Prem Reddy

Dr, Prem Reddy

California University of Science and Medicine expects to welcome first class in 2016
April 14, 2014 12:59 PM
BROOKE SELF, STAFF WRITER

COLTON • A local group of doctors and community officials announced plans Monday to develop a privately-funded, nonprofit medical school in Colton.

Administrators of the future California University of Science and Medicine (Cal Med), College of Medicine, said in news conference that they intend to open to a class of 50 students by 2016. They are currently seeking accreditation from the Licensing Committee on Medical Education.

“This is an exciting and much-needed opportunity for medical students in the Inland Empire and California,” said Dr. Dev GnanaDev, Cal Med’s founder, president and chief executive officer. “Because of many factors, including the extremely limited medical school spots in our state and severe shortage of doctors, we believe this project will have a significant positive impact on the economy, education and health for many decades.”

The university and the medical school are being financed primarily through a $40 million donation from Prime Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit, public charity founded by Dr. Prem Reddy, a longtime Victor Valley resident, cardiologist and philanthropist. Reddy said Monday that he’s been committed since the 1980s to giving 50 percent of his income to his family charity, which is now valued in the hundreds of millions.

“The commonly asked question is why are you doing this and what makes you do it?” Reddy said.

He described his upbringing in a rural village in India where he attended and graduated from a high school that had no electricity.

“Having grown up in a village and being the first person in entire generations of my family to ever have gone to a school, forget about elementary school,” Reddy said, “to have that kind of a background. … I was fortunate enough to build a hospital from the ground up in Victorville, Desert Valley (Hospital).”

Reddy will serve as the chairman of the board for Cal Med and is also the founder, chairman, president and CEO of Prime Healthcare Services. Through their subsidiaries, Prime Healthcare Services and the foundation own and operate 25 hospitals in six states across the country, including Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville and six nonprofit hospitals.

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