SCAN Health Plan put its money where its purpose is Tuesday, Sept. 17, giving $5,000 scholarships to 10 Cal State Long Beach students on career paths to help senior citizens.
SCAN Health Plan is a nonprofit Medicare Advantage provider and health maintenance organization based in Long Beach. The company serves about 200,000 seniors in California.
Called Scholarships for the Health and Independence of Seniors, the grants are given to students enrolled in CSULB's College of Health and Human Services. America is aging, with a growing population 65 and older, and with people living longer.
“We see a growing demand for professionals and innovators who can address the unique needs of an aging population across a range of industries,” Chris Wing, SCAN Health Plan CEO, said.
Wing delivered a welcome speech at the event, emphasizing the importance of the scholarship and the need for more individuals to pursue a career working with older adults. This is the first year for the awards.
Denise Likar, vice president of Independence at Home (IAH), said the scholarship funding comes from SCAN’s charitable giving division. Likar added that the collaboration has been a wonderful fit for SCAN. She then commented about the need for more people working to help older adults.
“As Chris referenced, we have more and more seniors,” she said. “It is the fastest growing population and we need more people trained and ready to be able to serve them and to be able to help them.”
For the 2019-2020 academic year, scholarship recipients are Andrew Pearson (Social Work MSW), Basilisa Zambrano, (Social Work MSW), Jessica Teng (KIN Exercise Science BS, Minor Gerontology), Kayleigh Davis (Social Work MSW), Mayra Martinez (Social Work MSW), Nicole Lunde (HSC Community Health Education BS, Minor Gerontology, University Honors), Paulina Rhoades (Social Work MSW), Rachel Kulik (Social Work MSW), Rachel Thomas (Nursing Basic BS, Minor Gerontology), and Yvonne Querido (Cert: Family Consumer Sciences Gerontology, Recreation Therapy BA).
Querido said she wants to help others when she grows up. She said she chose her major because she wants to work in the field of therapy.
“I really believe in more of a holistic health approach when it comes to giving people a more quality life,” she said. “I really want to look at a physical, emotional, and more mental aspect of whatever a person’s problem is and be a healing factor in their lives when they’re going through a rough period.”
Querido is currently a senior at CSULB and will be completing her last semester of classes.
In addition to SCAN executives, state Senator Thomas Umberg and representatives from the office of state Senator Lena Gonzalez and Long Beach Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce were at the ceremony.