BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust, along with the Memphis chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives, is offering a $5,000 scholarship to three minority students.
Officials said the scholarship is being offered to attract a qualified, diverse workforce to the health care industry, which has shifted in the past few years to cover populations that historically did not have access to insurance.
The BlueCross Health Institute's white paper on health care reform and its impacts on minority populations in Tennessee suggests that African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska natives and native Hawaiians (as well as other Pacific Islanders) remain underrepresented in medicine relative to their numbers in the U.S. population and populations in specific states, regions and localities.
A 2010 study by the Association of American Medical Colleges found that out of 411 medical school graduates, 62 percent were white, 24 percent were black, 10 percent were Asian, 1.4 percent were Hispanic, 0.4 percent were Alaska natives, 0.2 percent were another non-Hispanic or Latino race, and 2 percent identified themselves as foreign.
“Our scholarship provides a much-needed resource for deserving minority students to access higher education,” Ron Harris, director of workforce diversity for BCBST, said in a prepared statement. “In addition to serving as a motivator for minorities to graduate college, the program also provides the means to help break the poverty and health care disparity cycle.”
The scholarships will be given to outstanding undergraduate students who wish to pursue health care careers.
For more information, including FAQs and the application, go to http://www.bcbst.com/about/diversity/.