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United Health Foundation Provides $45,000 for Scholarships to the American Indian College Fund for Arizona Healthcare Students

DENVER, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Minneapolis-based United Health Foundation announced its commitment to American Indian education and desire to help solve health issues in Indian Country by donating $45,000 for nine $5,000 scholarships to the American Indian College Fund in support of Arizona students pursuing careers in the health sciences.

The scholarship recipients were chosen based on their academic achievement, financial need, education enrollment status, and American Indian community involvement. Scholarship recipients include five tribal college students at Dine College, including Melissa Clark, a pre-medicine major from Shiprock, New Mexico; Alison Dedman, a nursing major from Nazlini, Arizona; Danielle Goldman, a pre-medicine major from Farmington, New Mexico; Danelle Jishie, a pre-medicine major from Tsaile, Arizona; and Thomasita Kinsel, a health occupations major from Lukachukai, Arizona. Mainstream college scholarship recipients include Rachelle Hovel, a social work major from Phoenix, Arizona and Tenai Roan, a nursing major from St. Michaels, Arizona, both studying at Arizona State University; and Kelly Saganey, a biology major from Flagstaff, Arizona and Belinda Style, a social work major from Tuba City, Arizona, both studying at Northern Arizona University.

Richard B. Williams, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, "We are honored that United Health Foundation is working to solve the health issues in Indian Country by helping to educate aspiring American Indian health care workers. Our research has shown that the majority of our tribal college graduates return to their communities with the desire to improve the lives of their people. What better way to do so than to use a scholarship to earn an education to help solve the disproportionate health care issues affecting Native people, such as diabetes."

The United Health Foundation's mission led it to support the American Indian College Fund. "The United Health Foundation is proud to work with the American Indian College Fund to encourage American Indian students to pursue careers in health and health care. It is now more important than ever to increase the number of diverse health professionals as a bridge between the mainstream medical profession and the growing number of patients from diverse backgrounds," said Daniel Johnson, president and executive director, United Health Foundation.

The American Indian College Fund supports qualified American Indian scholars by providing financial support to encourage students to remain in college and complete a college degree and build a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.

About the American Indian College Fund

With its credo "Educating the Mind and Spirit," the Denver-based American Indian College Fund is the nation's largest provider of private scholarships for American Indian students for students seeking to better their lives and communities through education at the nation's 32 accredited tribal colleges and universities. For more information about the American Indian College Fund or to make a donation, visit

About the United Health Foundation

Guided by a passion to help people live healthier lives, United Health Foundation provides helpful information to support decisions that lead to better health outcomes and healthier communities. The Foundation also supports activities that expand access to quality health care services for those in challenging circumstances and partners with others to improve the well being of communities. Since established by UnitedHealth Group [NYSE: UNH] in 1999 as a not for profit private foundation, the Foundation has committed more than $160 million to improve health and health care. For more information, visit

SOURCE American Indian College Fund
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