Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa.

Grossmont Healthcare District awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships to health care students as demand for frontline workers remains high, officials announced Thursday.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the health care and social assistance sector will grow at a rate of 3.1% per year through 2026. Several areas are experiencing hiring surges, including nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, dentistry and physician assistance.

Since 1999, Grossmont has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to East County high school and college students. This year, 59 students received a total of $205,400.

The group includes 44 high school students and 15 pursuing higher education in East County.

Administrators from 22 local high schools selected the younger recipients. Grossmont’s board selected the higher education students.

One of the scholarship winners, Joseph Vahle, enrolled in the Cardiovascular Technology program at Grossmont College.

“Over the next five years, I will gain more experience and expertise, while continuing to learn about new advancements in my field,” he said. “Further down the road, I would also like to teach others and mentor them through the same steps I am taking.”

The district broke the higher ed awards into categories:

  • Five scholarships of $3,500 awarded to students pursuing health tech careers,
  • Five $10,000 scholarships to behavioral health students,
  • Three $7,000 scholarships for advanced registered nurses, and
  • Two awards for nursing, one for $5,000 and another for $3,000.

The remaining $113,850 went to the high school students.

“Investing in these local students pursuing health care also supports the future of the health care industry,” said Virginia Hall, Grossmont’s board president. “The next wave of healthcare innovation will come from this generation.”

The next application period opens on Dec. 1.

The Grossmont Healthcare District supports health-related community programs and services in East County. The district, governed by a five-member board, formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital.

Show comments