directly benefiting the health and well-being of the people of California. The mission of the California Endowment is to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Endowment recently provided a 3-year $500,000 grant to the Health Professions Education Foundation (http://www.healthprofessions.ca.gov), a nonprofit public benefit corporation established to provide financial assistance to health professional students throughout California who are willing to practice in medically underserved areas. The Foundation oversees the administration of two funds established by state legislation, the Health Professions Education Fund and the Registered Nurse Education Fund, and closely coordinates its programs with the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development and its health professional education programs.
The funding received from the California Endowment will support up to 20 scholarships and loan repayment grants annually to underrepresented and economically disadvantaged health professions students who will practice in underserved areas of California. The Foundation offers a variety of other financial assistance programs, including the Associate Degree Nursing Pilot Scholarship Program (ADN), Registered Nurse Education Scholarship Program (BSN), and Registered Nurse Education Loan Repayment Program (LRP). Over the last nine years, the Foundation has given out scholarship and loan repayment awards totaling nearly $4.9 million dollars. The awards have helped approximately 1,100 economically disadvantaged and demographically underrepresented students pursue a career in the health professions.
The California Wellness Foundation (http://www.tcwf.org) has established as its mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education, and disease prevention. Through its grants, the Foundation addresses the health needs of traditionally underserved populations, including low-income individuals, people of color, youth, and residents of rural areas.
Grants are provided that address diversity in the health professions workforce. Awards are commonly given to organizations that provide fellowships to support pipeline programs, scholarships, mentoring programs, internships and fellowships that support and advance career opportunities for people of color in the health professions, including allied health and public health professions. Organizations that support URM students in the health professions through strategic partnerships, leadership development, continuing education, and networking activities are also eligible for funding. In addition, the Foundation funds organizations that educate policy makers about public and institutional policies that promote diversity in the health professions. The Foundation’s Diversity in the Health Professions Priority Area Grants provide academic enhancement, financial support,