is dedicated to addressing health care needs in St. Clair County and Madison County, Illinois by sponsoring health care occupations scholarships to qualified students of that area. This scholarship program has been established to assist only students enrolled in a recognized health care occupation program at an accredited institution.
The 2019 program is closed. Please return to this site in January to access the updated program guidelines and application form.
This scholarship program is administered by Scholarship America, the nation's largest designer and manager of scholarship, tuition assistance and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, disability or national origin.
HISTORY OF THIS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The Sisters of Divine Providence, an organization of religious Catholic nuns, purchased St. Elizabeth Hospital, Granite City, IL, in 1921, and were the sole sponsor of that institution until January 1, 2002. As the Hospital's scope of clinical services increased, the name of the institution was changed to St. Elizabeth Medical Center. In the mid-1990s, the Sisters formed St. Elizabeth Health Foundation; the income to be used to support the care of the needy and promote health care.
In 2001, the Sisters of Divine Providence concluded they could not continue to sponsor the Medical Center and sold it to CHS/Community Health Systems, Inc. and the facility is now operational as "Gateway Regional Medical Center". In August, 2002, the Sisters elected to withdraw as sponsor of the Foundation and it was placed under a Board of Directors consisting of community leaders.
The Foundation joined the Ladies Auxiliary of Gateway Regional Medical Center as a Supporting Organization. In November, 2012, the Foundation recognized the success of its financial portfolio and concluded a more significant and enduring program could be provided. Hence, the Board determined the "It Starts Here Foundation", a 501 (c)(3) organization, and a subsidiary of Southwestern Madison County Chamber of Commerce, would provide it with a common goal to benefit residents in Illinois Madison and St. Clair Counties.
More than $285,000 in medical scholarships have been awarded since 2013 to students from Madison and St. Clair Counties in Illinois. One scholarship is named in honor of former Congressman Jerry Costello. St. Elizabeth Health Foundation welcomes donations to increase medical scholarships. Such contributions are deductible as a 501 (c)(3) organization.