'Ohana Establishes Scholarship for Aspiring Nurses at UH West O'ahu

Scholarship Designed to Help Address Native Hawaiian Care, Nursing Shortage

University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Dir of Communications
Posted: Apr 4, 2016

Tammy Wallace, Melissa Saul, Doris Ching, Wendy Morriarty, Danny Cup Choy and Judy Oliveira
Tammy Wallace, Melissa Saul, Doris Ching, Wendy Morriarty, Danny Cup Choy and Judy Oliveira

University of Hawai‘i - West O'ahu nursing students wishing to practice in Hawai‘i's underserved rural communities have a new scholarship opportunity. The 'Ohana Health Plan, through the WellCare (NYSE: WCG) Community Foundation, recently donated $10,000 for a scholarship fund for pre-nursing students studying culturally competent ways to work with Native Hawaiian communities.

The scholarship will be awarded to full-time students enrolled in the university's Pre-Nursing Pathway and Partnership program. Preference will be given to students who have worked with or have an interest in working with low-income patients, especially in rural communities that have large Native Hawaiian populations. Nearly one-quarter of the state's residents are considered Native Hawaiians and as a group suffer from the largest health disparities. The Pre-Nursing Pathway and Partnership program offers hands-on learning and leadership opportunities with a strong focus on transcultural education and caring for individuals and families through direct community engagement.

"Hawai‘i's rural communities already face a shortage of nurses and studies show that the nursing profession will be hit with a wave of retirements in the next decade," said Wendy Morriarty, president of 'Ohana Health Plan. "'Ohana Health Plan is proud to offer this scholarship to help educate the next generation of nurses with the skills to address the unique needs of Native Hawaiians and other rural residents."

"The University of Hawai‘i - West O'ahu is grateful to ʻOhana Health Plan for supporting our program and providing our students with scholarships and financial assistance," said Chancellor Doris Ching. "This partnership allows us to promote health care that is inclusive of Native Hawaiian values and practices to our students. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and we're honored to be the recipient of ʻOhana Health Plan's generosity."

The first scholarships will be awarded in April for the 2016-2017 academic year. The number and amount of awards will be determined by the selection committee. For more information and to apply

As of Dec. 31, 2015, 'Ohana Health Plan has more than 220 employees in Hawai‘i and serves approximately 60,600 members through its offices in Kapolei, Honolulu, Hilo and Kahului.


About 'Ohana Health Plan

'Ohana Health Plan is offered by WellCare Health Plans, Inc. WellCare provides managed care services targeted to government-sponsored health care programs, focusing on Medicaid and Medicare. WellCare offers a variety of health plans for families, children, and the aged, blind and disabled, as well as prescription drug plans. The company serves approximately 3.8 million members nationwide as of Dec. 31, 2015. 'Ohana has been able to take WellCare's national experience and develop an 'Ohana care model that addresses local members' health care and health coordination needs. As of Dec. 31, 2015, 'Ohana serves approximately 49,000 Medicaid members, 11,000 Medicare Advantage members, and 600 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Hawai‘i. For more information about 'Ohana, please visit the company's website at www.ohanahealthplan.com.


For more information, visit: http://www.uhfoundation.org