Molina Healthcare of New Mexico has donated $10,000 to the UNM Foundation to support Native American students in the School of Medicine program. The donation is the first in a multi-year commitment Molina is making to support Native American medical education.
Nearly 10% of New Mexico’s population is Native American. Studies have shown that Native Americans have more health disparities than other ethnicities, yet the state has few Native American physicians in practice.
"We are honored to be the recipients of Molina's initiative to support Native American medical students," said Paul Roth, M.D., executive dean for the UNM School of Medicine and executive vice president of Health Sciences. "We are dedicated to recruiting and training Native American physicians and working with community partners like Molina is crucial to helping us achieve that goal."
Native American medical students received their awards during an evening that included a Molina-sponsored reception and a UNM Foundation dinner at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
"We were very excited when we heard about the growing number of Native American medical students at UNM," said Ann Wehr, MD, president and CEO of Molina Healthcare of New Mexico. "As a healthcare company, we understand the need for more physicians. As a physician, I personally know how important it is for patients to feel a connection with their doctors and I've seen firsthand the pride and comfort both patient and physician feel when Native Americans are able to serve their communities. We're hoping that through this donation, we could encourage more Native American students to pursue a medical career."
"There is a shortage of Native American physicians in New Mexico. Molina's donation will encourage Native American medical students to become physicians and provide medical services in Native Communities," said Gayle Dine Chacon, MD, associate vice president for Native American Health at UNM Health Sciences and director of the UNM Health Sciences Center for Native American Health.
Molina Healthcare, Inc. is a multi-state managed care organization that arranges for the delivery of health care services to persons eligible for Medicaid, Medicare, and other government-sponsored programs for low-income families and individuals. Altogether, Molina Healthcare's licensed health plan subsidiaries in California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Washington currently serve approximately 1.5 million members. More information about Molina Healthcare, Inc. and Molina Healthcare of New Mexico can be obtained at www.molinahealthcare.com.
Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322