Anthem Medicaid awards WKU healthcare students $100K scholarship

Endowment requires recipients provide local healthcare

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Kentucky Hospital Association reports our Commonwealth is facing 13,000 nursing vacancies.

To encourage students to fill the 22 percent of all nursing jobs that remain empty here in Kentucky, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid in Kentucky awarded $100,000 of endowment scholarships toward WKU health science majors and graduates.

WKU President Tim Caboni said, “They believe in the work that we do as a university, but more importantly, they believe in our students and what they’re going to create for the Commonwealth.”

The first set of scholarship recipients, Abbie Mills and Sarah Ela Saysanavong, along with future recipients, must plan to provide health care work in Western Kentucky at least three years after graduating WKU, among other requirements. 

The requirement was no problem for Mills who said, “Bowling Green is my home, and I want to keep it that way. I would love to serve my community. They’ve done so much for me for the last 20 years, and I hope that I can do the same for them.”

Saysanavong added, “This is probably the happiest day thus far this semester…. It’s just kind of one of those things where you received a scholarship because we see all your hard work, your efforts, everything that you’ve done during this program, and [the scholarship says], ‘We see your success as a nurse.'”

President Coboni hopes Anthem Medicaid’s gift leads future Hilltopper healthcare heroes to dream big, step up and step in to fill those many frontline workers’ shoes.

“The beginnings of this partnership, we see it as a way for us to continue to grow the workforce that we so desperately need in the Commonwealth…. and WKU is doing its part to provide nurses to serve that need.”