DES MOINES – The Iowa Hospital Association’s (IHA’s) Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation (IHERF) has awarded $182,000 in scholarships to college students from all parts of Iowa. Among those, receiving a $3,500 scholarship is Sarah Fuhs, an employee at Monroe County Hospital & Clinics who is studying for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing at Grand View University.
Since its inception 14 years ago, the IHERF scholarship fund has provided support to about 34 students each year. This year, that number was increased to 52. Similarly, in 2016, the scholarship amount was increased from $3,000 to $3,500. Each recipient is also eligible for an additional $3,500 award. Seven of the students are repeat recipients from 2017.
“It was a privilege for me to recommend Sarah for this scholarship. She is employed as a Certified Nursing Assistant at our hospital and does an outstanding job. Our patients love her, however; it was a comment that she made during her first clinical rotation as a student nurse that made me recognize what an asset she would be to the profession of nursing. She stated that she knew from her first patient experience that she was ‘meant to be a nurse’. I knew exactly what she meant and her dedication to caring for others was solidified in my heart and mind,” said MCHC Chief Nursing Officer Gale Herrera.
IHA established the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program in 2004 to help address the ongoing shortage of healthcare professionals and encourage young Iowans to establish or continue their careers with Iowa hospitals. The first scholarships were awarded in 2005 and more than 450 students have now benefited from the program. To date, the scholarship program has provided more than $1.4 million in direct support to students since its inception.
Iowa hospitals also benefit from the scholarship program. In exchange for financial support, scholarship-receiving students agree to work one year in an Iowa hospital for each year they receive an award. Today, 250 past scholarship recipients are working in hospitals across the state.
IHA staff, the IHERF Board, hospital leaders and IHA Auxilian/Volunteer Board members from throughout the state evaluated scholarship applications from 165 students, who were judged on grade-point average, a written personal statement, letters of reference and extracurricular, community and health care-related activities.
“We are very proud to support these high-achieving students who will help Iowa hospitals continue their tradition of high-quality health care throughout the state,” said IHA President and CEO Kirk Norris.
The Iowa Hospital Association is a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government, and consumer audiences. All of Iowa’s 118 community hospitals are IHA members.