About the Healthcare Scholarship Fund
What is the Healthcare Scholarship Fund?
The Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Healthcare Scholarship Fund is the health plan’s partnership with local academic institutions to help remove the barrier of debt for medical students and develop a growing workforce for healthcare professionals to care for the Inland Empire’s growing Medi-Cal population.
Why is the Healthcare Scholarship Fund needed?
According to the California Healthcare Foundation, the Inland Empire has one of the lowest ratios of Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) and specialty physicians per 100,000 people in California. In addition, the Inland Empire lacks adequate Specialty and Behavioral Health practitioner capacity to serve the current growing population.
With the average cost of a four-year medical degree standing firm at $276,800, pursuing a career in the medical field is out of reach for more and more each year. The HSF will aid students by helping to remove the financial burden of medical school that often restricts the choices of many aspiring healthcare professionals and allow recipients to immediately pursue careers in healthcare.
I am a student and am interested in becoming a Doctor, what should I do?
Students interested in the IEHP Healthcare Scholarship Fund are encouraged to contact the academic institutions below for more information on how apply. While each institution may have differing eligibility requirements, all Healthcare Scholarship Fund scholarships require students commit to practicing in the Inland Empire for 5 years after graduation.
Participating schools and programs include:
- Loma Linda University Medical School
- University of California Riverside
- California University of Science and Medicine
Meet Our Scholars
The Healthcare Scholarship Fund's inaugural cohort brings together a diverse group of students from the Inland Empire. More than 30 recipient students grew up in the Inland Empire and more than 50% are first generation medical students and grew up in low-income households. Through the scholarship fund, aspiring healthcare professionals will be guided through the system and connected to the health plan’s provider network. This allows students to pursue successful careers in healthcare immediately after graduation to help support the region’s growing population.
Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Inland Empire Medical Community Service Awardees
Class of 2022
Ye Jin Jeon
Ye Jin's Why:
“I applied for the Inland Empire Medical Community Service Award because the goal and priority to expand access to care and healthcare provider options for the Southern California region aligns with my calling. As a child growing up in the San Bernardino County, I saw the economic disproportion within my own neighborhood, and this compelled me…God has led me pursue my medical career”
Class of 2024
“Simply put, my heart lies in the Inland Empire. This community of individuals have fostered me and loved me since I was a child and all I can hope is to pay that love and care forward. . . . My dream is to be on the front lines as a representative for these individuals who frequently become marginalized…”
University of California, Riverside
Dean's Mission Recipients
Four Year Award
“I want to work particularly with the underserved in this area because I truly believe that being a physician is a privilege and with that there is a responsibility to be an advocate for those who are facing health disparities. I am particularly interested in providing care to underserved Native American and Hispanic communities. Not many healthcare providers are aware of the disparities these two communities face and I want to be an advocate for them, especially in the Inland Empire.”
“Growing up, my family lacked meaningful access to healthcare and relied on a local free clinic as our only means of interacting with a physician. Through my personal experience with the free clinic, I developed a passion for service to the underserved communities who lack meaningful access to basic healthcare amenities due to low socioeconomic status. I sought opportunities that would allow me to pay my gratitude forward by becoming part of the solution to healthcare disparities in Inland Southern California. Through my volunteer efforts in free clinics and other community involvement programs, I witnessed the passion and dedication that health care providers and volunteers in the area have towards the underserved community. This realization deepened my connection to Inland Southern California because I was reminded so much of the health care professionals that helped my family when they couldn't help themselves.”
Two Year Award
“A San Bernardino native, I have had the opportunity to volunteer in my community as a Spanish language translator for free clinics. Most patients I have spoken with fell into the category of uninsured, underinsured, or undocumented. It became clear the extent of need in this region when I would translate to the providers that this was the first-time dozens of our patients had ever seen a medical professional; however, this wasn’t uncommon. To these patients and their stories, I thank them because they inspire me to pursue Emergency Medicine where I can become a valuable player in providing care, providing resources, or providing comfort.”
“My goal of pursuing a career at the intersection of medicine and public health is driven by a desire to put patients and communities at the center of our health care system in the U.S. This desire was sparked most poignantly by my own experiences as an IEHP patient growing up in the Inland Empire. As I prepare for a future career as a pediatrician in this region, I hope to serve as an advocate for children and families, providing direct health services but also creating systems change.”
“The earliest memory of my grandfather is him telling me, “Mijo, tienes que aprender Español para ayudar tu comunidad, you have to learn how to speak Spanish to help your community”. These words were often repeated to me by my grandfather who lamented the fact that he only spoke Spanish. I witnessed the health disparities affecting my community; doctors who did not speak Spanish, parents who could not afford a trip to the doctors’ office, and a healthcare system that was not inclusive of my community’s culture. I have a duty to give back to a school, a community, that has given me so much.”
“I see the medical profession through the lens of an individual who had lived through challenging times and witnessed how one individual provider can make such and impact when their heart is in the right place. My dedication to our underserved community stems from that of a lifelong mission I have set for myself which is to ensure I give back to a community that I am deeply associated with, they are my founding roots in the United States, and I vow to be at the forefront of the next generation of physicians that care and give the underserved hope.”
University of California, Riverside
Dean's Mission Recipients
“I spent most of my life in underprivileged areas and saw firsthand how difficult healthcare access could be through inadequate financial resources, transportation, or translation services. Thanks to this investment in my studies, there is less stress in my life. I can focus on my studies and eventually give back to the community by becoming a physician who will advocate for patients without meaningful access to health care.”
“As a first-generation college student, there have always been many barriers in my path to higher education. I am the eldest daughter of an immigrant family, and it is truly an honor to be able to reach this point in my education and in my career, and to give back to my parents who have sacrificed so much for me and my sisters. Growing up in an underserved community showed me the long-lasting impacts of health inequities and strengthened my resolve to pursue a career in medicine. Working in the Inland Empire, I hope to not only address, but actively work towards combating the health inequity present in our communities.”
“Despite disadvantages encountered when living in a low-income community, I am grateful for the privilege I had in meeting physicians dedicated to their practice and willing to share that love through mentorship. These individuals have served as exemplary medical professionals and have encouraged me to follow in their footsteps. As a future physician, I aspire to empathetically care for patients by allowing my past experiences to enhance my understanding of their needs. I also plan to incorporate teaching into patient care by presenting opportunities for students to shadow and be mentored for a career in medicine.”
“I am the daughter of Mexican Immigrants and grew up in Compton, California where I unfortunately was quickly desensitized to violence and was able to tell the difference between a firework and a gun shot. My mother had to travel a significant distance to ensure we had adequate healthcare. Despite these conditions, my parents always stressed education and did their best to give me what I needed. These life circumstances ignited my passion to serve those in disadvantaged communities, which I interacted with throughout my educational career. The Inland Empire Health Program Scholarship means I can achieve my dream –by practicing medicine in a community that deserves adequate, equitable, and accessible healthcare. I will serve as a bilingual physician in the Inland Empire that can serve families like my own and many more.”