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Growing demand in the healthcare field is met with local investment in training and education of frontline workers
April 22, 2021 (La Mesa) – As the demand for frontline workers surges, the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) continues to invest in the future of East County health care students through its annual scholarships.
The health care and social assistance sector is estimated to have the most accelerated growth through 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, with a 3.1 percent growth per year. Several areas are experiencing hiring surges, including nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, dentistry, and physician assistance.
Since 1999, the district has awarded scholarship grants to East County high school and college students, worth more than $1 million in higher education tuition. This year, a total of $205,400 was awarded to 59 students working or living in East County: 44 high school students and 15 pursuing higher education.

High school recipients interested in a healthcare career are selected by school administrators representing 22 local high schools. The 15 higher education students are selected by the GHD board, based on future goals in their health care career.
One of the Health Tech Scholarship winners, Joseph Vahle, is enrolled in the Cardiovascular Technology program at Grossmont College. Joseph emphasized his excitement to give back to the local community that helped him. “Over the next five years I will gain more experience and expertise, while continuing to learn about new advancements in my field,” Joseph shared. “Further down the road, I would also like to teach others and mentor them through the same steps I am taking.”
A total of five scholarships in the amount of $3,500 each were awarded to students pursuing health tech careers; five $10,000 scholarships to behavioral health students; three $7,000 scholarships for advanced registered nurses; two awards for nursing, one in the amount of $5,000 and the second $3,000. The remaining $113,850 was awarded to high school students.
“Investing in these local students pursuing health care also supports the future of the health care industry,” said District Board President Virginia Hall (photo, right). “The next wave of healthcare innovation will come from this generation.” 
The application period for 2021-2022 will open on December 1, 2021. More information is available at Grossmont Healthcare District’s Scholarships page.
The Grossmont Healthcare District is a public agency that supports health-related community programs and services in East County. The District formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital. It serves as landlord of Sharp Grossmont Hospital and owns the property and buildings on behalf of East County taxpayers. The district is governed by a five-member board of directors who represent more than 500,000 people residing within 750 square miles.

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