HCA Healthcare Foundation’s Healthier Tomorrow Fund awarded a $50,000 grant to the HCC Foundation to create a health science exploration cohort for high school students.

The Hillsborough Community College (HCC) Foundation received a $50,000 grant from the HCA Healthcare Foundation’s Healthier Tomorrow Fund to create a health science exploration cohort. Composed of 30 local high school juniors and seniors, this program will run for two semesters, with students participating in different courses and simulations offered by the College and community partners.

“We are delighted to be a partner with HCA Florida Healthcare and the HCA Healthcare Foundation in helping bring the Health Science Explorers (HSE) program to the region,” Garrett Weddle, HCC Foundation executive director, said. “Thanks to the generous financial support from the HCA Healthcare Foundation, the college is recruiting Hillsborough County high school students for the first cohort to learn more about a career in health care. This program will positively impact our community.”

In addition to students participating in round-robin activities that explore the health science field through a simulation experience, students will also receive a set of HSE scrubs, CPR kit and training, Stop the Bleed kit and training and a validated blood pressure monitor and training. Students will also have a shadowing experience in their area of interest at an HCA Florida Healthcare hospital, mentoring opportunity and exposure to an industry expert panel discussion event that includes leaders from HCA Florida Healthcare.

Students who complete all HSE program days will be put into a drawing for an HCC Foundation scholarship. Five $1,000 scholarships will be awarded during the Spring Learn and Lunch event to be held in February 2024.

“The HCA Healthcare Foundation’s Healthier Tomorrow Fund grant was awarded to HCC in support of the HSE program to accelerate access to health care careers, a priority impact area of ours,” said Jyric Sims, president of HCA Healthcare’s West Florida Division. “HCA Healthcare is dedicated to creating healthier tomorrows, and this grant supports making careers in health care more accessible for our youth, which is important to our collaborative work to help address health care workforce shortages.”

“At HCA Healthcare, we believe partnerships are essential to advancing our mission to care for and improve human life,” said Joanne Pulles, vice president of community engagement at HCA Healthcare and president of the HCA Healthcare Foundation. “Partnering with organizations like Hillsborough Community College allows us to do more for our communities than we can do separately.”

The Healthier Tomorrow Fund provides grants to nonprofit organizations in communities where HCA Healthcare has a presence, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Houston, Texas; Miami; Palm Beach; Tampa; Tallahassee; Orlando; Kansas City, Missouri; Denver, Colorado; Austin, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; and Asheville, North Carolina, with plans to expand to additional markets. Since its launch in 2021, the Healthier Tomorrow Fund has committed more than $18.4 million and granted awards to 61 nonprofit organizations.

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