DENVER – The American Indian College Fund is launching its Diversity in Health Care Scholarship Program with a $1.6 million grant from the United Health Foundation to reduce health disparities and outcomes in Native communities.

The funding also aims to address underrepresentation of Native health care professionals in the workforce by providing academic and career services to American Indian and Alaska Native college students pursuing degrees in health care fields. The scholarship program is expected to support a cohort of 60 Native scholars per year, providing them each with a $5,000 scholarship that can be renewed annually for up to four years for students maintaining program eligibility.

“The vitality and well-being of tribal and rural individuals and families is greatly strengthened by the investment of United Health Foundation through this scholarship program and the related support the College Fund provides our scholars,” Cheryl Crazy Bull, American Indian College Fund President and CEO, said. “When scholars can access culturally relevant health education this provides highly qualified community members working in our health services. We are deeply appreciative of the commitment of the United Health Foundation.”

Eligible scholars must be pursuing careers in primary healthcare professions and intend to work in their tribal communities. College Fund data show that programs such as the United Health Foundation Diversity in Health Care Scholars Program offering substantial, renewable scholarships with student support services help support higher student retention and graduation rates. 

In addition to scholarship funding, scholars will receive support for college preparedness and success, career exploration and development, and healthcare industry-specific opportunities. College Fund staff will maintain direct contact with scholars throughout the academic year by hosting cohort meetings, campus visits, and publishing monthly newsletters. 

“Building a more diverse health workforce is foundational to providing culturally competent care,” Tracy Malone, president of the United Health Foundation, said. “We are grateful for the partnership with the American Indian College Fund that will help connect our dedicated resources and support with outstanding student candidates. Alongside all of our partners, we are committed to achieving amore diverse health workforce ready to deliver high-quality care to all communities to advance health equity.

The United Health Foundation has committed more than $700 million to programs and communities around the world. To learn more, visit

For more information about the scholarship and the American Indian College Fund, visit