Health experts say that funding is running out for California's Student/Resident Experiences and Rotations in Community Health program, which seeks to bring health care professionals to underserved regions of the state, KQED's "State of Health" reports.
The "State of Health" article was produced by the Center for Health Reporting. The Center is supported by a grant from the California HealthCare Foundation, which publishes California Healthline.
According to Cal-SEARCH literature, the program aims to "provide funded training opportunities for health professional students and residents statewide" who enroll in any of 15 programs that include rotations -- such as primary care residencies and clinical social work -- in medically underserved communities.
Those who qualify for Cal-SEARCH "will serve a 4-8 week, 80-hour minimum, clinical rotation in CCHCs (community clinics and health centers) and complete a community project," according to the literature.
The program provides students with a stipend of $700 if they complete their rotations and projects. It provides no funding for housing, food or transportation.
Cal-SEARCH is part of the national SEARCH program, which was launched in September 2009 with money from the federal economic stimulus package. HHS administers the funding.
The federal government has spent $579,000 on SEARCH since the program was implemented, according to "State of Health."
Donna Scheerer-Treleven -- senior program coordinator with the California Primary Care Association -- said that federal funding for SEARCH will end on September 30, despite the program's popularity (Kipling, "State of Health," KQED, 8/3).