May 12, 2009

Kaiser funds UC public-health scholarships

Kaiser Permanente and the University of California-Berkeley Tuesday announced a new recruiting and training program for public health workers.

The program will seek out students in California communities that are currently underserved in terms of healthcare services and provide them with scholarships for training through the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

The goal is to increase the ranks of the public health workforce in areas where they are most needed.

Raymond Baxter, a senior vice president at Kaiser Permanente, said the outbreak of H1N1 flu showed how necessary public health workers were and why it was important to bolster their ranks, particularly in underserved communities.

After graduating from UC Berkeley, these public health professionals will play an important role in protecting our population's health, and making our environment healthier for everyone, said Baxter, whose company provided a $5 million grant to start the scholarship program.