November 27, 2014
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Black Organizations Award Scholarships At Capitol Hill Event

Washington – The United Health Foundation is providing $1,225,000 in scholarships for the upcoming academic year to more than 200 students from diverse, multicultural backgrounds. 

 

The scholarships, averaging $5,000 per student, are being offered through United Health Foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative and are awarded to African-American, American-Indian, Asian-American and Latino and Hispanic students planning to pursue careers in health care. 

 

By cultivating health professionals from diverse, multicultural backgrounds, the Diverse Scholars Initiative is designed to increase culturally competent health care delivery, close the health disparities gap and improve health outcomes over the long term. 

 

Since 2007, United Health Foundation has committed more than $3 million to the Initiative for scholarships benefiting more than 585 students. 

 

“These outstanding scholars will be an integral part of the future of our nation’s health care system and a health care work force that reflects the rich diversity of our country.  Helping to support and develop these diverse, future health care leaders is one way that United Health Foundation works to improve our communities’, and our nation’s, health and well-being,” said Jeannine Rivet, UnitedHealth Group executive vice president and interim president of United Health Foundation. 

 

United Health Foundation hosted its second-annual Diverse Scholars “Young Minds, Bright Futures” Forum in Washington, to recognize and celebrate the scholars and inspire them to work toward strengthening the nation’s health care system.  This year’s event provided an opportunity for the talented, young future health care professionals to meet and interact with members of Congress and health care policy experts. 

 

On Thursday, June 24, the forum hosted an informational panel of health experts and a lunch reception on Capitol Hill.  The panel discussed various approaches to address health disparities in the post-health reform era. 

The Diverse Scholars Initiative is administered through partnerships with a variety of nonprofit and civic organizations.  While United Health Foundation does not select the recipients, scholarship recipients must demonstrate financial need, the pursuit of a degree that will lead to a career in a health field, and a commitment to working in underserved communities, including community health centers.  Additional requirements and application deadlines vary by organization.

The organizations are experienced in scholarship administration and have reputations for achieving excellence with these programs.  They also have the ability to identify and engage with students who are most in need of financial support. 

 

Diverse Scholars Initiative partner organizations include: American Indian College Fund; Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund; Auxiliary to the National Medical Association; California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute; Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities; Hispanic College Fund; Hispanic Scholarship Fund; Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas; Jackie Robinson Foundation; National Association of Black Nurses; National Association of Hispanic Nurses; National Hispanic Health Foundation; National Medical Fellowships, Inc.; South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc.; Tavis Smiley Foundation; Thurgood Marshall College Fund; Tom Joyner Foundation; and United Negro College Fund. 

Among the recipients are the following African American scholars:

 

·         Howard University College of Medicine medical student Bradley Ffrench who is working to help establish Howard’s student-run health clinic that provides free health services to the underserved in Washington, D.C.  “My long term goal is to pursue a medical specialty that allows me to give back to the less fortunate,” says Ffrench.

 

·         Tougaloo biology major LaTeia Sharnelle Taylor who plans to obtain a Masters in Public Health and open a non-profit organization to establish healthy living habits for children in Mississippi born with low birth weights.  Taylor currently implements a Healthy Living Initiative at Tougaloo and has planned a campus-wide health fair.

·         Spelman College undergraduate Danah Wilkins who is pursuing pre-med and psychology studies with the hope of becoming a neonatal physician.  “In the future, I have a desire to be an advocate promoting healthy lifestyles and diets in my community. I would also like to bring awareness to and eliminate health disparities through community service,” says Wilkins.

 

For more information about the Diverse Scholars Initiative, visit www.unitedhealthfoundation.org/dsi.html.

  

For more information about the Diverse Scholars Initiative, visit www.unitedhealthfoundation.org/dsi.html.

 

About the United Health Foundation

Guided by a passion to help people live healthier lives, United Health Foundation provides helpful information to support decisions that lead to better health outcomes and healthier communities. The Foundation also supports activities that expand access to quality health care services for those in challenging circumstances and partners with others to improve the well being of communities. Since established by UnitedHealth Group [NYSE: UNH] in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation, the Foundation has committed more than $176 million to improve health and health care. For more information, visit www.unitedhealthfoundation.org.

 

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