A public health nurse performs a hepatitis A vaccination. Courtesy San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency

The Grossmont Healthcare District announced Friday it is offering $210,000 in new scholarships for local students and professionals working in or entering the healthcare field.

Each year, a portion of the overall agency grants and sponsorships budget has been allocated for scholarship programs offered to local students living, working or attending school within district boundaries.

“We are proud to support our current and future healthcare workers,” said Randy Lenac, district board president. “During this challenging time, it is essential that we acknowledge how vital their work is in clinical and community settings. There’s no better time than right now to consider pursuing continuing education, especially in an industry of growing demand.”

The scholarship programs are intended to meet the demand to maintain a robust and diverse local healthcare workforce, particularly in professions where shortages have been projected in the coming decade even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two nonrenewable scholarships — in the amount of $5,000 for first place and $3,000 for second place — will be awarded to registered nursing students based on their community involvement. Additionally, there are five scholarships in the amount of $3,500 each available for students in a healthcare-related technical program.

Last year, the district introduced two additional programs for those pursuing advanced degrees, including up to five $10,000 scholarships for behavioral health professionals and up to three $7,000 scholarships for registered nurses who have been accepted into nurse practitioner or physician assistant programs.

The district will also recognize local high school students interested in a healthcare career with scholarship grants, with $113,850 available for students attending traditional colleges and career training programs at the Health Occupations Center based in Santee.

Since 1999, hundreds of local high school students have been identified by their schools to receive individual scholarships totaling about $1.5 million.

The application deadline for all scholarships is Feb. 12.

Interested students can learn more at grossmonthealthcare.org/scholarships.

— City News Service

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