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

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ten health professional students pursuing health care careers in California will receive $5,000 and $2,000 scholarships from the National Hispanic Health Foundation (NHHF) at the Second Annual Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Gala at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento on February 11, 2009.

The keynote speaker will be the Honorable Dean Florez, California Senate Majority Leader. Carmela Castellano-Garcia, President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Primary Care Association; The Honorable Joe Coto, Member, California State Assembly; Lawrence B. Garcia, Board of Trustees, Mercy Foundation; and Claire Pomeroy, Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences at the University of California Davis will receive Health Leadership Awards. "We are proud to honor these leaders who are committed to service to California," said Dr. Elena Rios, president and CEO of NHHF. "They are increasing access to health care, shaping health reform policy and increasing Hispanic students in health professions schools."

The scholarship program is supported by the United Health Foundation, Abbott, AETNA, California Endowment, Eli Lilly, University of California at Davis, California Healthcare, Blue of California, Molina Healthcare, Diepenbrock Harrison, Johnson and Johnson and PepsiCo.

This year's scholarship recipients have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership and commitment to serving the Hispanic community, the nation's largest minority group. Their disciplines are in five areas: medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, and health policy and management.

The awardees are: Hugo Torres, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine; Marina Alvarez, University of California in Los Angeles School of Public Health; Patrice Espinosa, University of California, San Francisco; Omar Guzman, University of California in Los Angeles School of Public Affairs; Christina Lares, San Diego State University; Angela Lemos, East Los Angeles College; Ana Melgar, University of California in Davis School of Medicine; Alfredo Mireles, Jr., University of California, San Francisco; Monica Pardo, University of California in Los Angeles School of Dentistry; and Gisela Villagomez, University of California, San Francisco. 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.

Since the scholarship program was launched in 2004, NHHF has awarded 70 scholarships totaling $138,000. "The NHHF is proud of its role in filling the growing demand for diversity through this scholarship program," Rios said. "By recognizing their achievements, we nurture the nation's future health professions leaders."

NHHF is the 501(c)(3) arm of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, and representing Hispanic physicians across the U.S.

For information on the National Hispanic Health Foundation, go to

SOURCE National Hispanic Health Foundation
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