Roybal Foundation Health Internship Program | Spotlight

Roybal scholarships offer clinical internship experience

CSULA’s nursing students providing care at Rancho Los Amigos

Pictured: (l-r) Edward Roybal Jr., Gilma Santamaria, Jacelyn Phu and Beatrice Yorker.
L-r: Edward Roybal Jr. congratulates Cal State L.A.’s 2011 Roybal Foundation scholarship recipients Gilma Santamaria and Jacelyn Phu, along with Dean Beatrice Yorker of the College of Health and Human Services.

For their experience working with ethnically diverse clientele and commitment to serving in underserved communities, Cal State L.A. nursing majors Jacelyn Phu and Gilma Santamaria were both honored by The Lucille & Edward R. Roybal Foundation on Thursday, Oct. 13.

Phu and Santamaria were presented $5,000 scholarships to complete their clinical experience at a designated health care facility in the greater East Los Angeles area for a period of three quarters. Under the supervision of a nurse preceptor, they will be interning at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.

Through the collaborative efforts of Director Cynthia Hughes and Associate Director Lorie Judson for the University’s School of Nursing, the scholarship program is aimed at helping to assure the academic success of CSULA students who might otherwise be hampered by a lack of financial resources. Upon completing the internship, each scholarship recipient will also fulfill the academic units for Nursing 451 (Leadership), Nursing 497 (Case Management), and Nursing 487 (Capstone Course).

According to Phu, “This scholarship fund will help me to achieve my goal of continuing my education in hopes of receiving my master’s degree in nursing for a career as a nurse practitioner.” She added, “My personal philosophy on nursing is to provide holistic care while being compassionate and culturally sensitive to all patients and their families.”

Phu, who speaks Vietnamese, took an online Spanish course over the summer so she can also communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking patients and families. She has previously completed clinical rotations at Kaiser Permanente: Los Angeles Medical Center, White Memorial Medical Center, Arcadia Methodist Hospital and San Gabriel Valley Medical Center.

“I am certain that as a registered nurse I would be of a positive impact in the Hispanic community,” said Santamaria, who has witnessed Spanish-speaking patients get frustrated at the inability to communicate with their doctors and nurses. “I look forward to the opportunity to apply my skills as a registered nurse within my own culture.” Santamaria is also versatile in working with physically-disabled students, having served as a special education assistant in a Los Angeles Unified School District school in Sunland.

Reflecting on her academic journey, she shared, “It was one of the happiest days of my life when I was accepted into nursing—one of the most challenging programs that CSULA offers.”

UCEDD partnership:

This fall, a group of 20 CSULA students—from education to nursing majors—are taking a pediatric experience course focused on children with special needs at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

The HHS 395 course offers a small stipend to each participating student, and allows these students to choose observations from a variety of clinical sites while earning academic credits toward their respective majors. They also have an opportunity to attend interdisciplinary seminars during the quarter.

The course is offered through the USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD)/Minority Institution of Higher Education Partnership with CSULA, which is funded by a three-year Administration on Developmental Disabilities grant.

UCEDD at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles is a nationally-recognized leader in developing and supporting quality services and systems for individuals with, or at risk for, behavioral, developmental and/or special healthcare needs and their families.

For more info on the UCEDD-CSULA partnership:

The scholarships were earmarked for CSULA undergraduate students in the School of Nursing expecting to graduate in spring 2012. In addition to having a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, students were selected on the basis of financial need, demonstrated leadership, and strong communication skills.

“This scholarship provides significant financial support to deserving nursing students who are committed to serving East Los Angeles’ underserved populations,” said Beatrice Yorker, dean of College of Health and Human Services. “CSULA thanks the Roybal Foundation for recognizing our strong student and faculty clinical education partnerships with Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center and White Memorial Hospital.”

There will also be two more scholarships to be presented to CSULA nursing students, Nubia Melendez and Karen Klos, to intern at White Memorial Hospital at a later date.

The Roybal Foundation was established in 1985 to inspire community service by preserving and promoting the history of Lucille and Congressman Edward R. Roybal’s accomplishments through archival art exhibitions, education and community outreach. The Foundation also aims to provide internships and scholarships to students pursuing careers in health care, and financial assistance to programs and facilities dedicated to health care and/or health education, thereby carrying forward its founders’ legacy of leadership and community service.

Learn more at the following links: