Valley Health Awards $15,000 in College Scholarships

Huntington, West Virginia [June 22, 2023] – Valley Health Systems, Inc. is pleased to award three $5,000 scholarships to individuals who are pursuing careers in medicine, health sciences, or health administration. 

The winners of the 2023 Valley Health Minority Healthcare scholarship are Melanese Benjamin, a 2023 graduate of Hurricane High School;   Paris Johnson, Marshall University; and Madison Slash, West Virginia University.   This is the second year for the scholarship award.

In their applications, all three recipients expressed a deep desire to serve the community and their neighbors by providing quality healthcare.

Melanese Benjamin, a recent graduate of Hurricane High School, plans to attend North Carolina Central University and pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).  Her end goal is to become a trauma nurse. Benjamin wrote in her essay, “I want to ensure everyone has access to the resources they need to live healthy and happy lives.”

Paris Johnson is attending Marshall University, earning a Master’s degree of science in Health Informatics.  She strives to help the underserved.  Seeking medical care for a sprained ankle at the age of 8 started her interest in pursuing the medical field.   In her application, Johnson wrote, “The intersection of my public health and informatics degrees presents a unique opportunity to address the social determinants of health and improve health outcomes, particularly in underserved rural communities.”

Madison Slash, a junior at WVU, is working to become a physical therapist through the WVU Physical Therapy program.   She is a first-generation college student excited to show others college success is achievable while reinforcing the drive to help others. “Healthcare is important not just for the patient or client but also for the clinician. We learn from one another and grow relationships that are far beyond the imagination, knowing that someone cares for you because they love their job instead of it being an obligation. I want to show that for others,” Slash penned in her application.

 “Valley Health is thrilled to continue to support the education of our future healthcare workers with this scholarship.   The program reinforces our dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion.   By investing in the education and development of talented individuals from minority backgrounds, we enhance their future prospects and contribute to a more equitable and accessible healthcare system,” says Valley Health President and CEO Steve Shattls.

Valley Health congratulates this year’s scholarship winners and looks forward to providing financial help to more future medical professionals with its 2024 awards.

Applications can be found at  The 2024 deadline is March 31, 2024.

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Valley Health Systems, Inc. is a leader in primary care since 1975 and operates more than 40 healthcare centers and public health programs in southwestern West Virginia and southern Ohio.   With more than 170 providers and 800 staff members, Valley Health is dedicated to accessible, quality healthcare for all members of our communities.   Valley Health Systems, Inc. delivers primary care services to more than 100,000 patients in our service area each year. 

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