The Muskogee Difference Health Scholarship (MDHS), a scholarship promoting health education, was recently awarded the Innovative Collaboration Award by the Northeast Oklahoma Regional Alliance. The Innovative Collaboration Award is given to a collaboration that has not been previously attempted in the region and the recipient receives $2,000 to help fund their efforts.
The Muskogee Difference Healthcare Scholarship promotes collaboration between Connors State College (CSC), Indian Capital Technology Center (ICTC), Eastern OK Health Care Coalition (EOK Health) and the City of Muskogee Foundation to promote local health care education, workforce development, and student and employee retention. The scholarship provides “gap funding” for students from Muskogee County pursuing qualifying nursing and allied health degree programs offered at CSC or through a cooperative alliance with ICTC. In return, students sign a commitment to work in health care in Muskogee County for two years upon graduation.
“Thanks to the forward-looking support of the City of Muskogee Foundation, this scholarship is a game changer for local health care students,” said Lisa Wade, MDHS director. “Partnering with other community members to empower students to achieve their dreams while helping Muskogee fill jobs in health professions is a win for everyone.”
This innovative program seeks to enhance recruitment, education and retention of both health care students and health care professionals in an effort to reduce the widening gap between the growing demand and inadequate supply of qualified health professionals.
Overall, the MDHS collaboration benefits area students by reducing the financial barrier of higher education, area schools by helping to establish Muskogee as an area health education hub, and employers by incentivizing students to work local for at least two years.
The MDHS scholarship application is available online and due Nov. 1 for priority consideration for the Spring 2014 semester. For more information on the Muskogee Difference Healthcare Scholarship, contact the Connors State College MDHS office at (918) 684-5447 or visit www.connorsstate.edu/md.