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Kotick Health Equity Scholarship

Funded by
2 winners, $2,000 each
Next Application Deadline
Mar 1, 2023
Next Winners Announced
Apr 1, 2023
Education Level
Undergraduate, Graduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Undergraduate or graduate
University of Southern California in Los Angeles
Non-profit work or volunteer experience

Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane..” - Martin Luther King Jr.

Despite many advances in civil and human rights over the last 50 years, access to insurance and quality of healthcare continue to be influenced by a person’s income, race/ethnicity, gender, education level and location. The Kotick Health Equity Scholarship honors a man who spent his career working to increase access to quality healthcare and improve people’s health and lives in the County of Los Angeles. He began his work as a student at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.

Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply if they are attending USC in Los Angeles and have experience working with non-profit organizations or volunteering. Preference will be given to students pursuing degrees with a focus in public health, public policy, and law. To apply, write about why you are passionate about improving the health of those with limited access to healthcare.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published August 20, 2022
Essay Topic

Why are you passionate about improving the health and lives of people with limited access to quality healthcare?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Caroline Henry
University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA
Matthew Giehl
University of Michigan-Ann ArborYorba Linda, CA
I have been fortunate to work in various aspects of the healthcare field for just under 10 years. I have been an EMT in Los Angeles, a Patient Care Technician at an outpatient surgery center, and currently as a Patient Care Coordinator at a radiology center. As an EMT, I spent a lot of time treating homeless individuals, and those with psychiatric conditions or a history of drug/alcohol abuse. Often, the patients I treated that were homeless typically had some form of untreated or undertreated psychiatric condition or addiction. I have seen first-hand the reception these patients get when they arrive at the or other facilities. The eye-rolling, the sighs, the general disdain for having to take care of someone who chose to abuse drugs or alcohol. But the reality is, we don’t know what happened in that person’s life that had their turn to use those vices. At the end of the day, which is a human being and a person that needs help? It is our duty to provide treatment for them while in our care, then the social worker can come in and help place that patient somewhere they can receive the proper mental health treatment or detox/rehab center that is needed. I can recall one call that I went on. I want to help create a world where people always have access to the healthcare they need. Where they have access to the necessary information and resources so that they can get that care. I want to be a part of that solution. In many workplaces, it is difficult to request time off for therapy sessions let alone a long-term counseling program without the employee having to worry about losing wages, losing their insurance, or even possibly losing their job. Another part comes into play with the idea that coworkers talk, things get misinterpreted, and a mental health leave of absence turns into a stay in a psychiatric hospital due to workplace gossip. This leads to embarrassment and hesitancy to reach out for help. Even though this seems far-fetched, that is how certain people think, it is how I used to think until it happened to me. I was embarrassed, I thought I was alone, and I was more worried about what other people would think of me than I was concerned about my mental health improving. When I finally hit my boiling point and took the time for myself that I needed to get back to a healthy place, my life changed for the better. I can easily say it is one of the best and smartest things I have ever done. I consider myself lucky in a way though. Not everyone has the resources I had. I work in healthcare, I have good insurance, and I was able to use the information and resources to find the right therapist and counseling program for me. This took time and effort though. The first therapist I went to cost me almost $300 per session out of pocket. For many this is unsustainable. Even just going to one weekly session is over $1,000 per month, $12,000+ per year. After utilizing what my insurance provided me, I was able to find the care I needed for $0 out of pocket. The help is out there, sometimes we just need to reach out and ask. My goal is to be that lifeline for people. To be able to share my story and my success and do everything I can to ensure my patients receive the same beneficial care that I received.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 1, 2023. Winners will be announced on Apr 1, 2023.

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