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NHHF Scholarship Program Targets Growing Demand for Diversity Among Health Care Professionals

NEW YORK, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ten students pursuing health care careers in New York and New Jersey will receive $5,000 and $2,000 scholarships from the National Hispanic Health Foundation (NHHF) at the Fifth Annual Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Gala at 7 p.m.December 4 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.

The scholarship program was supported by United Health Foundation, who donated $15,000 for $5,000 awards to the top three students. Other major contributors included AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Empire Blue Cross, PepsiCo, Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers of America, and The City University of New York.

Health Leadership Awards will be presented to Karen Davis, Ph.D., President, The Commonwealth Fund; The Honorable Malcolm A. Smith, New York State Senate Minority Leader; and Robert I. Grossman, M.D., Dean, New York University School of Medicine. "We are proud to honor these role models for our health leaders of tomorrow," said Dr. Elena Rios, president and CEO of NHHF.

Scholarship recipients are recognized for demonstrated academic excellence, leadership and commitment to the Hispanic community, the nation's largest minority group. They are dedicated to improving the health of Hispanic communities. Their disciplines are in five areas: medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, and health policy and management.

The scholarship recipients are: Benjamin Gardea, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey School of Dentistry; Marvin Abarca, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine; Sarah Garza, Columbia University School of Nursing, Desiree Gaitan, New York University College of Nursing; Christian Sanchez, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University; Diana Mendoza, Baruch College, City University of New York; Yamnia Cortes, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University; Rowland Chavez, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University; Cassandra Quinones, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine; and Lisa M. Ochoa-Frongia, Mount Sinai School of Medicine. A prestigious panel of health care officials from the Wagner School, National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Latino Caucus of the American Public Health Association, the Hispanic Dental Association, and NHMA selected the awardees.

The NHHF will also award ten scholarships in Sacramento, California in February 2009. Since the scholarship program was launched in 2004, NHHF has awarded 60 scholarships totaling $115,000. "We are proud of our role in filling the growing demand for diversity through this program," Rios said, "By recognizing their achievements, we are nurturing the nation's future health professions leaders."

National Hispanic Health Foundation (NHHF) is the 501(c)(3) arm of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, that represents Hispanic physicians across the U.S. NHHF, the research arm of the NHMA, is affiliated with New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a center of academic excellence for public service, including health policy and management, leadership and health services research.

For information on theNational Hispanic Health Foundation, go to

SOURCE National Hispanic Health Foundation
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