Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

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Charles R. Drew
University of Medicine and Science
MottoA Private University with a Public Mission
TypeHBCU, Private, Non-Profit University
Academic affiliation
PresidentDavid M. Carlisle
1731 E. 120th St.
, ,
11 acres (4.5 ha)

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science is a private, non-profit, historically black university and a minority-serving institution located in Willowbrook, unincorporated Los Angeles County, California, United States.[1][2] It was founded in 1966 in response to inadequate medical facilities within the Watts region of Los Angeles, California, USA. Later, the institution became a university and changed its name in order to reflect its new academic role. The university is named in honor of Dr. Charles R. Drew. It was associated with the former-Martin Luther King Jr./Charles R. Drew Medical Center from 1972 to 2006, and sometimes referred to as King-Drew University.

The university is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Academic programs[edit]

The university founded its medical school in the response to the 1965 Watts riots to train minority doctors who would serve the poor of the South Los Angeles area.[3]

The following other academic programs are offered: Master of Science in Nursing which offers the Family Nurse Practitioner and Entry Level Master’s curricula of study, Urban Public Health Master of Public Health, General Studies, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Pre-Medicine, Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences, Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences, Associate of Science in Health Information Technology, and Associate of Science in Radiographic Technology [4]

School of Nursing[edit]

On August 13, 2010, the Charles Drew University Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing officially opened under Founding Dean Gloria J. McNeal, PhD, MSN, ACNS-BC, FAAN. The program was granted initial approval by the California Board of Registered Nursing in June 2009.[4] The Western Association of Schools and Colleges granted its approval in March 2009. A Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Science was added in 2011.[4] In 2011, the School of Nursing was granted initial full accreditation by both the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


In 2005 the University received $34 million in research funding.[4]

A large grant for translational research was awarded to the university in 2010. The AXIS (Accelerating eXcellence In Science) is modeled after similar translational research programs at universities such as Harvard. The purpose of AXIS is to conduct clinical and translational research, especially research that is focused on health disparities. Team science activities are supported by eleven core functions: Biomedical Informatics; Community Engagement; Concierge; Clinical Resource Center; Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Evaluation; Innovations and Partnerships; Pilot Program; Regulatory; Research Education and Training; and Technology Core Laboratories.[5]


The university's HIV research and services fall under DrewCARES; the Center for AIDS Research, Education, and Service. DrewCARES' goal is to provide care and services to underserved populations to reduce health disparities in South Los Angeles and extends to Central American, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa.[6] The CDU PAETC (Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center) offers trainings, conferences, clinical consultations, and technical assistance to clinicians treating HIV positive patients and to local clinics and health centers.[7]

The university has on-campus clinics including SPECTRUM Community Services and Research, a HIV mental health clinic with social work, case management, substance abuse counseling, support groups, and treatment advocate services. CDU also has an HIV Testing Program and an HIV Early Intervention Program (EIP). HIV medical care is given at the LA County run OASIS Clinic.[8] Services are rendered regardless of ability to pay.


In July 2007, the university passed a curriculum review by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and retaining its accreditation, announcing plans for a new four-year medical school and nursing school in partnership with the University of California.[9]

At its meeting on June 17–19, 2009 the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities acted to place the university on Probation due to it having been found to have serious issues of noncompliance with the Commission Standards.[10]

The university maintained its accreditation throughout this process.

In July 2011, the university was removed from WASC Probation.[11][12] in 2013 the School of Public Health was granted its accreditations from WASC. In 2018, the university received ten years full accreditation by WASC.

Pipeline programs[edit]

The university has created a series of programs that are inclusive of pairing the surrounding community with the campus. Such programs include but are not limited to the Saturday Science Academy II, Project STRIDE, and the Medical Careers Program.[13] The Saturday Science Academy II program is offered to students between the grades of Pre-K and twelfth-grade. It is designed to offer exposure to both science and mathematics to students every Saturday mornings during the nine-week sessions that occur four times per year.

Association with Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital[edit]

Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital closed in 2007.[14] Both the university and associated public hospital fell into serious trouble at the outset of the 21st century.[15] By 2006, several residency programs had to be terminated because they lost accreditation for not meeting the necessary amount of oversight, and the hospital itself was forced into a radical restructuring plan in late 2006.[3] The restructuring caused hospital to sever its ties to the neighboring medical school and terminate support to 248 medical residents.[16] In October 2006, the national Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education informed school officials that it planned to revoke the university's accreditation because of the hospital's upcoming loss of Medicare money; as a result the university voluntarily withdrew its accreditation.[3] The school was eligible to seek reinstatement to relaunch its residency program in July 2008. As a response to the problems, the university reorganized, terminating its president, and dismissed nearly two-thirds of its board of trustees.[3]

On March 6, 2007, officials from the university announced that they would sue Los Angeles County for $125 million for breach of contract, claiming that the restructuring of the hospital gutted the adjacent university.[16] In September 2009, the lawsuit was settled with an agreement under which the county would rent space to the university on favorable terms and the county and university would work together toward the reopening of MLK Hospital.[17]

In June 2007, the school began an 18-month rebranding effort aimed at preventing people from associating the school with the continuing ordeals of King-Harbor; the school criticized the hospital for leaving an old sign bearing the King/Drew name.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Willowbrook CDP, California[permanent dead link]." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 27, 2009.
  2. ^ "About CDU | Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science". Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  3. ^ a b c d e Tiffany Hsu, University official stresses campus isn't King-Harbor, Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c d
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
  9. ^ Drew medical school retains accreditation, Los Angeles Times, July 19, 2007.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-03. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
  11. ^ "Charles R. Drew University removed from academic probation". Los Angeles Times. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  12. ^ "Troubled Los Angeles Medical School Gets Some Good News: It's Off Probation". Chronicle of Higher Education. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber and Jack Leonard (August 11, 2007). "King-Harbor fails final check, will close soon". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  15. ^ Tracy Weber et al., The Troubles at King/Drew (5 part series), The Los Angeles Times, December 2004, Accessed Sept. 26, 2006.
  16. ^ a b Susannah Rosenblatt, Medical school to sue L.A. County, Los Angeles Times, March 7, 2007.
  17. ^ Therolf, Garrett (September 11, 2009). "Medical school drops $125-million suit against L.A. County over King/Drew closure". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 22, 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°55′32″N 118°14′33″W / 33.925634°N 118.242594°W / 33.925634; -118.242594