Graduate Entry Program in Nursing (GEPN) students Jennifer Hashimoto and Kaleo Correa have been selected as 2015-2016 recipients of the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship, offered by the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP). Also in the same GEPN cohort, Lillian McCollum has been selected as a 2015-2016 National Health Service Corps Scholar, offered by the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program (NHSC SP).
The NHHSP and the NHSC are both competitive Federal programs administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW). The NHHSP specifically awards those who are of Native Hawaiian ancestry. Both programs provide financial assistance in the form of tuition and monthly support stipend while in school. In return, NHHSP scholars commit to providing primary care health services first in one of five Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems and then in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) in Hawaii. NHSC scholars must complete their service obligation in a Health Professional Shortage Area of greatest need at a site anywhere in the U.S. or U.S. Territories.
Jennifer Hashimoto is in the MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner track. Her future goal is to serve the people of the Big Island and be a part of a primary healthcare team, with an emphasis on serving the Hawaiian people. “I want to intertwine health policy, research, and cultural competence in order to establish sustainability of rural health care and delivery over a long period of time” said Hashimoto.
Kaleo Correa, RN, PhD is a Family Nurse Practitioner and has set her goal of alleviating health disparities among Native Hawaiians through quality, culturally sensitive care on the Big Island of Hawaii. Correa urges all Native Hawaiian health care students who share a passion for serving their community to apply to the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship. “It’s far more than financial assistance, it’s becoming part of an ‘ohana, who stands beside you each step of the way to ensure you fulfill your destiny” said Correa. Upon graduation in 2017, Correa hopes to complete her two-year service commitment at the Kipuka o ke Ola Native Hawaiian Health Center in Waimea.
Lillian McCollum is enrolled in the MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner track. The NHSC Scholarship Program awards scholarships to individuals who have a demonstrated interest in primary care and a serious commitment to serving the underserved nationally. “Though I have the opportunity to serve anywhere in the U.S., my heart and my passion is firmly here in Hawaii. I hope to complete my two year service commitment and establish my career on the Big Island to help fill this need,” said McCollum.
Eligible Native Hawaiian students are encouraged to apply for the NHHSP if they are committed to providing primary healthcare services to Native Hawaiians in the state of Hawaii. Similarly, students who are committed to practicing primary care and are able to relocate should consider applying to the NHSC SP. A commitment to participate in these scholarship programs is significant, as is the need for primary care in the underserved communities in Hawaii and across the U.S. and the U.S. territories. For more information on applying for the NHHSP 2016-2017 cycle, please go to: http://www.nhhsp.org, and for the NHSC 2016-2017 cycle, please go to: https://www.nhsc.hrsa.gov/scholarships/.