DES MOINES – The Iowa Hospital Association’s (IHA’s) Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation (IHERF) has awarded $182,000 in scholarships to college students from all parts of Iowa. Among those receiving a $3,500 scholarship is Robin McLey an employee at Burgess Health Center who is enrolled in the occupational therapy doctorate program at University of South Dakota.
Since its inception 14 years ago, the IHERF scholarship fund has provided support to about 34 students each year. This year, that number was increased to 52. Similarly, in 2016, the scholarship amount was increased from $3,000 to $3,500. Each recipient is also eligible for an additional $3,500 award. Seven of the students are repeat recipients from 2017.
IHA established the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program in 2004 to help address the ongoing shortage of healthcare professionals and encourage young Iowans to establish or continue their careers with Iowa hospitals. The first scholarships were awarded in 2005, and more than 450 students have now benefited from the program. To date, the scholarship program has provided more than $1.4 million in direct support to students since its inception.
Iowa hospitals also benefit from the scholarship program. In exchange for financial support, scholarship-receiving students agree to work one year in an Iowa hospital for each year they receive an award. Today, 250 past scholarship recipients are working in hospitals across the state.
IHA staff, the IHERF Board, hospital leaders and IHA Auxilian/Volunteer Board members from throughout the state evaluated scholarship applications from 165 students, who were judged on grade-point average, a written personal statement, letters of reference and extracurricular, community, and health care-related activities.
“We are very proud to support these high-achieving students who will help Iowa hospitals continue their tradition of high-quality health care throughout the state,” said IHA President and CEO Kirk Norris.
The Iowa Hospital Association is a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government, and consumer audiences. All of Iowa’s 118 community hospitals are IHA members.
Photo: Burgess Health Center staff members Teresa Butler, VP of clinical services; Robin McLey, occupational therapist and scholarship recipient; Josh Lander, director of rehabilitation services.