$500,000 Fund Supports Future Healthcare Workers

February 15, 2024
By Melissa Johns, Executive Director
Santa Clara Family Health Plan Team Presents Big Check

With a $500,000 investment in the education of future health care professionals, Santa Clara Family Health Plan is making a big impact in celebration of its 25th anniversary. We are thrilled to be part of its ambitious new scholarship program.

In partnership with seven local community colleges and San Jose State University, Santa Clara Family Health Plan will provide scholarships of up to $5,000 to reduce barriers for low-income students seeking to enter careers in health care. This new scholarship will make a tremendous difference for students attending Mission College and West Valley College. For example, Angelica Salazar, a recent graduate of the vocational nursing program at Mission College, grew up in a low-income family and acknowledges that scholarships help students like her reach their academic goals without experiencing a huge financial burden.

SCFHP understands that many non-tuition expenses, such as housing, childcare, food, and transportation, can present significant challenges – especially for students from diverse and marginalized communities. But with scholarships like this one, students like Angelica can look toward the future with optimism. As Angelica says, "I am determined to be the best nurse that I can be and utilize my skills and abilities to help provide the best quality care to patients and to become their advocate. I firmly believe that as a nurse, empathy and compassion is what makes a difference in care and I am confident that my education at Mission College and experiences have helped me achieve these values. I hope to one day work in low-income communities with populations that face disparities that affect their health and well-being due to barriers and the lack of resources in the healthcare system. "

Studies have shown that the lack of diversity in medical settings can have drastic effects on the health of a community. The need for culturally competent care is essential to support local communities in Santa Clara County. SCFHP believes that its scholarship recipients, once in their chosen health care career, will support SCFHP’s mission to improve the health and well-being of its members by addressing their health and social needs in a culturally competent manner.

SCFHP CEO Christine Tomcala

Christine Tomcala, CEO, Santa Clara Family Health Plan

“With this scholarship program, Santa Clara Family Health Plan is honored to invest in our members to become the future health care workforce in Santa Clara County,” said Christine Tomcala, SCFHP CEO. “The cost of tuition, coupled with high-cost living in Silicon Valley and day-to-day expenses, can be prohibitive for those looking to pursue health care careers. By establishing this scholarship, we hope to make it easier for individuals from diverse backgrounds to enter health care professions and better serve their community.”

The West Valley-Mission Foundation is grateful to Santa Clara Family Health Plan for investing in our students. We look forward to awarding the first SCFHP 25th Anniversary Scholarship Awards this Spring! 

About Santa Clara Family Health Plan
Santa Clara Family Health Plan (SCFHP) is a local, community-based health plan dedicated to creating opportunities for better health and wellness for all. In partnership with providers and community organizations since 1997, we work to ensure everyone in Santa Clara County has access to equitable, high-quality health care. With a strong commitment to integrity, outstanding service, and support for our community, we serve more than 270,000 people through our Medi-Cal and Medicare health care plans.