Recently, CVS Health Foundation announced it has established a five-year, $5 million CVS Health Foundation Health Care Careers Scholarship program, in collaboration with UNCF (United Negro College Fund). Scholarships will be awarded to Black and Latinx students pursuing an academic career in health care. The new scholarship program is part of CVS Health’s nearly $600 million commitment over the next five years to address inequity faced by Black people and other disenfranchised communities.
“This scholarship will feed a robust pipeline of under-represented students, which will in turn strengthen the pool of talented college graduates ready for today’s and tomorrow’s workplace,” said David Casey, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health. “Enabling students to excel in the workforce particularly people of color and those facing financial barriers advances our commitment to social justice and equity and will have a lasting impact.”
Address Racial Inequality
In 2020 CVS Health reported that they planned to invest nearly $600 million over five years to advance employee, community and public policy initiatives that address inequality faced by Black people and other disenfranchised communities. The investment follows a commitment from President and CEO Larry Merlo to evaluate how the company operates and how it can use its influence to be a force for good in communities across the country.
“Our nearly 300,000 employees are a microcosm of America, and a reflection of the diversity that is foundational to who we are as a country,” said President and CEO Larry Merlo. “The strategic agenda we’re laying out today will harness the strength of that diversity and focus on the areas where we can have the greatest impact.”
“The private sector must take action to get to the heart of institutional racism,” Merlo continued. “As we learn from the perspectives of our Black colleagues and the diverse communities we serve, we’ll use that input to inform our advocacy agenda going forward.”
CVS Health Foundation College Scholarship
According to a report by UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute, students who receive a UNCF scholarship outperform the national population of students in persistence through college and to graduation. In fact, 70% of African American freshmen who received a UNCF general scholarship graduated within six years, compared to only 38% of all African American students nationwide.
“This is an incredibly generous gift from the CVS Health Foundation,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF’s president and CEO. “We know that African American, Latinx and other minority communities have been disproportionately impacted by the current pandemic. It’s particularly important right now to welcome as many students of color as we can into the health care field.
The ripple effect of COVID-19 has the potential to discourage students from pursuing a college education and may prevent others from continuing their education. Recognizing these facts, the CVS Health Foundation is providing a pathway for successful applicants to continue on their journey to attain a college degree and become our next generation of pandemic frontliners.”
Black and Latinx students attending an accredited four-year college or university in the United States with an interest in pursuing a career in the health care sector are eligible to apply for the need-based awards. Eligible areas of study will bolster the health care innovation talent pipeline, with majors including pharmacy, nursing, business management, biology, biochemistry, finance, operations/supply chain, data analytics, information technology, actuary and human resources. The two-year scholarships will support students in their junior and senior years as they complete their studies.
“Working with UNCF, the CVS Health Foundation is supporting a best-in-class model for moving students to and through college,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health and President of the CVS Health Foundation. “UNCF has an impressive track record of impacting minority education and improving graduation rates for students, while making a meaningful difference in the lives of selected scholars.”