A $100,000 donation from Anthem Blue Cross to the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University has established a new scholarship fund to support education-related expenses for students with disabilities who have committed to future healthcare work, whether as direct healthcare practitioners or working in the field of health justice.

This initiative is part of Anthem’s broader commitment to address California’s healthcare worker shortage and to close the gap in health disparities across the state.

“Anthem Blue Cross has made a commitment to identifying California-specific health disparities and partnering to introduce solutions that create more equitable healthcare experiences, enhance access to care and services, and improve health outcomes.

“For decades, Anthem has been pioneering solutions to usher in a new era of healthcare that works better for everyone, and we are pleased for the opportunity to work with the Longmore Institute on Disability, to not only help students fulfill their higher education goals, but to also develop a pipeline of healthcare leaders, with disabilities, to transform healthcare delivery through a person-centered approach.”

— Les Ybarra, President of Anthem Blue Cross’s Medi-Cal health plan

Revolutionize Social Views and Challenge Bias

The Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University studies and showcases the experiences of people with disabilities to revolutionize social views. Through public education, scholarship and cultural events, the Longmore Institute shares disability history and theory, promotes critical thinking, and builds a broader community.

At the center of this work is an effort to challenge implicit bias, as too often a disability is assumed to signal a limitation or a problem to be cured. Both the field of disability studies and the disability rights and justice movements have repeatedly cited the medical profession as an environment where negative assumptions of disability grow and spread.

“As future healthcare providers, San Francisco State University students are the perfect ones to change thinking and conversations right where it matters most: at the core of our healthcare system. Imagine a world where doctors and other health workers believed living with a disability brought a valuable new perspective for everyone?”

— Catherine Kudlick, Director of the Longmore Institute

Scholarships, Endowments to Promote Health Equity

Over the past year, Anthem has committed millions in funding to create scholarships and endowments that promote health equity and healthcare workforce development across the nation’s most rural and historically marginalized communities. Nearly $1 million of that funding has been distributed across California to address the healthcare workforce shortage that is negatively impacting the state, to help students who would not otherwise be able to afford education and related expenses, and to improve healthcare quality by enhancing access to more equitable healthcare.

Anthem’s Longmore Institute on Disability scholarships are expected to make a profound impact on historically marginalized populations and help reduce implicit bias through educational access, training and representation.

For more information and to apply for these scholarships, visit San Francisco State University’s AcademicWorks site. Applications for various scholarships are currently being accepted for support during the Fall 2022 semester.

[Source(s): Anthem Blue Cross, Business Wire]