Viterbo, Mayo partner for scholarships to promote diversity in health care

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — Mayo Clinic Health System and Viterbo University have partnered up to provide four scholarships aimed at increasing diversity in healthcare-related fields.

Viterbo announced the $500,000 donation from Mayo Thursday, saying the funds will be used for the Mayo Scholars Program, focused on students from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups. The program will provide two renewable $5,000 scholarships for two nursing students and two renewable $1,250 annual scholarships for students pursuing healthcare-related studies outside of nursing for four years.

“Mayo has been such a great partner over the years,” said Viterbo’s Interim President Rick Trietley in a press release. “We are extremely grateful for Mayo’s support of these scholarships, which is a strong indication that Mayo shares Viterbo’s commitment to expanding diversity in the health care profession.”

Dr. Paul Mueller, the regional vice president for Mayo Clinic Health System in Southwest Wisconsin, said the program supports Mayo’s value of “the needs of the patient come first.”

“That requires having a workforce that reflects the diversity of our patients and our community. It’s vital that everyone who comes to us for care, or for employment, feels welcome,” said Mueller. “Providing these scholarships is one of many steps we’re taking to increase diversity among our staff, with an ultimate goal to increase access to care and eliminate health disparities.”

The scholarships will be awarded beginning next year. Recipients will be required to complete a one-credit course that includes study skills workshops, job exploration, and engagement in other academic supports as needed.

Students also will be assigned a mentor, and Mayo Scholars will be placed in a clinical site at least once annually.

To be eligible, recipients:

  • Must have been enrolled in a high school within a 200-mile radius of La Crosse
  • Must be an admitted first-year student with a declared major in nursing, social work, nutritional sciences, or psychology
  • Must be a member of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group
  • Must demonstrate financial need
  • Must be interviewed by a member of the Selection Committee

The committee will give preference to applicants with a high financial need.

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