has the worst shortage of doctors and nurses in the state, some of the highest poverty rates, and the worst health disparities.

“Growing up in Kern County, I completely understand the benefits the San Joaquin Valley would receive to have our own School of Medicine. The “Grow Our Own” bill would give more of our residents the opportunity to pursue a medical profession where the local need is so great. Having more home-grown doctors and nurses in our county would create more access to healthcare in both rural and urban areas, therefore, securing better health outcomes for all,” said Emily Duran, Chief Executive Officer of Kern Health Systems

In addition to requiring the UC system to build the medical school, the bill also creates an endowment within the California State Treasury that can accept funding from public, private and non-profit sources.

“The Valley is the best in the world at growing produce, and we are proud of that heritage. With a new medical school, we can grow our doctors, too,” said Supervisor David Couch.

“I am excited to work with Dr. Bains to bring a world class medical school to Kern County.”

Dr. Bains committed to bringing the bill forward last month at the State of Kern County event during her introduction of Sup. Couch. During her short speech, she shared a story about how Sup. Couch encouraged her to stay in the region to do her residency in spite of the limited opportunities. Couch’s support for Dr. Bains inspired the name for the bill with the idea of doctors and nurses working where they have roots in the community.

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Dr. Jasmeet Bains represents the 35th Assembly District in Kern County which includes the cities of Bakersfield, Delano, Wasco, Arvin, Shafter, and McFarland.