Each year, over 5,500 students at Fresno State declare majors in health care-related fields —with a majority of those students staying and serving in the Central Valley long after graduating.

CalViva Health is creating opportunities for these future health care leaders with a $200,000 gift to fund scholarships that will empower future physicians, nurses, physical therapists, social workers and other students studying in health care-related majors on campus.

“We are happy to invest in future qualified health care professionals who will, in turn, serve our region,” said Greg Hund, CEO for CalViva Health. “It is a known fact that the Central Valley is in dire need of health care providers, and we believe in reinvesting back into our community to help ensure our provider needs are met.”

The gift demonstrates CalViva Health’s commitment to help Fresno State students stay enrolled, graduate and obtain future employment while maintaining a livable wage. Eligible students must be enrolled full-time and also qualify for state and federal aid, while maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher.

CalViva Health’s gift has the potential to help students like recent biochemistry graduate Bagieng Keophimphone, a son of Laotian refugees who saw firsthand the struggles his father faced in receiving quality care, or those like social work graduate James Borunda, who faced many personal hardships throughout life that inspired him to become a strong advocate for others in his community.

A total of 41 students have been offered the scholarship for the fall 2020 semester.

While the population in the Central Valley continues to expand, the number of health care providers serving this growing population remains a challenge.

“Central Valley residents have long faced significant barriers to receiving quality health care, one of the biggest barriers being a shortage of acute care physicians and the other being access to care. We believe we are helping to remedy both,” Hund said.

According to a study by the California Future Health Workforce Commission, California will experience a projected shortage of 4,100 primary care physicians by 2030.

“We are truly appreciative of CalViva’s gift, which comes at a time when students need more support than ever to stay on track and reach their career goals,” said Dr. Carolyn Coon, dean of students and acting vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Fresno State. “These scholarships will help our students continue their training in various medical fields and prepare them to become the next generation of frontline workers serving the Valley and beyond.”

CalViva Health — a locally managed public health care plan — serves Fresno, Kings and Madera Counties, and strives to provide access to quality, cost-effective health care throughout the region.