LOS ANGELES, Nov. 13, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- A new state-of-the-art Life Sciences Research and Nursing Education Building to significantly expand the resources of Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science, funded by a $43 million bond offering to be issued by the California Educational Facilities Authority, was announced today by Dr. Susan Kelly, President and CEO of the University.

"This is a landmark event for Charles Drew University. What was once a dream of extending our capabilities to better address this and other communities' health disparities is now a wonderfully positive reality, and one with long term value for so many," Dr. Kelly stated. "With our financing secured through the approval of these bonds, we can now forge ahead with our ambitious plans for the University's first new building in 24 years. Charles Drew University will now be able to do even more of what it does best -- train first-rate health professionals. The bond approval also puts us in a position to help address the appalling shortage of nurses that plagues California, but which is at its worst in South Los Angeles. We believe in this community. This investment is powerful proof of our community and the State's confidence in us."

"We are very grateful to all the people who supported this project wholeheartedly -- but especially to State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, the staff at CEFA, our own team and our local, tireless warrior, Assemblyman Dymally," she added.

The planned two-story, 63,000-square-foot building will be located adjacent to the University's main administration building in South Los Angeles, and is expected to be completed by August 2009. The scientific research facility will encompass state-of-the-art space for laboratory, clinical research and support functions for the College of Medicine and the College of Science and Health, while the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing represents the first comprehensive nursing school to be built in California in decades, and the first ever for South Los Angeles. It is expected to open in August 2009, with an initial program accepting 40 individuals who already have a non-nursing degree in fall 2008 into an 18-month accelerated Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.

The nursing school is named in honor of Mervyn M. Dymally, the renowned California Assemblyman, and former State Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and U.S. Congressman.

The new research and nursing facility is a key component of a major growth initiative by the University, which is also developing a four-year medical school program, expanding partnerships with other medical schools and increasing its already powerful research capabilities in new and existing areas through additional grants. The University is ranked among the top 7% of 300 peer health and science colleges receiving research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing will not only address the critical shortages in this area but will bring more skilled professionals into the work force with meaningful employment. California consistently ranks 49th or 50th nationwide in the number of registered nurses per capita, with 30% fewer nurses than the national average. The Federal Health Resources and Services Agency estimates that by 2010, California will need more than 42,000 additional nurses to meet the demand, which it describes as "a target that more than likely will not be met because of the inability of the current nursing education program to prepare sufficient numbers of professionals." This shortage of nurses is expected to grow to more than 120,000 by the year 2020.

The $43 million Variable Rate Demand Revenue Bonds carry strong long-term ratings of "Aa1" and a short-term rating of "VMIG 1" by Moody's Investor Service, a leading bond rating agency. The California Educational Facilities Authority has established an agreement with the University for the loan of proceeds from sale of the bonds, underwritten by Piper Jaffray & Co.

Charles Drew University is the only academic health sciences center in an area of 1.6 million people-the largest urban underserved area in the United States. The university is also the nation's only dually designated Historically Black Graduate Institution and Hispanic Serving Health Professions School. It was formally created from the ashes of the Watts Rebellion in 1965. Since 1971, Charles Drew University has graduated over 500 medical doctors, 2,500 specialist physicians, 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other, mainly minority, health professionals. Research shows that the vast majority of these professionals are still serving the people in greatest need a decade or more after graduation.

Additional data concerning Charles Drew University may be found on its website at http://www.cdrewu.edu.


A private non-profit educational institution in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science has provided quality college, graduate and post-graduate education and training to thousands of qualified minority and other students for more than 35 years. As part of its mission, the University has also provided urgently needed healthcare services to chronically underserved residents of the poorest communities in Los Angeles County, serving the 1.6 million citizens in its 94-square-mile service area. If this service area were a municipality, it would be the fifth largest city in the U.S.

The University is widely regarded as an innovative medical education university pioneering in teaching doctors and healthcare professionals, and in conducting quality research, to deal with the special needs of the poor, chronically ill populations in the inner city. By expanding relationships with local medical school, research institutions and community-based organizations, the University is focused on eliminating health care disparities by providing access to and delivery of vital health care services to underserved populations. The University has been remarkably successful in achieving its primary goal of producing physicians and other healthcare professionals who return to the community to serve people who are uninsured or underinsured. It has graduated over 500 medical doctors, 2,500 physician specialists, 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals.

Charles Drew University's unique environment of providing medical education has been lauded as a national model. Research shows both that its students become more committed to the mission as they progress through their medical education and that 10 years after graduation, 70% of Charles Drew University trained physicians are still working with underserved populations.

Charles Drew University
Elia Esparza, Director of Communications/PR 
(323) 563-5822
Fax: (323) 357-3685

Parsons Communications
Craig A. Parsons
(310) 472-7632