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Riverside, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2015) – California Baptist University reinforced its commitment to educating the future medical workforce to serve the region's growing population at the Convergence workforce meeting on Sept. 23.

The Convergence initiative comprises a group of education and business leaders who are committed to establishing programs that produce a larger and more diverse medical workforce to serve the Inland Empire's (IE) population.

Formed in 2013, Convergence stems from the estimated 16,600 new health care jobs that need to be filled by 2017. By 2020, Inland Empire residents who are at least 60 years of age will account for 17 percent of the population, according to a 2011 study by Center of Excellence. The Convergence initiative is the largest of its kind in the nation.

"It is important for CBU to participate in this group so that we can continually explore ways in which health providers, educational institutions and the community can work together to increase the quality of life in the IE," said Dr. Charles Sands, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "This goal and purpose fits very well with the mission of our university."

Located strategically in the IE, CBU's School of Nursing offers some of the most popular degrees options. About 400 students are enrolled in traditional undergraduate classes, with an additional 250 graduate students. The first Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) cohort will have up to 20 students this fall.

Sands said beyond nursing, CBU also brings a wide-range of health professions expertise ranging from public health to athletic training, and in the future CBU will offer physician's assistant and speech language pathology programs.

"The expertise of our health-related faculty will allow CBU to remain relevant in the ongoing discussion of healthcare in the IE," Sands said.