Twenty students from West Coast University-Los Angeles were each awarded $1,000 education grants by the LA Downtown Medical Center Foundation this July, in an effort to support and expand the nursing population.
LA Downtown Medical Center CEO Mark Valentino said the grants had been in the works for over a year, and the foundation was pleased to finally present them to the WCU-Los Angeles nursing students at two separate luncheon events. Valentino said medical centers have seen a dramatic rise in psychiatric needs both in Los Angeles and nationwide post-pandemic and the LADMC Foundation was trying to do its part to reward individuals who have chosen a career in health care.
"We've realized both during the pandemic and afterward that there's really a great shortage of healthcare professionals both in the acute care space as well as in the acute psychiatric space, so we're hoping that some of the individuals recognized here today will choose to be part of our community and try to help solve some of the problems that we're facing," Valentino said.
While the scholarships didn't come as a complete surprise to the WCU students, WCU-LA clinical relations manager Samir Roberts said everyone was shocked by the Foundation's generosity and appreciated the help.
"We are so grateful to have tremendous support from our clinical partner, LA Downtown Medical Center,” Roberts said. “These scholarships speak to how they value new-grad nurses, in making sure they are well equipped and ready to provide top-notch patient care."
WCU-LA BSN student Chana Levin said she was doubly grateful to LADMC, both for the financial help but also for opening its doors after the pandemic and providing the students a place to have their clinical rotations.
“We're all here because we love nursing and we love to help people but to have a hospital recognize the work ethic that goes into it and the dedication that it takes to succeed was extremely rewarding,” Levin said. “These funds can go really far and, for someone who is paying for school on their own, it's doing a lot more than I'm sure they can imagine.”