The Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation hosted a reception at the Rural Health Building on the Indian Hills Community College campus to introduce and honor its most recent recipients of the Laboratory Control Ltd. Healthcare Career Scholarship. The LCL Scholarship program was started in 2004 to support local students that are pursuing a degree in a healthcare field that is a known shortage area, such as nursing. According to Steve Dust, President and CEO “We’re using LCL to help create a rewarding professional life for our students, of course, though moreover, we’re competing with much larger cities for people graduating with rare skills and knowledge in the healthcare fields. The academy plus the LCL scholarship gives us a competitive advantage to induce these talented students to return to Southeast Iowa and Ottumwa. It takes more than words, so the Foundation is also investing strategically in the housing, amenities, educational infrastructure, and innovation ecosystem that it will take to bring young professionals back home to practice. These students are the future leadership of our communities as well as the heart of the health care delivery systems.”
The Legacy Foundation partners with Indian Hills Community College to introduce and encourage high school students to consider career in health care, but also, connect and support students currently pursuing a healthcare related degree. This past week, 10 students from high schools around southeast Iowa attended the Health Care Career Exploration Academy. The students explore several different health care careers, participate in hands-on experiential activities, learn about applying for colleges and scholarships, and visit the University of Iowa Hospitals, Simpson College, Des Moines University, and A. T. Still in Kirksville, Missouri. The week concludes with a reception where the high school students meet the current undergraduate and graduate LCL Scholars.
“We get to know these students very well”, says Grants Program Manager Amy Nossaman, “Many receive an LCL Scholarship four times; we keep in touch through social media, send birthday and graduation cards, try to meet up with them if we visit their campus, introduce them to local health care professionals, and support them in any other way we can.” The Laboratory Control Ltd. Scholarship was designed to essentially “grow our own” future healthcare providers. Supporting local students and providing network opportunities is one of the best ways to fill the shortage of providers in our small, rural communities. “We hope to see the 2019 Health Career Exploration Academy participants back here in 2020 or 2021 as LCL Scholars.”
Do they always return to southeast Iowa when the graduate? Unfortunately, no, but the percentages are still very good. Since 2004, the Laboratory Control Ltd. Health Care Career Scholarship has awarded $396,825 to 151 recipients. Of the 151, 50 have graduated with a health care related degree and have returned to southeast Iowa. Those returning include several nurses and nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physical therapists, dentists, and an orthopedic surgeon. Thirty-Five recipients are working in healthcare somewhere other than southeast Iowa, and 37 are still pursuing their degree.
More information about the Laboratory Control Ltd. Health Career Scholarship can be found here.