Patterson Family Foundation awards grant for Kansas County Scholarships at WSU

Health professions student and instructor

The WSU College of Health Professions (CHP) was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Patterson Family Foundation to support scholarships for health professions students from rural Kansas counties. The scholarship will be awarded to 10 students during the 2022-23 academic year, helping close the gap of unmet financial needs.

This grant will advance the work of Wichita State to partner with communities, organizations and other universities to offer collaborative solutions to help our students and state thrive. With more than 90 percent of Kansas counties designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area, the need to support education for CHP students is significant.

“The College of Health Professions is ecstatic to receive this generous grant from the Patterson Family Foundation,” said Gregory Hand, dean of the college. “It will create a huge impact for health professions majors from rural counties as they pursue degrees at WSU, and we’re excited to build on this relationship as we lead change in healthcare education in Kansas.”

Far more students apply for financial help than can be supported with available resources, and the average gap of unmet financial needs is often higher for CHP students. Need-based scholarships help alleviate economic hardships and create an opportunity for graduates to contribute to their communities without the burden of student loan payments.

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“Students from small, rural communities can get overlooked when applying for financial aid,” said Brad Kohlman, director of development for Kansas counties at the WSU Foundation. “But this scholarship support will be transformative for the students, their families and their home communities for years to come.”

Rural communities with a low population of college graduates are more likely to see students return after graduation to help advance their communities. These graduates often bring new perspectives and participate in local activities to contribute to economic growth.

Local organizations and leaders understand their challenges better than anyone, which is why the Patterson Family Foundation seeks to partner with these community members to find solutions that work. Equipping more rural county students with the skills taught in CHP degree programs has the potential to reduce the lack of healthcare resources available in rural areas across the state.

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