Charles Drew medical school released from probation

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A south Los Angeles County medical school has emerged from a probationary cloud after a review from a regional accreditation body. This development represents a step forward for an institution that’s weathered many ups and downs.

The private Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science represented a promise to the area affected by the 1965 Watts riots. Its founders set out to train healthcare professionals who could represent and serve neighborhoods that had long lacked access to quality medical treatment.

Drew aligned its mission with that of nearby L.A. County-run Martin Luther King-Drew Medical Center. When regulators shut down that hospital five years ago, the 350 student doctors, nurses and technicians at Drew had to complete their training elsewhere.

The university also lost financial support and shuffled its top leadership. New administrators and the prospect of a resurrected hospital factored into the end of its probationary status. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges never revoked accreditation; it determined after a two-year review that Drew’s governance, finances, academics and quality control systems are in good working order.

In a statement, the chairman of Drew's board proclaimed that declaration the start of "a new day" for the university.