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Health care partnership provides Transylvania students from Appalachia with scholarships, real-world experience

hospital operating room

Transylvania University students will soon start taking advantage of the school’s partnership with Appalachian Regional Healthcare, which will provide them with scholarships, experiential learning and future employment.

The first cohort begins this upcoming school year. These participants, who are interested in either clinical or administrative health care careers, must hail from areas served by ARH in southeastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia. They’ll return to Appalachia after they earn their degree from Transylvania, or following graduate or professional school, and work for ARH for at least three years.

The program is for both current and prospective students. Incoming students interested in an ARH scholarship must complete an interest form as well as Transylvania’s application for admission by Dec. 1. Current students should reach out to Robin Prichard or Sarah Coen for more details on applying.

Get more info on the process.

Rising sophomore Kinley Lewis, of Eastern Kentucky, is part of the first cohort. “The Appalachian region is incredibly underserved, and its residents constantly suffer from health care disparities and shortages,” she said.

Kinley Lewis ’25

“I hope to one day be an advocate for the people living in Appalachia and work to bridge the gap in creating equitable and accessible health care for all,” Lewis continued. “This scholarship and partnership with ARH gives me the opportunity to embrace the roots I have in this region and turn my heritage into a mission in patient care.”

Students selected for the program receive up to $15,000 in scholarship funds over four years — along with other merit and need-based aid. Extra support comes from an alumna with deep roots in the Appalachian region. Carol Goff Tanner ’64 has established the Goff Tanner Appalachian Regional Health Scholarship to provide up to 20 students chosen for the program with as much as $5,000 annually.

Additionally, ARH will provide students with summer work and learning opportunities at each of its locations. “Scholarship recipients will get to choose which internship they would like to do,” said Tracy Stephens Dunn ’90, assistant dean for academic affairs. (The remaining opportunities will be shared with Pioneers who aren’t recipients.) “We hope to have numerous students take advantage of these internships next summer.”

Transylvania President Brien Lewis said, “We want students from the Appalachian region of Kentucky and West Virginia who are interested in a career in the medical field to know that they have the opportunity to pursue their own path in Kentucky for college, then return to home to work.”