Health Focus administers an average of $150,000 annually in scholarships to health career students. The funds are generated from grants and private endowment funds, and predominantly aid students in southwest Virginia.

Our scholarship awards are based primarily on financial need and potential for completing a health career program. We began our scholarship program in 1966 and have awarded a significant contribution to nearly 5,000 healthcare students for a total of 3.5 million.

Health Focus Scholarship Details

  • Academic Requirements: GPA must be 2.75 or better before being considered and student must be already accepted into a medical program.  
  • Range of ages for prior recipients: 17 years old to 52 years old
  • Number of Schools: an average of 19 schools have received scholarships
  • Total Awards, 1966-Present: $3,331,826 to 4,945 students
  • Recent Scholarship Cycle (2014-15)
    • Total amount given: $124,685
    • Applicants: 137 total applications from 22 schools.
    • Awards: 124 awards were given to 20 schools.

Scholarship Funds Available

Endowment Funds

Some Health Focus scholarships are endowment funds with only the earnings awarded. Currently, our endowment funds total $400,000.

Annual Grant Funds

Health Focus also offers annual grant funds. In 2013-14, the following grants are offered:

Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Grant

Health Focus has awarded a scholarship from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation grant since 1966. That year, the grand amount was $2,500.

As of the 2013-14 academic year, the annual grant is $104,000 and cumulative total of scholarships awarded on behalf of the foundation have reached over $2,500,000.

Lewis-Gale Nursing Alumni Grant

A new annual fund began in September 2013 in honor of Wilma Little Murray, R.N., Lewis-Gale alumnae, class of 1942. Wilma served as an Army Nurse Cadet during World War II. The first recipient of this scholarship award (2014-15) is Sylvia Steele Echols, R.N., also a Lewis-Gale Nursing alumnae.

In 2013-14, the Lewis-Gale Nursing Alumni will award a grant of $51, 130 plus investment income on scholarship endowments.

David G. Williamson, Jr. Foundation Grant

A grant of $8,000 will be awarded on behalf of the David G. Williamson, Jr. Foundation.

Nannie Ruth Brown Beavers Family Grant

A grant of $1,000 will be awarded on behalf of the Nannie Ruth Brown Beavers family.

Dates for Applying

We award only one time a year. Scholarship applications are available March 1 and must be postmarked by May 15 to award for the academic year, as displayed below:

For Academic Year
Applications availableMarch 1
Application dueMay 15
Student & schools notifiedJuly 15
Checks sent to schoolsAugust 20

Awarding Process

Our program is unique in that we follow our students after they are awarded a scholarship to ensure they graduate from the medical program we helped fund for them.

Scholarship awards are based primarily on financial need, potential for completing a health career program, sincerity of personal statement, and availability of scholarship funds for the applicant.

The vast majority of funds are awarded to Virginia residents and those attending Virginia schools. There are few funds available for others.

The amount of an award ranges from $250.00 to $3,500.00 and is determined by the expenses to be incurred by the student and school costs. A minimum of 70% of students who apply receive a scholarship.

Award checks are mailed to the schools and deposited directly into the students’ account and will be applied only to tuition, books, uniforms and fee expenses.  Students will be notified by mail whether awarded or denied.

For more information, contact Cindy Hannah, Director of Scholarships at or (540) 444-2925, ext. 202.

Fields of Study Awarded in the Last Two years:

  • Bachelor Science in Nursing
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery
  • Doctor of Optometry
  • Doctor of Osteopathy
  • Doctor of Pharmacy
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Health & Exercise Science
  • Healthcare Management
  • Licensed Practical Nursing
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Doctor
  • Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
  • Masters in Public Health
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Physician Assistant
  • Pharmacist
  • Paramedic
  • Radiology Technician
  • Registered Nurse
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Speech Pathology

Apply For a Scholarship



Please mail applications to:

Health Focus of Southwest Virginia
Attn: Scholarship Committee
1902 Braeburn Drive
Salem,VA 24153


Scholarship Committee 2014 – 2015

Margaret G. Senter, M.PH., Ph.D, Chairman
Marolyn Geib, R.N.
Sherry McCoy, D.H.
Sydney P. Nordt
Jean Nunn, R.N.
Carolyn Nelson
Teresa Reed
Malinda Sayers
Esther Vaughan, M.S.W.