The Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) recently awarded 128 academic scholarships totaling $721,400 to Mat-Su students pursuing college degrees in health and wellness. In addition, the foundation awarded 23 vocational scholarships totaling $48,636 to residents pursuing health-related training and certificate programs. Together, the academic and vocational scholarship programs awarded $770,036 – almost double the $389,227 awarded the previous year.
“Workforce development is the key driver of our scholarship program,” said MSHF Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Ripley. “Of the twenty-five occupations expected to grow the most in Alaska, eighteen are related to healthcare. As Mat-Su grows, so does our need for a highly trained and educated healthcare workforce, and this scholarship program can help fill that need with local residents.”
The Mat-Su Health Foundation offers scholarships in two categories: academic scholarships for students pursuing college degrees with health or wellness majors and vocational scholarships to assist students with the cost of training and certifications for jobs in health and wellness fields.
Scholarships are awarded based on how well each applicant meets MSHF’s eligibility criteria, which includes financial need, demonstrated interest in healthcare and selection of a career choice that matches the workforce needs of the Mat-Su. MSHF academic scholarships are awarded one time annually, while vocational scholarships are awarded throughout the year.
New in 2017 is the Mat-Su Scholars Award, which is not based on financial need, but instead is awarded based on the applicant’s career goal, an essay, and an interview. Mat-Su Scholars Awards are for $10,000 each and were awarded to students who meet specific criteria:
• The Annie Deeming Scholarship for a current high school student: Deborah Johnston
• The Vivian "Babe" Shaver Scholarship for a behavioral health major: Michael Consalo
• The Ya Ne Dah Ah /K’tl’egh’i Sukdu Scholarship for a graduate-level applicant: Christina Bernier
• The Jessica Stevens Scholarship for a physician assistant major: Hilary Stark
• The Darlene Reed Scholarship for a nursing major: Heather Hanes
The following people received 2017 MSHF academic scholarships; individual awards ranged from $500 - $20,000:
The following individuals received MSHF vocational scholarships during the time period of May, 2016 through April, 2017. Individual awards ranged from $650 - $5,000:
About MSHF: Mat-Su Health Foundation is the official business name of Valley Hospital Association, Inc., which shares ownership in Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. In this capacity, the MSHF board members and representatives actively participate in the governance of Mat-Su’s community hospital and protect the community’s interest in this important healthcare asset through board oversight. The MSHF invests its share of Mat-Su Regional’s profits into charitable works that improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in Mat-Su. More information is available online at www.healthymatsu.org.