Danielle Parks of Modesto, California Wins 2018 ACAP Scholarship

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jeff Van Ness, ACAP, (202) 204-7515
Jill Center, Health Plan of San Joaquin, (209) 461-2372 (cell: 415-730-5958)

Photo: Danielle Parks click here


WASHINGTON, DC—The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) has named Danielle Parks, a nursing student at Modesto Junior College, as the winner of its eighth annual national Scholarship Essay Contest.

ACAP established the scholarship in 2011 to provide crucial, timely financial assistance to an enrollee or an enrollee’s family member of an ACAP health plan seeking higher education to pursue a career in health care or social services. Submissions come from throughout the ACAP nationwide network of safety net health plans which collectively serve more than 21 million enrollees. The recipient is selected by the ACAP Scholarship Program Selection Committee. The award, for $5,000, is sent directly to the higher education institution of the awardee’s choice where they are to be applied to tuition costs.

Danielle Parks is a member of Health Plan of San Joaquin (HPSJ) in California. Her winning essays detailed a personal story of how her HPSJ doctors quickly helped diagnose and treat a medical issue found during a routine check-up. A single mom working hard to support her family while continuing her health care education, Danielle wrote about the immense support and partnership she felt from her doctors and nurses, emphasizing the top-notch treatment she received.

The mounting shortage of health care providers is especially acute in the Central Valley. Danielle, in her submission, also detailed her plans to become a nurse practitioner and serve her home community. Stanislaus County is considered medically underserved and part of an ethnically diverse region. The ACAP scholarship will provide $5,000 to help further her studies as she finishes her nursing studies at Modesto Junior College and goes on to the Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) program at California State University, Stanislaus.

“Beyond her work ethic and accomplishments, Danielle inspires us with her history of giving back to our community,” said Health Plan of San Joaquin CEO Amy Shin. “We also know her very well as one of HPSJ’s 2018 Health Careers Scholars. We look forward to her future success as a nurse practitioner in our community, especially those who need help navigating the healthcare system and being engaged in their healthcare. This ACAP scholarship, as well as the recognition and affirmation it brings, is well-deserved.”

“We are proud to honor Danielle today,” said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray. “Her commitment to learning and volunteering within her community, despite having faced adversity, serve as a testament to her strength. We are also proud of the innovative approaches implemented by Safety Net Health Plans like HPSJ to help their members get healthy—and stay that way.”

About ACAP
The Association for Community Affiliated Plans represents 62 Safety Net Health Plans, which provide health coverage to more than 21 million people in 29 states. Safety Net Health Plans serve their members through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Marketplace and other health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.

About HPSJ

Health Plan of San Joaquin, a not-for-profit, public health plan, has been serving members and the community since 1996. Located in the heart of California’s multicultural Central Valley, HPSJ is the leading Medi-Cal managed care provider in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. HPSJ offers a broad network of providers and works closely with physicians to develop programs and services to ensure quality health care for almost 350,000 members who are mostly working families and children, as well as seniors and disabled residents. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has awarded Health Plan of San Joaquin its three-year reaccreditation in the category of Medicaid HMO. NCQA is one of the most comprehensive evaluations in the health industry.

The mounting shortage of healthcare providers 
HPSJ is working with community leaders on several healthcare workforce development initiatives, promoting current residents to become healthcare practitioners and serve their own communities. We believe, while these initiatives take time to bear fruit, they are the most sustainable and practical ways to lessen critical shortages of doctors, nurses and pharmacists devoted to the well-being of our diverse community. Scholarships for local students pursuing health care careers that will have them serving the Central Valley are an important component toward this goal.

# # # 

Photo: Danielle Parks click here