The Healthcare Initiative Foundation of Montgomery County awarded The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) a $648,900 grant, which will fund 112 scholarships over five years to support students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Social Work program and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) School of Nursing. A primary goal of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation is to enhance and expand the workforce development in the healthcare field within Montgomery County. The scholarships will provide needed pathways to the degrees and careers that will directly power tomorrow’s healthcare workforce.
In addition, the grant will support four innovative initiatives to help prepare the scholarship recipients to meet the health and wellness needs of the community and connect them with future employers in their professional fields. The first initiative will help students learn interdisciplinary practices, rules, and responsibilities, and gain experience at the Mercy Health Clinic. The Mercy Health Clinic is a free, not-for-profit, non-sectarian, community based primary healthcare provider serving uninsured, low-income adult residents in Montgomery County. The second initiative will place students in clinic rotations at Montgomery County non-profits in the healthcare field which will enhance the students’ knowledge of community health and develop a greater understanding of the community.
In an effort to respond to the pressing need for culturally competent social workers with experience serving children under the age of 12, social work scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to complete their field placements with non-profits serving this age group. The third initiative will establish a Bilingual Writing Mentor Program to support the academic success of 20 students whose first language is not English.