Intermountain Healthcare donates $60,000 for diversity scholarships for SUU nursing students

Intermountain Healthcare officials formally present check for $60,000 for Southern Utah University's Diversity in Nursing scholarship program. L-R: Maria Martinez, director of the SUU Center for Diversity and Inclusion; Jordan Merrill, Intermountain Community Health Specialist; Eric Packer, administrator at Intermountain Cedar City Hospital; Southern Utah University President Scott Wyatt; Dr. Robert Eves, dean of the College of Science and Engineering at SUU; Reed Sargent, finance director of Cedar City Hospital; and Marvin Dodge, SUU vice president of Finance and Administration, Cedar City, Utah, date not specified. | Photo courtesy of Cedar City Hospital, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Intermountain Healthcare Cedar City Hospital recently presented a check to Southern Utah University for $60,000 in scholarships for minority students as part of their Diversity in Nursing scholarship program.

According to a news release from the hospital, the scholarships – up to $3,000 per semester per student – will be awarded to SUU nursing students enrolled full-time and can be used to cover the cost of tuition, books, fees and any barriers, including childcare or transportation, that may prevent culturally-diverse students from enrolling or continuing their education.

SUU President Scott L. Wyatt said the donation will help the university’s nursing program.

“We are appreciative of this generous donation and what it does for our nursing students,” Wyatt said in the release. “It is important to SUU that all types of students are successful together and that we have opportunities for students of all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds.”

Cedar City Hospital administrator Eric Packer said the hospital is proud to support the “exemplary nursing program” at SUU.

“Cedar City Hospital is an official clinical site for the SUU nursing department, which provides an opportunity for student nurses to learn and train in a real-life healthcare setting,” he said. “Our hospital knows just how outstanding the nursing program is at SUU because our hospital hires many of their graduates and they are an integral part of why our hospital is one of the best rural hospitals in the nation.”

One student that previously received this scholarship is Vishant Thapa, who was born in Siliguri, India, and worked in the laboratory at Cedar City Hospital for seven years before he decided to change his profession to nursing.

SUU nursing student Vishant Thapa takes SUU President Scott Wyatt’s blood pressure inside the SUU nursing lab, Cedar City, Utah, date not specified. | Photo courtesy of Cedar City Hospital, St. George News / Cedar City News

“I am very grateful for this scholarship,”  Thapa said. “It has been very important and meaningful to me and my family.”

Another scholarship recipient is Cecilia Campas from Southern California.

“With the help of this scholarship I’ll be the first in my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree,” Campas said. “I’m very interested in mission work as a nurse. To prepare for that, this summer I’ll be going on a mission trip to Mexico for five weeks to teach English to college students.”

Maria Martinez, director of the SUU Center for Diversity and Inclusion, echoed Wyatt’s gratitude for Intermountain Healthcare.

“It is increasingly important that healthcare providers represent the diverse demographics of our community,” Martinez said, “and these types of scholarships support our diverse students to increase representation in both the healthcare field and in higher education. We thank Intermountain Healthcare for seeing a need and creating more opportunities for our diverse nursing students.”

Intermountain Healthcare Cedar City Hospital donated $100,000 to the Diversity in Nursing Scholarship program at SUU in April 2016. This latest donation of $60,000 shows Intermountain Healthcare’s ongoing commitment to this program.

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