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Kaiser Permanente Diversity Scholarship
(La Voz file photo)

By Clerissa Salazar

A recent study published in Academic Medicine shows that Latino physicians are not keeping pace with the rate of population growth. It was suggested that evening out the numbers could also address the issue with Latino health disparities.

A little over one-fourth of Hispanic adults lack a good health care provider within the United States, and a smaller percentage obtained no health care from medical fields in the last year. Latinos are the United State’s fastest growing population with the least representation in health care.

Kaiser Permanente has found a way to combat this issue while rewarding students for their hard work and dedication. A scholarship program was created catering to the minority community in hopes of diversifying the medical field. The diversity scholarship was started 11 years ago in order to try and help Latinos in their quest for health care. Kaiser Permanente’s Diversity & Inclusion center of Expertise sponsors all of the scholarships within the program. The diversity scholarship has helped many students, both entering college and further education, pursue their goals in order to help out others.

The scholarship does not come easy though, graduating high school seniors must have a 2.7 GPA or higher and be a Colorado resident in order to apply for the scholarship. The diversity scholarship caters to African-American, Asian/Pacific, Latino, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Native-American, U.S. Veterans and a person with a disability.

Once the students have applied they are evaluated on a multitude of qualities including: academic achievements, community service, diversity characteristics, financial help and their interest in seeking an education in a medical field. It is a tough process but scholarships awarded range anywhere from $2,000-$5,000.

Once the scholarship is awarded and the recipients reach their second year of college they are eligible for more programs. They can apply to be considered for a one-time scholarship that can be used toward the third year of their college career and are also eligible to apply for paid summer internships at Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser scholarship recipients are considered a key for almost all of the summer internship positions.

The scholarship is not the only program Kaiser offers to the minority community. In 2013 the corporation was awarded “Corporation of the Year” because of their constant outreach to further minorities. The corporation has also made it a point to support minority business enterprises. Over the years it has invested millions of dollars within minority businesses in Colorado. The Kaiser Permanente Corporation also has a Share program that helps a multitude of people including low-income and educating others on health care.

Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan and was name the “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates. It has also been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as the top-ranked commercial health plan in Colorado.

The scholarship program has helped hundreds of students strive to reach their goals while also improving the health care system for minorities. The amount of money and time that has gone into the financial help for students is a contributing benefactor for most continuing their career. Although the scholarship is a tough process, the rewards are extremely beneficial to the student and for the community.

The Kaiser Permanente Diversity Scholarship program proudly presents a great goal, “Our goal is to help underrepresented populations have a chance to earn a degree, be able to make a positive impact on the community, and assist people within the community.”

If it were not for this scholarship opportunity a lot of students may not have received the chance to grow in the medical field. Kaiser Permanente awards their 2016 recipients at a breakfast at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel on Friday, August 5. La Voz is a proud sponsor.

If you are interested and would like more information about the Kaiser Permanente Diversity Program scholarship call 202-614-1400, email or visit





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