Hiran Ratnayake
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ChristianaCare’s Future of Health Scholarship Program Honors 10 HBCU-Bound Students

Unique opportunity pairs $500,000 in support with paid summer internships

To strengthen and diversify the health care workforce for years to come, ChristianaCare has provided $500,000 in scholarships to 10 students in Delaware who plan to pursue degrees in health care.

The financial support, through ChristianaCare’s Future of Health scholarship program, provides $12,500 in support annually per student, plus a paid internship each summer, for students to attend historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

“Partnering with the HBCU Week Foundation this year was an exciting new adventure for ChristianaCare, and one we knew we needed to be a part of, given our commitment to the community and to building our health care workforce of the future – in and of the community,” said Bettina Tweardy Riveros, J.D., chief health equity officer and senior vice president of Government Affairs and Community Engagement at ChristianaCare.

“It is important for us to remove barriers that are impacting Delaware residents from being able to pursue higher education at historically Black colleges and universities. Being able to offer scholarships, internships and support to these students is another way that we know we are opening up the door to diversify the health care profession.”

The scholarships represent an ongoing approach by ChristianaCare to improve health equity, community health and inclusivity and diversity. In 2020, ChristianaCare made a public commitment to being an anti-racism organization. For its efforts, ChristianaCare has been ranked one of the Best Employers for Diversity by Forbes magazine, as well as the No. 2 health care employer in the nation for diversity and inclusion and the No. 40 employer nationally overall.

“If you want to know more about an organization, see where they invest their dollars,” said Pamela Ridgeway, chief diversity officer for ChristianaCare. “An investment of $500,000 for Delaware residents who choose to go to HBCUs says a lot. The fact that it comes with summer internships for every year and the expectation of employment at the end shows that we are an organization with a commitment.”

“The HBCU Week Foundation is proud to partner with ChristianaCare to help support these future health care professionals by giving them the academic and networking experiences needed to excel in their intended career choices,” said Ashley Christopher, Esq., founder and chief executive officer of HBCU Week Foundation, and an alumna of both Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. “The medical field should reflect the communities it serves, and this partnership is one way to help make that happen.”

Here are the students who earned scholarships through ChristianaCare’s Future of Health scholarship program, and the HBCUs they elected to attend:

  • Aniyah Barnett, Hampton University.
  • Brooke Brothers, Delaware State University.
  • Solomon Devard, Lincoln University.
  • Mychele Gibson, Howard University.
  • Aa’khai Hollis, Bowie State University.
  • Kianna Kelley, Delaware State University.
  • Delaney Leonard, Howard University.
  • Madison Perry, Jackson State University.
  • Tania Paden, Delaware State University.
  • Cierra Holmes, Delaware State University.


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About ChristianaCare

Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, ChristianaCare is one of the country’s most dynamic health care organizations, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. ChristianaCare includes an extensive network of primary care and outpatient services, home health care, urgent care centers, three hospitals (1,430 beds), a freestanding emergency department, a Level I trauma center and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a comprehensive stroke center and regional centers of excellence in heart and vascular care, cancer care and women’s health. It also includes the pioneering Gene Editing Institute.

ChristianaCare is nationally recognized as a great place to work, rated by Forbes as the 2nd best health system for diversity and inclusion, and the 29th best health system to work for in the United States, and by IDG Computerworld as one of the nation’s Best Places to Work in IT. ChristianaCare is rated by Healthgrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals and continually ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek and other national quality ratings. ChristianaCare is a nonprofit teaching health system with more than 260 residents and fellows. With its groundbreaking Center for Virtual Health and a focus on population health and value-based care, ChristianaCare is shaping the future of health care.