In 2009, Health Plan of San Joaquin (HPSJ) noticed the challenges in the Central Valley regarding: 1) provider capacity, 2) access to care and 3) a limited number of new clinicians coming into the region. In response to this disparity, HPSJ launched a Health Careers Scholarship Program to award $2,500 to graduating high school seniors who showed an interest in pursuing a higher education toward a medical career in the Central Valley.
The original concept for the Health Careers Scholarship Program was to increase the potential for regional students to return to the Central Valley area as practicing physicians. Coupled with this overarching objective were interests in promoting HPSJ’s community reinvestment and increasing HPSJ’s recognition among educators, policy makers and stakeholders. The Health Careers Scholarship Program allowed HPSJ to gain up-front recognition for funding scholarships that it had historically sponsored through other agencies such as, the Black Employees Association, LULAC and El Concilio, et al.
In 2010, HPSJ launched its Continuing Education Scholarship Program, allowing prior awardees to apply for reduced funding in the amount of $1,000. This funding aided in offsetting some of the awardees’ continuing education costs. With HPSJ’s increasing engagement in Stanislaus County, which yielded a growing membership, the Health Careers Scholarship Program expanded in 2011 to provide scholarships to Stanislaus County students.
In 2015, HPSJ refined the Health Careers Scholarship Program and created partnerships with seven agencies with specialized education. Working directly with specific partners, HPSJ’s Health Careers Scholarship Program applications were exclusively available to candidates attending or participating in one of the following schools:
- San Joaquin Delta College Nursing Program
- Decision Medicine A Program Of The San Joaquin Medical Society
- Health Careers Academy High School
- University of the Pacific, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy
- Grace Davis High School Health Careers Academy
- Modesto Junior College Nursing Program
- California State University, Stanislaus School of Nursing
In 2016, HPSJ expanded the scope of the Health Careers Scholarship Program and added a complementary Mentorship Program. Recipients of the Health Careers Scholarship Program are required to participate in the Mentorship Program. Click here to learn more.
With the inception of the Health Careers Scholarship Program, HPSJ has distinguished itself as a noteworthy, champion for change in the eyes of the community. To date, over 170 scholarships have been awarded to deserving students in San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties!