Alvernia University Awarded $550,000 Federal Grant to Support Disadvantaged Students

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Alvernia College Logo
The Official Logo of Alvernia University, Reading, Pa. (PRNewsFoto/Alvernia University)

Funds will be used to support nursing workforce diversity in primary care settings and medically underserved communities

READING, Pa., Aug. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Alvernia University announced today that it is one of only three institutions in the state to receive a 2016 competitive federal grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The $550,000 grant is renewable for four years and would potentially provide $2.2 million during the life of the award, allowing the university to offer more than 30 new scholarships to disadvantaged students who wish to pursue a career in nursing.

The award, when fully executed over four years, will be the largest federal grant received by the university.

“This expanded funding confirms Alvernia’s position as a regional leader inhealthcare education,” said Alvernia President Thomas F. Flynn, Ph.D. “Our innovative programming is aimed at preparing healthcare professionals to administer important, culturally competent patient care, across multiple community and acute care settings.”

Funding from the federal HRSA Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students Program is effective immediately, and will help provide financial resources to recruit and retain disadvantaged students, and support their progression — through completion of a nursing degree and into employment in underserved communities.

The grant funding will allow new scholarships at Alvernia for disadvantaged students interested in pursuing a career in nursing. “All healthcare is local and personal,” said Karen Thacker, Ph.D., RN, CNE, professor of nursing at Alvernia and dean of professional programs. “If we don’t deliver care that integrates our patients’ preference and value-systems with evidence-based practice, our efforts are minimalized in the long run.

“The central goal of these scholarships is to support a diverse student body to move through and graduate from our baccalaureate nursing program and provide professional nursing care in medically underserved communities.”

Flynn added that the new support will also help Alvernia advance its commitment to disadvantaged students in the City of Reading, in part through its Reading Collegiate Scholars Program. “Our hope is that these students continue to thrive, graduate from college, and become successful professionals and committed servant-leaders in the community.”

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number T08HP30170, and title “Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students” for $550,000 a year, from 2016-2019.