Fisk University campus in Nashville. Courtesy:

HCA Healthcare proudly launched a new scholars program for students at Fisk University, one of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), to provide scholarships, career planning and internship opportunities for high-achieving undergraduates.

Committing $1 million over the next four years to fund the program, aptly named HCA Healthcare Scholars at Fisk University, HCA Healthcare also will offer guest lecturers to help mentor and prepare students who may be considering a career in healthcare.

“We are excited to strengthen our relationship with Fisk University by providing valuable educational opportunities for Fisk students,” said Sam Hazen, HCA Healthcare chief executive officer. “Our partnership, through the scholars program, demonstrates our continued efforts in developing a diverse pipeline of top talent right here in the city of Nashville.”

Fisk University students attend a lecture in the Nashville, Tennessee-based corporate office of HCA Healthcare.

“Fisk is deeply committed to the success of its graduates and this partnership with HCA Healthcare will provide invaluable exposure and experience for our students,” said Fisk University President Kevin Rome.

HCA Healthcare Scholars at Fisk University is more than just a scholarship program. It’s designed to groom and develop a pipeline of diverse up-and-comers for potential leadership positions across the HCA Healthcare family.

“This new program serves as part of our continued commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Sherri Neal, HCA Healthcare’s vice president of cultural development and inclusion. “The goal of the scholars program is to cultivate Fisk students throughout their studies by complementing their academic abilities with professional development experiences at HCA Healthcare.”

Sherri Neal, a member of HCA Healthcare’s Human Resources Group, serves as vice president of cultural development and inclusion for the organization.

The inaugural cohort of HCA Healthcare Scholars at Fisk University began this summer with six Fisk students participating in the program. The undergraduates joined the HCA Healthcare Summer Work Experience Program, taking advantage of the opportunity to network, grow professionally and gain real-world skills for the future.

“This summer I had the good fortune of interning with the Product Design Department at HCA Healthcare,” said Reginald Mhoon, one of the scholars and participant in the HCA Healthcare Summer Work Experience Program. “In only a short amount of time I gained far more experience into the healthcare industry than I could have ever imagined. It is thrilling to have been awarded this opportunity so early in my college career.”

“Fisk has provided me some amazing opportunities in my first year here and it has truly been a blessing,” he continued. “I am excited to pursue a future in health care with the support of HCA Healthcare.”

Reginald Mhoon was in the inaugural HCA Healthcare Scholars at Fisk University class and participated in the HCA Healthcare summer work experience.

The scholars program will continue to support eligible Fisk University students studying in a variety of academic areas including business, computer science, biology and psychology.

HCA Healthcare colleague and Fisk University alumna Carina Qualls understands the importance of this scholarship funding firsthand.

“Having limited resources during my high school years, I know that financial support is critical for a student’s academic and personal success,” said Qualls, a 2003 Fisk graduate, who now serves as the coordinator for the Knowledge Center at HCA Healthcare. “I’m proud to be a part of an organization that will make a positive impact in these students’ lives by investing in their future.”

Carina Qualls is a proud Fiskite after learning about the partnership between her alma mater, Fisk University, and the HCA Healthcare family.

To be considered for the HCA Healthcare Scholars at Fisk University program, Fisk students must complete an application for an annual and endowed scholarship. Additional criteria include academic performance (GPA) and an interest in the healthcare industry.

HCA Healthcare values the diverse backgrounds of its patients, physicians, and colleagues and is committed to providing exceptional care that is built on a foundation of inclusion, compassion, dignity and respect. HCA Healthcare recently garnered the top 2018 Innovations in Diversity Award by “Profiles in Diversity Journal”.