Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health to partner with Lewis-Clark State College to award $1 million in scholarships

The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health will partner with Lewis-Clark State College (LC State) to award $1 million in scholarships over the next 10 years to students from Idaho majoring in health care-related fields, administrators from the two organizations announced on February 3.

The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health will give LC State $100,000 a year over the next 10 years to award in scholarships and create the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health Scholarship Program, starting with the fall 2021 semester.

The goals of the partnership are to help address the shortage of health care professionals working in rural areas of Idaho and increase the number of first generation college graduates. The scholarships will strengthen the health care workforce, especially in Region 2 where LC State is located.

“We are honored and thrilled to be partnering with the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health,” said LC State President Cynthia Pemberton, “and believe the Health Scholarship Program will enable and empower health care education and ultimately emerging professionals to make a significant, sustainable and very positive impact to and in the lives of students, communities and Idaho health care. Our most sincere thanks to the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health for helping us make truly life changing differences.”

“The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health is pleased to partner with Lewis-Clark State College to make a long-term investment in the young men and women in our state,” said Ralph Woodard, President of Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. “We must make every effort to keep future doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors and other health care professionals in Idaho. As Idaho continues to grow, it is vital that the number of health care workers grows as well. Our contribution to the next generation of health care workers helps ensure these young men and women have the tools to keep Idahoans healthy.”

To meet the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health Scholarship eligibility requirements, a student must be an Idaho resident, have at least a sophomore class standing (completed 26 or more credits) and be majoring in one of LC State’s health care programs, which are nursing, radiographic science, kinesiology, social work or medical assistant. An accumulative college grade point average of 3.25 or better also is required for the $4,000 annual scholarship. Students would be eligible for an extra $1,000 if they maintain a 3.75 GPA or better. Priority to receive the scholarship will be based on financial need. The scholarship is renewable for up to three years as long as the student continues to meet the requirements.

LC State’s Financial Aid Office will oversee the screening of the applicant, rewarding of scholarship money, and review eligibility at the start of each semester.

LC State has a history of producing successful students in the health science areas. Graduates of LC State’s nursing program have a 96 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination, much higher than the national average. Radiographic science students also have a national exam pass rate of 96 percent and a 94 percent job placement rate. Kinesiology graduates have over a 90 percent acceptance rate into graduate physical therapy programs.

The college also has high positive placement rates in exercise science (100 percent), social work (100 percent) and medial assistant (80 percent).

As part of their hands-on education, LC State students are required to take part in practicums or internships. For students in health care-related fields, the practicums and internships can take place with local hospitals, medical offices and clinics, government and non-profit agencies, and schools.

“We are excited to work with the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health to assist students in achieving their academic and career goals through this generous gift,” LC State Vice President for Student Affairs Andy Hanson said. “This will benefit students and Idaho for years to come.”

This year, LC State’s student body is composed of 78 percent first generation college students and 45 percent of the first-time/full-time students in the fall semester were low income, the highest percentage rate among Idaho’s public four-year higher education institutions.

The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health is a nonprofit private foundation established by Blue Cross of Idaho in 2001. The Foundation is dedicated to addressing the root causes to some of Idaho’s most pressing health issues. Its work focuses on communities, education and health care.

LC State was founded in 1893 and has more than 130 degree and certificate programs. The college’s mission is to prepare students to become successful leaders, engaged citizens, and lifelong learners.