Iowa Health - Des Moines has two employees named recipients of the Iowa Hospital Association Scholarships. Peggy Black is the manager of the Iowa Methodist Medical Center maternity center pursing her Masters in Nursing (MSN) from Allen College. Courtney Shelquist is a unit clerk on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Blank Children's Hospital and is pursuing her Bachelors of Nursing (BSN) from Mercy College of Health Sciences.
Black and Shelquist have been awarded a $3,000 scholarship from the Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation (IHERF), which is supported by the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA). Both are among 32 outstanding students from all over Iowa who have received assistance this year from the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program.
Iowa hospitals established the scholarship program in 2004 to help address the ongoing shortage of health care professionals and encourage young Iowans to remain in the state as they establish their careers. The scholarship program offers students $3,000 per academic year, or a maximum of $6,000 over two years. Over the program's first six years, more than 160 students have benefited from IHERF scholarships.
In exchange for that financial support, scholarship-receiving students agree to work one year in an Iowa hospital for each year they receive an award. In this way, the scholarship program helps stabilize and enhance Iowa's hospital workforce.
Hospital leaders from all parts of the state evaluated scholarship applications from more than 180 students, who were judged on grade-point average, a written personal statement, letters of reference, and extracurricular, community and health care-related activities.
"Iowa Health - Des Moines is very proud to support these high-achieving students who will help our hospitals continue their tradition of quality health care," said Eric Crowell, Iowa Health - Des Moines President and CEO.