Saint Alphonsus Health System and the organization’s parent company, Trinity Health, are making it possible for Boise State health sciences students like Shylenta Zimmerman of Nampa, Idaho, to pursue their educations — and their dreams.
Zimmerman, a radiologic sciences major in Boise State’s College of Health Sciences, is the first in her family to attend university. The Trinity Health Community Investing Program, which makes scholarships available to highly motivated and compassionate health care students like Zimmerman, aims to reduce the social and economic disparities that lead to unequal health outcomes for minority and low-income communities.
When barriers to high-quality education are removed and quality clinical practice environments, mentorship and support are provided, a sustainable pipeline of diverse and talented future healthcare workers becomes possible.
“At Saint Alphonsus, is it our mission to be a compassionate and healing transforming presence in the communities we serve. We believe we can eliminate health inequities and transform healthcare delivery models by having diverse and culturally competent healthcare workers who reflect the communities we serve.” — Odette Bolano, Saint Alphonsus Health System President and CEO.
Since 2014, the Trinity program has provided $1.1 million in scholarship funds for 516 awards to College of Health Sciences students; Trinity Health recently renewed its partnership with Boise State for another five years, increasing its financial commitment and ensuring that more students like Zimmerman can succeed in their studies.
The scholarships focus on students within the Saint Alphonsus Health System service area of Idaho and Oregon and in particular, students from within three-dozen ZIP codes where socioeconomic gaps are especially pronounced.
Awards for the 2021-2022 academic year totaling $391,000 have been made to 104 College of Health Sciences students, including 88 students from the priority ZIP codes and service area. Recipients include nursing, social work, radiologic sciences, respiratory care, public health and genetic counseling undergraduate and graduate students.
Zimmerman, who is on track to graduate this year, has set her sights on certification and a career as a radiation therapist. Her positive attitude is already in the bag.
“I love the patient interaction and the fact that I can positively impact someone who is going through a possibly scary, nerve-wracking experience,” she said.
The support of Saint Alphonsus, Trinity Health and other donors who have students’ needs in mind makes all the difference; take it from Zimmerman.
“I am extremely thankful that they allow me to focus on my education without financial stress. Without it, I would have less time to dedicate to my studies.” —Shylenta Zimmerman, scholarship recipient