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Mayo donation funds Viterbo scholarships promoting diversity in health care

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Rick Trietley


Mayo Clinic Health System is providing $50,000 to fund four Viterbo University scholarships designed to increase diversity in nursing and other health care-related fields. The Mayo Scholars Program will focus on students from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups. It will provide two renewable $5,000 annual scholarships for two nursing students, and two renewable $1,250 annual scholarships for students pursuing health care related studies outside of nursing, for four years.

“Mayo has been such a great partner over the years,” said Viterbo’s Interim President Rick Trietley. “We are extremely grateful for Mayo’s support of these scholarships, which is a strong indication that Mayo shares Viterbo’s commitment to expanding diversity in the health care profession.”

Paul S. Mueller

Paul S. Mueller, MD

“Our primary value at Mayo Clinic is ‘the needs of the patient come first.’ That requires having a workforce that reflects the diversity of our patients and our community. It’s vital that everyone who comes to us for care, or for employment, feels welcome,” says Paul Mueller, M.D., regional vice president for Mayo Clinic Health System in Southwest Wisconsin. “Providing these scholarships is one of many steps we’re taking to increase diversity among our staff, with an ultimate goal to increase access to care and eliminate health disparities.”

To be eligible for the scholarships, which will be awarded starting in the 2022-23 school year, recipients:

  • Must have been enrolled in a high school within a 200-mile radius of La Crosse
  • Must be an admitted first-year student with a declared major in nursing, social work, nutritional sciences, or psychology
  • Must be a member of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group
  • Must demonstrate financial need
  • Must be interviewed by a member of the Selection Committee

Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate high financial need.

All students supported by the Mayo Scholars Program also must complete a one-credit course that includes study skills workshops, job exploration, and engagement in other academic supports as needed. Students also will be assigned a mentor, potentially one assigned by Mayo, and Mayo Scholars will be placed in a clinical site at least once annually. Priority will be given to Mayo Scholars to complete their final clinical capstone course at a Mayo facility.


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