United Health Foundation Invests In Future Health Workforce; Commits $2.25M In Scholarships To 200+ Students Including 2 In New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – More than 200 students studying to work in health care professions are receiving $2.25 million in scholarships for the 2016-17 academic year from United Health Foundation.

         The funding is part of United Health Foundation’s commitment to investing in the country’s future, diverse health care workforce. United Health Foundation, in partnership with nine nonprofit and civic organizations, is providing the scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students through its Diverse Scholars Initiative.

         “Creating a future health workforce that meets a community’s diverse and distinct health care needs is critical to building healthier communities,” said Chris Stidman, president of United Health Foundation. “Increasing access to culturally competent care helps reduce health care disparities and improves health outcomes. United Health Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to partner with national organizations and nonprofits to invest in the future health workforce.”

         Two local area students are supported by the Diverse Scholars Initiative::


• Ashley Blackwell, a Physics graduate student at Dillard University, is from Katy, TX, and received her scholarship through the UNCF (United Negro College Fund).


• Evelyn Ambush, who is originally from Lagos, Nigeria, is graduating this year from Xavier University of Louisiana with a Pharmacy degree. Her plan is to continue her studies in postgraduate pharmacy residency programs to become an ambulatory pharmacist, which would allow her to work closely with patients as part of a clinical team. 


         Since the Diverse Scholar Initiative’s inception in 2007, United Health Foundation has awarded more than 1,800 scholarships totaling over $13 million.

         “It’s been immensely helpful to have the financial support, but also the mentorship opportunities,” said Kenji Taylor, a 2013 United Health Foundation and National Medical Fellowships Diverse Scholar. “It’s so powerful to have people who inspire you and believe in your ability to do great things.” 

         Taylor is currently completing his residency in family medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

         Scholarship applicants must demonstrate financial need, the pursuit of a degree that will lead to a career as a primary care health professional, and a commitment to working in underserved communities.

         The nine grant partners will announce individual Diverse Scholars recipients throughout the year:


• American Indian College Fund

• Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund

• Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.

• Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

• National Association of Hispanic Nurses

• National Hispanic Health Foundation

• National Medical Fellowships

• The Jackie Robinson Foundation

• United Negro College Fund


         United Health Foundation engages with the scholars throughout the year to support their educational and professional goals, including hosting a Diverse Scholars Forum in Washington, D.C., in June. The event will bring together undergraduate-, graduate- and doctorate-level scholarship recipients from across the nation. Scholars will meet with policymakers and thought leaders to discuss the nation’s most pressing health issues, network with peers and special guests, and engage in interactive dialogue to share their own ideas and experiences.

         United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed more than $285 million to programs and communities around the world.

         For more information



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