I wanted to take a moment to share with you all the wonderful ways that Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) and our Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) are working to take Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programming in the health care industry to another level.
We continue to position HCSC as an exemplary employer of choice, one that attracts, develops and retains a diverse workforce that mirrors our marketplace, so we can better understand and meet the needs of our members.
Developing our youth to become more competitive in the areas of STEM-related fields has been a priority in our country and our organization. As we look to the future and how we will continue to meet the needs of our members and communities, the talent pipeline that comes from STEM is essential to our success. The internships, programs and scholarships we offer, helps open doors to education in STEM fields and also reflects our commitment to a diverse workforce.
For this reason our new corporate model is results-oriented, transparent and effective. At the core of our mission is the ability to identify and grow diverse talent needed while impacting local communities through closing gaps on education disparities.
STEM programs will drive our business imperatives of advancing inclusive work environments and leadership.
I’m proud to share that in May, HCSC announced the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas STEM Scholarship, in partnership with the historic UNCF (United Negro College Fund). Funded by HCSC and facilitated by the UNCF, the scholarship encourages graduating high school seniors in Illinois and Texas to pursue STEM careers by providing $20,000 scholarships to one student from each state.
Some of our additional STEM programing at HCSC consists of:
- HCSC STEM Career Day: A job-shadow day and round-table discussion for Chicago Public Schools students to learn about technology experiences and career options at HCSC. While at HCSC, students job-shadow IT employees and learn from leaders across various disciplines about STEM careers in health insurance;
- Lumity One-Day Challenge: More than a dozen high school juniors and seniors gather at HCSC headquarters in Chicago and work with IT and business leaders to complete an IT change-based project. In 2015 and 2016, students worked to create a mobile app that addressed childhood obesity by encouraging healthy activities. You can review photos and discussion at the Twitter hashtag #STEM1DC;
- Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas STEM Career Day: Through its Texas Plan, HCSC’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion hosts Girl Scout troops for engaging discussions and executive presentations in STEM career areas;
- TutorMate Innovations for Learning: HCSC employees help first-grade students from low-income communities learn to read via weekly web-based 30-minute tutoring sessions throughout the school year. During the sessions, the tutor and student read stories online and play internet-based games that build the student’s word knowledge;
- Work-Study Program with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School: Through its Illinois plan, HCSC sponsors work-study internships each year in which students job-share a position with an employee to earn college tuition while gaining on-the-job experience;
- As we continue our efforts to implement our enterprise STEM program strategy and work to identify and grow the diverse talent needed by collaborating with our key STEM internal and external stakeholders, we will continue to live our diversity and inclusion vision of Uniting talent from all lines of difference to benefit all lines of business;
Manika M. Turnbull, Ph.D.
Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer at Health Care Service Corporation
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