Tuition hikes at colleges and universities and across the nation are forcing many students to find new ways to pay for higher education.
In an effort to ease the burden and increase the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine, the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women™ and Macy’s, its national sponsor, offer the Go Red™ Multicultural Scholarship Fund.
The fund — now in its third year — provides 16 $2,500 scholarships for multicultural women pursuing college or graduate school degrees in healthcare fields. Besides easing the financial burden for students, the American Heart Association and its supporters are striving to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine and increase culturally-sensitive, patient-centered care.
Candidates must be an African-American, Hispanic, Asian or other female minority college student pursuing a medical, nursing or allied healthcare degree. Candidates must complete an application, personal essay and submit two letters of recommendation. Online applications are available now through Dec. 31, 2013.
The number of minority medical school graduates is increasing steadily, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. However, the figures are still low compared with the population at large.
Only 5.4 percent of African-American and 3.6 percent of Hispanic nurses in the nation are registered nurses, according to the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics. In contrast, minorities make up 36.6 percent of the U.S. population.
Numerous ethnic groups — including African-Americans and Hispanics — are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease and risk factors. They also face barriers to diagnosis and care and experience worse health outcomes than Caucasians.
Patients like to receive medical care by providers who can speak their same language and understand their cultural background. Meeting the needs of ethnically diverse patients leads not only to better quality of care, but it also provides opportunities to improve the health of underserved minorities.
The Go Red™ Multicultural Scholarship is made possible by the Macy’s Multicultural Fund, which was created in 2009 to focus on increasing diversity in the medical field.
For more information and to complete an application, visit GoRedForWomen.org. The deadline to apply for 2014 scholarships is Dec. 31, 2013.
Executive director and CEO of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses