Grossmont Healthcare District invests $227,000 in scholarships for promising students

COVID-19 impacts press home the need to train the next generation of frontline care workers

LA MESA, Calif. (June 11, 2020) – As the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates statewide healthcare workforce shortages, the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) recently announced $227,000 in scholarships to promising local students pursuing health careers in fields of growing demand.

A recent report by the California Future Workforce Commission stated that California faces an overall shortage of about 4,100 primary care providers by 2030 as many prepare to retire, including a 34 percent decline in the number of practicing psychiatrists. While COVID is today’s healthcare crisis, these shortages will reach epidemic proportions tomorrow, particularly concerning for residents in underserved and rural areas already struggling to access care.

In 2020, two new programs were created as a response to looming shortages of professionals who can prescribe medication, with emphasis on building an adequate supply of advanced degree professionals in behavioral health, nursing, and primary care.

Six $10,000 scholarship awards were announced to local behavioral health professionals and five $7,000 scholarships were announced to local Registered Nurses pursuing advanced degrees as nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

The GHD has also been an active supporter of healthcare education and training for the benefit of future generations through scholarship programs since 1999. Each year, a portion of the overall grants and sponsorships budget has been allocated for annual scholarship programs offered to local high school and college students living or attending school within GHD boundaries, with emphasis on building health technicians and new Registered Nurses.

This year, six students pursuing careers as health technicians in cardiovascular and respiratory health received a total of $18,000 in scholarship funds. In 2020, one $5,000 Richard J. Bea, RN nursing scholarship recipient was announced, a San Diego State University student studying to become a Registered Nurse.

GHD also recognized 44 local high school students interested in a healthcare career with scholarship grants totaling $108,900. These recipients were selected by school administrators representing 22 local high schools.

“Now more than ever before, Grossmont Healthcare District recognizes the financial obstacles facing today’s students as a potential barrier for would-be future healthcare providers,” said Randy Lenac, board president. “We see our role as removing that barrier for District residents by investing in access to education and training programs.”

More information about this year’s scholarship recipients is available at www.grossmonthealthcare.org/scholarships.

About Grossmont Healthcare District
The Grossmont Healthcare District is a public agency that supports health-related community programs and services in East County. The District formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital. It serves as landlord of Sharp Grossmont Hospital and owns the property and buildings on behalf of East County taxpayers. The district is governed by a five-member board of directors who represent more than 500,000 people residing within 750 square miles.

Erica Salcuni
Grossmont Healthcare District
Phone: (619) 825-5017