Health Sciences Service Program awards $285,000 to support rural health care in West Virginia


The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) announced today that 12 health sciences students from across West Virginia have received financial support for their education through the state’s Health Sciences Service Program.

The Health Sciences Service Program was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 1995. Since its inception, the program has provided more than 180 health professionals with funds to help cover education expenses in exchange for a commitment to practice in a rural or underserved community in West Virginia.

Eligible students must be enrolled in the final year of a health professions graduate program and must commit to work in rural or underserved area of West Virginia following their graduation.

“The Health Sciences Service Program is a powerful recruiting tool to attract and retain qualified healthcare workers for rural and underserved areas of our state,” Dr. Paul Hill, HEPC Chancellor, said. “The program is a great example of our efforts to better align our higher education system with the needs of West Virginia’s communities.”

The program is open to students studying to become dentists, nurse practitioners, nurse educators, nurse midwives, pharmacists, physical therapists, primary care physicians, physician assistants, doctoral psychologists or licensed clinical social workers.

HEPC’s Division of Health Sciences administers the awards, which this year total $285,000 and range from $15,000 to $30,000 per student. Recipients were selected based on their academic achievements and demonstration of a strong commitment to advancing rural health and the healthcare of rural and underserved populations.

Dentistry

  •  Christa Bryan from Taylor County, West Virginia, who graduated from West Virginia University
  • Amanda Honeycutt from Chapmanville, West Virginia, who graduated from West Virginia University
  • Janel Kalar from Elkins, West Virginia, who graduated from West Virginia University

Medicine

  • Christopher Kennedy from Morgantown, West Virginia, who graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Darrin Nichols from Walker, West Virginia, who graduated from West Virginia University School of Medicine
  • Rebecca Thompson from Capon Bridge, West Virginia, who graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Courtney Wellman from Wayne, West Virginia, who graduated from Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

Nurse Practitioner

  •  Tammi Blankenship from Hanover, West Virginia, who graduated from West Virginia University
  • Christy Holstein from Daniels, West Virginia, who graduated from West Virginia University

Physical Therapy

  •  Carly Caldon from Ripley, West Virginia, who graduated from West Virginia University
  • Christa Park from Summerville, West Virginia, who graduated from Marshall University
  • Colin Pierce from Mason, West Virginia, who graduated from Marshall University

For more information about the Health Sciences Service Program, visit the state’s free college-planning website at www.cfwv.com.

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