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American Heart Association Announces Multicultural Scholarship Recipients

Go Red For Women and Macys Join Forces to Drive Diversity in Medicine

 Through the Go Red For Women campaign, the American Heart Association announces the recipients of the first 2012 Go Red(TM) Multicultural Scholarship Fund. Sixteen $2,500 scholarships will be awarded to multicultural women pursuing careers in healthcare that later aspire to help their respective communities.
 
The scholarship fund is designed to inspire and support women in their studies and expand the much-needed pipeline of diverse nursing and medical students, while increasing cultural competence in health care. Research shows that numerous ethnic groups -- including African-Americans and Hispanics -- are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease and risk factors, confront barriers to diagnosis and care, and experience worse health outcomes than their Caucasian counterparts.
 
As a condition of the scholarship, the winners must perform community service in their areas and will have exposure to healthcare professionals in their fields. The scholarships will be available to the 16 women during the fall 2012 school year.
 
  • Jennifer Wesley, 19, University of Missouri-Columbia, of St. Louis, MO
  • Janelle Amoako, 18, University of Rhode Island, of Cranston, RI
  • Charisse Skinner, 19, Duquesne University, of Vandergrift, PA
  • Jasmyn Chaisson, 19, Xavier University, of Lafayette, LA
  • Brittany Price, 23, DePaul University, of Chicago, IL
  • Chelsea Reed, 18, Stephen F. Austin State University, of Missouri City, TX
  • Iyabo Erinkitola, 18, Kennesaw State University, of Woodstock, GA
  • Leah Berger, 18, Paradise Valley Community College, of Glendale, AZ
  • Chloe Grishaw, 19, College of William & Mary, of Falls Church, VA
  • Crystal Vasquez, 19, University of New Mexico, of Albuquerque, NM
  • Deanna Palenzuela, 18, Yale University, of Coral Gables, FL
  • Martha Torres, 19, Lehman College, of Port Chester, NY
  • Guadalupe Sinyard, 19, Our Lady of the Lake Catholic University, of Brownsville, TX
  • Veronica Copado, 20, California State University, of San Bernardino, CA
  • Esther Juarez, 22, Glendale Community College, of Glendale, AZ
  • Janet Castillo, 19, California State University, of Madera, CA
"The Go Red Multicultural Scholarship means the world to me. It allows me to worry a little less about financing my education and helps me to focus more on how I can become the best nurse I can be and use my gifts to improve the health of my community," said Brittany Price, 23, a scholarship recipient and student at DePaul University in Chicago.
 
Demand on health care continues to increase, but the number of multicultural women working in U.S. hospitals and medical schools is low -- even as the U.S. population becomes increasingly diverse. Last year, only 6.7 percent of African-Americans and 7.5 percent of Hispanics made up the total number of medical school graduates, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
 
"Macy's is proud to help launch the Go Red Multicultural Scholarship Fund to encourage students nationwide to explore career opportunities that make a direct impact on their communities by joining the fight against heart disease in women," said Bill Hawthorne, Macy's senior vice president of Diversity Strategies.
 
Professionals in the field say more ethnically diverse women are needed in the healthcare industry. "They can have a very positive impact on the delivery of health care services to diverse populations because they understand their communities and they know how to provide care that is meaningful, appropriate and sensitive to their needs," said Eva Gómez R.N., a Go Red For Women spokesperson and current Vice President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.
 
"The American Heart Association is in a unique position to be a leader in helping to eradicate cardiovascular disease and health disparities by providing scholarships to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine," said Icilma Fergus, M.D., chair of Community Programming for the Association of Black Cardiologists.
 
The Go Red Multicultural Scholarship is made possible by the Macy's Multicultural Fund. Macy's is a national sponsor of Go Red For Women and Go Red Por Tu Corazón and has helped raise more than $28 million for the cause since 2004. Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association's solution to saving women's lives from cardiovascular diseases.
 
For more information visit GoRedForWomen.org.
 
About Go Red For Women
Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association's solution to save women's lives. With one out of three women still dying from heart disease, we are committed to fighting this No. 1 killer that is preventable. GoRedForWomen.org, a premier source of information and education, connects millions of women of all ages and gives them tangible resources to turn personal choices into life-saving actions. We encourage women and the men who love them to embrace the cause. For more information please visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278). The movement is nationally sponsored by Macy's and Merck & Co., Inc.
 
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Our mission is to build healthier lives by preventing, treating and defeating these diseases -- America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org.
 
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