A $100,000 donation from Amerigroup to the University of Mississippi Foundation has established a new scholarship fund to support University of Mississippi Medical Center students who are pursuing nurse practitioner degrees with a focus in family medicine or psychiatric/mental health. File Photo by Jessica King
A $100,000 donation from Amerigroup to the University of Mississippi Foundation has established a new scholarship fund to support University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) students who are pursuing nurse practitioner degrees with a focus in family medicine or psychiatric/mental health. Students who are eligible to receive an Amerigroup Mississippi Rural Nursing Scholarship are native Mississippians who can commit to practicing in rural communities for a minimum of two years after graduation.
“Closing the gap in health disparities and supporting Mississippi’s nursing workforce are priorities that Amerigroup has committed to address with innovative solutions that can reinvent healthcare across our state,” said Tara Clark, who leads Amerigroup Mississippi. “For decades, our organization has been pioneering solutions to usher in a new era of healthcare that is more equitable and works better for everyone, and we are pleased for the opportunity to introduce these solutions in my home state of Mississippi.”
Approximately 54 percent of Mississippi’s residents live in rural areas, ranking the state as the country’s fourth largest rural population. More than half of the state’s doctors practice in four urban areas and all 82 Mississippi counties are considered to be medically underserved. Rural areas often have more elderly who require extra care and residents who are in poorer health, have fewer health resources and face significant barriers to accessing care. Additionally, healthcare professionals are frequently drawn away from rural areas by urban opportunities.
“Healthcare worker shortages are at an all-time high, especially across Mississippi, so it is critical that we build a solid pipeline of nursing professionals who are committed to equitably serving the state they call home and the people they understand best,” said Dr. Julie Sanford, dean of the UMMC School of Nursing. “Thanks to Amerigroup’s support and the Amerigroup Mississippi Rural Nursing Scholarship, we are closer to eliminating disparities, increasing access to quality care and building a better, healthier future for our state.”
Amerigroup has made a commitment to playing a central role in the health and lives of Mississippians by developing partnerships and investing in efforts that address critical priorities across the entire state, including efforts around mental health, maternal and children’s health, disease management, secondary education, workforce development, rural health equity and more. Amerigroup has also launched Amerigroup Rural Health Scholarships for students at Jackson State University and Alcorn State University.
For more information about the Amerigroup Mississippi Rural Nursing Scholarship, or to learn more about contributing to and supporting the University of Mississippi Medical Center, contact Meredith Aldridge at [email protected] or 601-815-7269.