Health Tech Career Scholarships Winners Announced

A health technician with Family Health Centers of San Diego prepares for a screening in their mobile health unit at Kids Care Fest, 2016

The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) is proud to announce recipients of its 2017 Health Tech scholarships for students pursuing careers as medical health technicians.

GHD provides scholarship opportunities to students pursuing health tech careers as part of its mission to address unmet healthcare needs and support suitable services in East Region communities.

“It’s important for us to invest in access to education and training programs for District residents focusing their studies in the healthcare field, with the goal of serving in tomorrow’s workforce,” said GHD Board President Michael Emerson. “We look forward to their future success through college and beyond.”

Six students will each receive a $2,000 scholarship at the GHD board meeting on May 19. The honorees include students planning a career in a variety of health tech occupations, including as a cardiovascular technician, orthopedic technician and pharmacy technician, among others. All applicants were required to write a maximum 400-word essay on the topic “Where I will be in my career five years from now.” Here’s what the winners said in their essays:

Alyssa Trunick of Lakeside, enrolled in the Cardiovascular Technology program at Grossmont College, said, “Cardiovascular technology is extremely important to me. My grandfather had a stroke in 2013. I decided then that I wanted to do something to help prevent strokes, so no one would have to go through what my grandfather and family had to go through. It was devastating to know that my grandfather’s stroke could have been prevented if he had received some diagnostic testing.”

Emily Ley of El Cajon, enrolled in the Orthopedic Technology program at Grossmont College, said that in five years, “I will skillfully set broken bones in casts and splints while keeping the atmosphere calm and gentle.”

Olga Hernandez of Spring Valley, age 50, returned to school seven years ago. After graduating in May 2016 with an associate degree in biological science, she was accepted to Grossmont College’s Cardiovascular Technology program. “I hope that I will be able to impart not only the information I learned but inspire other women who felt just as left behind as I did, that education can provide a new future no matter how old you are or how desperate things look,” she said.

Tanya Hirmiz of El Cajon, a native of Iraq, who immigrated to the U.S. at age 11, attends medical classes at Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges and earned a certificate as a medical assistant at the Grossmont Health Occupations Center in Santee. “Five years from now, I would like to see myself as a registered nurse helping patients to feel better and feel loved. I love providing people the help they need and making them feel safe and healthy,” she said.

Stephanie Wilson of Santee, a pharmacy technician student at Grossmont Health Occupations Center, wants to become a pharmacist. “I have taken an interest in medicine and want to pursue my passion in a career caring for the ill, injured and dying,” she said.

Gizeth Saucedo, enrolled in vocational nursing program at Grossmont Health Occupations Center, said, “My ultimate goal is to become a nurse and work with the population with mental health problems. I strive to work with people who have mental illness because I feel like they are often overlooked and there is a bad stigma.”

Health technicians are allied health professionals that serve in a variety of specialized support roles in the healthcare field. According to the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, between now and 2020 the demand for healthcare workers such as health technicians will grow nearly twice as fast as the national economy. Cuyamaca College, Grossmont College and Grossmont Health Occupations Center offer health tech programs to address this need; this year’s scholarship winners are currently enrolled in a health occupations program at one of these local institutions.

For more information on GHD healthcare career scholarship opportunities, visit the website Scholarship Programs page at grossmonthealthcare.org/operations/scholarship-programs/.