The Dr. Prem Reddy Family Foundation presented its largest scholarship award donation to 84 outstanding and diverse High Desert students seeking an education in the health sciences on Thursday, June 9 at the Spring Valley Lake Country Club in Victorville.
From high school students overcoming significant hardships to single mothers pursuing their dreams of healthcare service, each recipient has demonstrated academic excellence and a sincere commitment to serving the healthcare needs of their communities. They each shared a portion of a six-figure donation from the Foundation to pursue their dreams of a career in healthcare.
Founded in 1989 by healthcare visionary Dr. Prem Reddy, Prime Healthcare chairman, president and CEO, the foundation has donated millions of dollars to various charities supporting health education, college scholarships, public healthcare education, and free community clinics. To date, the foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million in academic scholarships to High Desert residents.
“I’m so proud and humbled that our scholarship program has grown each year to reward hard-working and deserving students who want to pursue careers in healthcare,” said Dr. Reddy. “My dream was to be able to give others the opportunities I was given to obtain an education. Education is the first step for people to gain the knowledge and skills they need to make this world a better place.”
Scholarship recipients are celebrated by an impressive group of local healthcare leaders. Additional event speakers included:
Sunitha Reddy, Executive Director of the Dr. Prem Reddy Family Foundation
Dr. Venkamma Reddy, Co-Founder of the Dr. Prem Reddy Family Foundation
Fred Hunter, CEO of Desert Valley Hospital and Desert Valley Medical Group
Angelina Clinkenbeard, Student Speaker, and Aspiring Nurse
John Morris, RN, Emergency Medicine, Desert Valley Hospital
Dr. Paul Lyons, dean, and president of the California University of Science and Medicine
Thurston “Smitty” Smith, California State Assemblyman from the 33rd District
Honorable Debra Jones, Mayor of Victorville
“This year’s scholarship recipients have amazing stories of hard work and perseverance,” said Sunitha Reddy, Executive Director of the Dr. Prem Reddy Family Foundation. “Each individual was selected for their passion to put others first and a commitment to make lives and our community better. We are grateful for the opportunity to support their dreams and future in medicine.”
High Desert nursing student Angelina Clinkenbeard addressed her fellow scholarship recipients at the awards dinner. She shared the story of losing her father suddenly, and the story of her mother, a registered nurse who stops to help others on a regular basis, who inspires her and is her hero. “She really made an impact on me. She makes a difference. She saves lives. How could I not want to do the same thing? Being a nurse is my only dream,” said Clinkenbeard.
More scholarships were awarded this year than in years past. This year’s increase in scholarship applications by students ranging in ages from 17 to 52 is an indication that more people want to be of service to others through careers in healthcare.
The High Desert of Southern California is considered a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), meaning there is a shortage of primary, dental, or mental healthcare providers. Many of the scholarship recipients expressed a desire to remain in the High Desert serving their community. In addition, to address the significant need for physicians in the Inland Empire, Dr. Reddy and the Prime Healthcare Foundation have established one of our state’s newest medical schools, the California University of Science and Medicine, in Colton, CA, with a more than $60 million donation. The first MD class of 62 new physicians graduated on May 21, and many of them will be serving their residency and/or have pledged to practice in the Inland Empire.
“We’re seeing a common thread that should be celebrated, a relentless commitment to healthcare and a sincere desire to help others. In the aftermath of this unprecedented global pandemic, healthcare workers continue to be on the front line selflessly caring for patients all around the world,” said Reddy.
For more information about the Dr. Prem Reddy Family Foundation, please contact Eddie Hernandez at EddieHernandez@primehealthcare.com.
About the Dr. Prem Reddy Family Foundation
The Dr. Prem Reddy Family Foundation, founded by Dr. Prem Reddy and his family, has donated millions in support of health education, college scholarships, public healthcare education, and free community clinics. On a global level, the foundation supports Samaritan’s Purse by donating equipment used in clinics in poverty-stricken regions around the world. The foundation also funds clean water initiatives, childhood vaccinations programs, educational grants, new medical clinics, and medical missions to treat blindness with free cataract removal surgeries or pediatric congenital heart defects. For more information, visit www.premreddy.com.
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