Press Release – For immediate release
Contact: Stephanie Boyd, Director of Recruitment and Retention
Two FNU students chosen for elite NHSC Scholars program
HYDEN, KY – FNU students Cheryl Scaff, CNEP Class 74, and Leah Atkinson, CFNP Class 87, were recently chosen to participate in the prestigious National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholars program. Scaff, of Jasper, Fla., and Atkinson, of Stanchfield, Minn., were among 247 chosen for this program out of more than 3,000 applicants nationally. Students selected for this elite program receive reimbursement for educational expenses in return for their commitment to work in an approved NHSC facility in an underserved area upon graduation.
This recent group of Scholars consisted of 110 medical students, 54 dental students, 62 physician’s assistant students, 14 nurse practitioner students and seven certified nurse-midwifery students. We are proud to have Frontier Nursing University so well represented among this elite group.
The National Health Service Corps is part of the Health Resources and Services Administration, the primary federal agency for improving access to healthcare services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. When selected as an NHSC Scholar, students committed to primary care and enrolled in an approved area of study can receive tuition, fees, a living stipend and additional educational costs for as many as four years (with a minimum of two years) in exchange for an equal number of years of service at an approved facility in a high-need underserved area.
When she accepted the scholarship, Scaff said she joined the ranks of the 37,000 Corps members across the nation serving “the underserved populations for all their health needs.” Scaff will be a Scholar through 2013, when she is scheduled to complete her studies. “I am excited and privileged to be part of such a great and powerful group. The NHSC is a group that is interested in changing the face of our nation’s healthcare to meet the needs of the people.”
Atkinson is equally excited to have such an opportunity. “I have always been interested in serving in a rural and medically underserved area. The NHSC is supporting me financially while providing me the opportunity to fulfill that dream.”
Atkinson says the populations she’s interested in serving include the Pima or Tahono O’odham Native Americans in southwest Arizona, where she’ll be moving with her husband this summer for her clinical rotation.
Scaff and Atkinson were flown, all expenses paid, to New Orleans in October to participate in a New Scholar Orientation. There they were introduced to former Scholars who have become some of the most influential healthcare professionals in our nation, including Dr. Cory Hebert, medical director for Louisiana Recovery School District and a highly regarded medical broadcast journalist.
The NHSC program also includes all-expenses paid participation in job selection seminars to meet and network with representatives from sites across the nation looking for providers to serve their areas.
Scaff said some of her fellow students – many of whom will be facing loan repayment – have hesitated to apply for fear of being “strapped to a commitment.” But she touts the benefits of the program, which will pay entirely for her graduate education with the exception of her Bridge coursework. “In addition to this advantage,” she says, “ I will have a large organization that wants me to succeed, helping me to find a job at full pay and benefits doing what I love anywhere in the country I want to serve.”