Press release

Santa Clara Family Health Plan Announces $500,000 Scholarship Program for Santa Clara County Students Pursuing Health Care-Related Degrees
Community health plan partners with local educational institutions to help reduce barriers for low-income students seeking to enter careers in health care.

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 5, 2024 – In honor of Santa Clara Family Health Plan’s (SCFHP) 25th anniversary, SCFHP has designated $500,000 from its Innovation Fund to establish a health care scholarship program for local students. The scholarship program provides financial support to empower the next generation of health care professionals who reflect the diversity of SCFHP members and community in Santa Clara County.

The program will award up to $5,000 annually to SCFHP Medi-Cal member applicants who are enrolled in a health care degree/certification program at a participating college or university in Santa Clara County. These scholarship funds can be disbursed directly to the student, if tuition and fees are paid. The available funds will support up to 40 students per year over the next five years.

SCFHP has partnered with San José State University, San José Evergreen Community College District Foundation, Foothill-De Anza Community Colleges Foundation, West Valley-Mission Foundation, and Gavilan College Educational Foundation to administer and distribute the funds. All scholarship recipients are selected by the educational institution and subject to the institution’s policies on disbursement and qualification.

“With this scholarship program, Santa Clara Family Health Plan is honored to invest in our members to become the future health care workforce in Santa Clara County,” said Christine Tomcala, SCFHP CEO. “The cost of tuition, coupled with the high cost of living in Silicon Valley and day-to-day expenses, can be prohibitive for those looking to pursue health care careers. By establishing this scholarship, we hope to make it easier for individuals from diverse backgrounds to enter health care professions and serve their community.”

Studies have shown that the lack of diversity in medical settings can have drastic effects on the health of a community. The need for culturally competent care is essential to support local communities in Santa Clara County. SCFHP believes that these scholarship recipients, once in their chosen health care career, will support SCFHP’s mission to improve the health and well-being of its members by addressing their health and social needs in a culturally competent manner.

Through this scholarship program, SCFHP seeks to reduce the barriers to higher education for its members by covering the tuition and/or non-tuition expenses associated with completing a degree or certificate program in health care. SCFHP understands that many of these non-tuition expenses, such as cost of living, childcare, food, and transportation, can present significant barriers for prospective students – especially for students from diverse and marginalized communities. This scholarship hopes to help lessen those challenges.

Tomcala first announced the scholarship at an event celebrating SCFHP’s 25th anniversary at the SCFHP Blanca Alvarado Community Resource Center in October 2022.

Students enrolled in qualifying health care degree/certification programs at the following institutions will be eligible to apply for the funds:

  •     San José State University
  •     De Anza College
  •     Evergreen Valley College
  •     Foothill College
  •     Gavilan College
  •     Mission College
  •     San José City College
  •     West Valley College

For more information, visit the SCFHP scholarship page at

About Santa Clara Family Health Plan

Santa Clara Family Health Plan (SCFHP) is a local, community-based health plan dedicated to creating opportunities for better health and wellness for all. In partnership with providers and community organizations since 1997, we work to ensure everyone in Santa Clara County has access to equitable, high-quality health care. With a strong commitment to integrity, outstanding service, and support for our community, we serve more than 270,000 people through our Medi-Cal and Medicare health care plans. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Chelsea Byom,