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New multicultural scholarship for women strives to increase diversity in medicine

LatinaLista — With the rising numbers of Latinos uninsured in this country and the growing list of challenging illnesses facing Latinos like: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, skin cancer, glaucoma, cervical cancer, etc., it makes for a disturbing picture when it’s realized that so few Latinos are in the healthcare profession.

According to MinorityNurse, only 1.7 percent of nurses are Latino/Latina. That percentage translates into a whopping 48,009 Latina/Latino nurses.

Another dismal statistic, as reported by the Association of American Medical Colleges, is that only 7.5 percent of Hispanics made up the total number of medical school graduates last year.

Too often, the quest for a nursing or medical degree, as any other degree, by a Latino/Latina student is derailed by the cost of tuition and books. Understanding that it is imperative that more Latinas and Latinos become nurses and doctors to help treat the swelling Latino population, a new multicultural scholarship to promote diversity and cultural competence in medicine has been launched by Macy’s department store and the American Heart Association.

The Go Red™ Multicultural Scholarship Fund will award 16 women $2,500 each, to help with school.

The criteria for the scholarship are:

  • Female of Hispanic, African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander or American Indian/Alaskan Native heritage.
  • U.S. citizen/permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Attending an accredited college or university in the U.S. and currently in her freshman or sophomore year
  • Pursuing a career in healthcare (nursing, biology, etc.)
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA

“Health care is always in need of talented people. If we can get more deserving, diverse females into the medical pipeline through the Go Red Multicultural Scholarship Fund, then it helps our industry and it helps society,” said Karol Watson, M.D., associate professor of cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Vice President of the Association of Black Cardiologists and American Heart Association spokesperson.

The American Heart Association is in a unique position to be a leader in helping to eradicate cardiovascular disease and health disparities by providing scholarships to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine,” said Icilma Fergus, M.D., director of the Cardiovascular Disparities Center at Mount Sinai Hospital and chair of community programming for the Association of Black Cardiologists. “Moreover, the scholarship offers a window of opportunity to those who believe medical or nursing school is unattainable.”

Deadline to apply for the Go Red™ Multicultural Scholarship Fund is November 30, 2011.

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