New California Health Corps Enlists Health Professionals

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Main News Photo

Gov. Gavin Newsom has called on recently retired doctors and soon-to-be-graduated medical and nursing students to join the California Health Corps to help care for COVID-19 patients. 

Over recent four days, the number of Californians being treated for the virus in ICUs tripled and the number of hospitalizations doubled. Not only will the state need an extra 50,000 hospital beds by mid-May, it will also need a “human capital surge,” the governor said.

“If you’re a nursing school student or medical school student, we need you. If you just retired in the last few years, we need you. If you are looking to expand your scope of practice … we need you,” he said.

Other things to know about the California Health Corps

  • Newsom’s executive order relaxes licensing laws and the always-controversial “scope of practice” rules — they determine which medical professionals can provide which services — through June 30. The general consensus so far? It’s vague but has been met with support, CalMatters’ Julie Cart, Elizabeth Aguilera and Ana Ibarra report.
  • The state estimates there is a pool of 37,000 retired or inactive health care professionals to draw from. The program is looking to recruit thousands. All will be compensated.
  • The cost of the California Health Corps program will be “borne in a myriad of ways,” Newsom said, including the health care system, state and federal government.

Despite the projected surge in patients and the need for more hospital staff, officials said California’s shelter-in-place is making a difference.

“We believe very strongly the stay-at-home order has helped advance our efforts in reducing the stress on the system that we believe would have already materialized in more acute ways had we not advanced those protocols when we did,” Newsom said.

Mark Ghaly, CA’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, said, “The modeling that we show … is that our current efforts around surge meet the moment and that we’re able to take care of anybody who needs a hospital bed today, anyone who needs an ICU bed or needs a ventilator, and our efforts to increase staff, increase beds, increase supplies, are on track to continue to meet that for weeks to come.”

As long as Californians continue sheltering in place.

“If you’ve ever gone skydiving, the worst thing a human being can do is cut the parachute when you’re not even close to the ground. We’re not yet close to the ground,” Newsom said.

The Bottom Line: California confirmed Coronavirus cases and deaths from the virus has continued to rise, according to a Los Angeles Times tracker. (These numbers are different from those of the state Department of Public Health, which are updated less often.)


  • Physicians (MD, DO), including medical residents
  • Pharmacists
  • Dentists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants
  • Nurses (RN, LVN, CNA), including nursing students
  • Behavioral health professionals (psychiatrist, psychiatric technicians psychologist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, LCSW, LMFT, LPCC)
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Paramedics
  • Medical assistants
  • Emergency medical technicians

Positions are paid and with malpractice insurance coverage. Locations will vary, but geographical preferences will be tried to be honored.

Play a critical role in responding to this public health emergency in your region. To care for Californians who need your help, please sign up.

Step 1 – Are you eligible?

To be eligible for COVID-19 emergency medical staffing roles, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or over
  • Be eligible to work in the United States
  • Have a valid driver’s license or passport, and a social security card
  • Have a valid California License for clinical practice (if you are an M.D., D.O., etc.) 
  • OR are a medical resident or nursing student 
  • Have no negative licensure/certification actions (for licensed/certified professionals)

Step 2 – Register in the California Health Corps system

Both licensed professionals and students will have to register. This is the system we’ll use to verify your medical license (if you have one) and identify your deployment preferences.

Step 3 – Once verified, we will ask you to submit an application 

This process may require you to fill out additional paperwork to complete the hiring process.

Step 4 – Once you’ve applied

We will review your skills, experience, location preferences and interests to see where you match our placement needs.

Step 5 – Finalize hiring and placement process

You will be hired at the time of placement. Bring a formal valid driver’s license and a social security card to provide at the time of hire. 

Register for the California Health Corps here.



Category: COVID-19