Global medical products company will fund $200,000 in scholarships for TSU nursing program
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students aspiring to become nurses one day could be one step closer to achieving that goal thanks to a $200,000 gift from Baxter International Inc. The global medical products company will award four TSU nursing majors academic scholarships for fall 2023.
Baxter’s ongoing financial support is a part of its partnership with the university to inspire and assist African Americans to become healthcare professionals in a field where minorities are underrepresented. The funds will be split into 4-years for each student.
Last year Baxter International Inc., awarded four TSU students $200,000 in scholarship funds to help fulfill their dreams of becoming nurses. Meah Frazier, a freshman nursing major who received the Baxter scholarship last semester, said she was grateful for the opportunity and is pleased to know the company is continuing its commitment to TSU.
“Having a scholarship from Baxter has helped me reduce any financial burdens and has allowed me to pursue my long-term aspiration of becoming a nurse practitioner,” Frazier said. “From a long-term perspective, this will also assist me serving patients in need and giving back to my community.”
She noted that the TSU, Baxter partnership will encourage fellow students to pursue careers in the healthcare industry.
“I believe African American representation in health care is vital as it can assist in eliminating disparities in the medical field such as cultural ignorance and common misconceptions about ‘Black patients’ health.”
Baxter’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, Angela Lee, said she is honored to be a part of this commitment.
“Through Baxter’s Activating Change Today (ACT) initiative, we are proud to continue our relationship with TSU in support of important programming that increases the pipeline of Black students in health and sciences fields,” Lee says.
Dr. Ronald Barredo, Dean of the College of Health Sciences, said the Baxter scholarships will change the personal and professional trajectories of its recipients.
“For one, the burden of financial support throughout their matriculation is lifted as recipients matriculate through the nursing program,” Barredo says.
“Additionally, these recipients are able to focus on their education and training, allowing them to become nurses who, in turn, affect the health trajectories of the patients they touch.”
Baxter International Inc., began their partnership with the university in 2021, in support of the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Medical, Dental and Accelerated Pathway Program, a shared initiative between TSU and Meharry Medical College. TSU was one of three HBCUs that received part of $1.2 million to support Black students pursuing health and science degrees.
The program is named after one of TSU’s most distinguished graduates, Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., an internationally renowned cardiac surgeon who holds an honorary degree from Meharry. The accelerated pipeline program prepares qualified TSU students for early acceptance to Meharry, where students spend three years in pre-medical courses of study at TSU before being admitted to and enrolling at Meharry to study medicine or dentistry.
The university look forward to a continuous partnership with Baxter International Inc., to develop and invest in future Black doctors, nurses and dentist from Tennessee State University.
There are currently 41 students enrolled in the university’s BSN undergraduate nursing program. As of Fall 2022, there were over 800 nursing major students. For more information about the nursing program, visit www.tnstate.edu/nursing/. To learn more about the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Institute at TSU, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/watkins/.