Kimberly Ochoa Carrasco, second-year medical student at the California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine, received the National Hispanic Health Foundation Scholarship for her outstanding contributions towards improving the health of Hispanic populations.
Ochoa Carrasco attended the Annual Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Gala on November 17, 2023, in Los Angeles, California to be recognized as one of the scholarship recipients.
“This award holds a special significance for me as it symbolizes recognition of my commitment to advancing health equity and making a positive impact within the Hispanic community. It validates the countless hours dedicated to my academics, community service, and passion for promoting health and well-being among Hispanic populations,” stated Kimberly Ochoa Carrasco, second-year medical student at the CHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.
While at the NHHF Gala, Ochoa Carrasco attended a meeting with all the student awardees and the NHHF Council to learn about the benefits of being a NHHF Scholar. She had the opportunity to network with other medical students and healthcare providers.
“I met some fantastic physicians who are already working on connecting me with other physicians in the Central Valley,” said Ochoa Carrasco.
Ochoa Carrasco is proud to be a first-generation student and child of Mexican immigrants.
She was first inspired to serve the Hispanic community while in elementary school.
“I grew up seeing the inequities that my Hispanic community faced on a day-to-day basis. My earliest experience in helping my community was in 6th grade. I asked my father if I could attend his meeting at the Hispanic Leadership Council to ask for donations for my peers who could not afford to participate in 6th grade camp; it was a huge success and showed me the importance of community and giving back at an early age. Since then, I have been committed to helping my community, who often gets overlooked and is underrepresented in medicine,” remarked Ochoa Carrasco.
According to the NHHF website, Hispanics are the largest ethnic group in the United States, yet there is a dearth of Hispanic health professionals with cultural and linguistic skills to deliver quality care for this growing population. In addition, federal, state, local government, and private sector healthcare agencies have minimal Hispanic representation in top leadership positions that can develop policies and programs targeted to the Hispanic community. Since 2004, NHHF has responded to these challenges by awarding more than $1.9 million in scholarships to nearly 350 outstanding Hispanic health professional students for their exceptional academic performance, leadership, and commitment to caring for Hispanics.