DES MOINES — Bekah Horstman, an employee of Pella Regional Health Center who is studying Nursing at Northwestern College, has been awarded a $3,500 scholarship from the Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation (IHERF), which is supported by the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA).
Horstman is among 62 outstanding students from all over Iowa who have received assistance this year from the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program.
IHA established the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program in 2004 to help address the ongoing shortage of health care professionals and encourage young Iowans to establish or continue their careers with Iowa hospitals. The first scholarships were awarded in 2005 and now over 560 students have benefited from the program.
In exchange for that financial support, scholarship-receiving students agree to work one year in an Iowa hospital for each year they receive an award. In this way, the scholarship program helps stabilize and enhance Iowa’s hospital workforce. Today, more than 327 scholarship recipients are working in Iowa hospitals.
Due to these unprecedented times with COVID-19, IHA staff evaluated scholarship applications from 180 students who were judged on grade-point average, a written personal statement, letters of reference and extracurricular, community and health care-related activities.
“Because of the generosity of Iowa hospital leaders and other supporters of this program, we have presented more than $1.8 million in scholarships,” said IHA President and CEO Kirk Norris. “We are proud to help these high-achieving students fulfill their career goals at Iowa hospitals.”
IHERF is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Iowa Hospital Association. IHERF is a charitable nonprofit and exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.