Newswise — (CHICAGO) – In honor of his late wife, Congressman Bobby L. Rush has established the Carolyn and Bobby L. Rush Scholarship, which will be awarded to underrepresented minority students interested in pursuing a career in health sciences through the Rush University College of Health Sciences Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) program.

“The Carolyn and Bobby L. Rush Scholarship will be designed to attract and retain the most talented yet economically disadvantaged students to the Rush University College of Health Sciences BSHS program and equip these students for a successful career in health care, one of the fastest growing industries in the country, with the ultimate goal of eliminating healthcare disparities,” said Congressman Rush.

“This funding is much-needed funding for our program. The scholarship will help students who have faced many social and economic challenges to be able to go to school, so that they can better their lives, their families and their communities through a career in health care,” said Mary Gugilelmo, MPH, assistant dean, College of Health Sciences, Rush University.

In collaboration with the City Colleges of Chicago, including neighboring Malcolm X College, Rush University created a smooth and seamless process by which eligible students complete their baccalaureate degree after the first two years in city colleges.

The BSHS program curriculum prepares students to enter health science graduate degree programs requiring or suggesting a bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite. The BSHS program’s upper division coursework, equivalent to junior and senior years, consists of core courses required of all students.

In addition, the Rush University College of Health Sciences seeks to ensure that enrolled students successfully complete their degrees through a variety of additional resources. Regular advising and tutoring opportunities allow students to seek support when and how they need it. A planned mentorship program pairs BSHS students with a variety of health care professionals – such as audiologists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, medical laboratory scientists, nutritionists, nurses, physician assistants and physicians – as well as recent graduates. These additional opportunities will position Rush BSHS students for success.

The Rush Division of Cardiology will further augment the Carolyn and Bobby L. Rush Scholars by engaging the students in a program called Helping Everyone Assess Risk Today! (HEART!)

A Rush Division of Cardiology program, HEART! that provides community health screenings to prevent and identify risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly in the minority communities of Chicago’s West and South side neighborhoods – the areas with the highest rate of cardiovascular disease in the city. Scholarship recipients will participate in HEART! screening events, then reflect on their experiences through journaling and with classroom presentations.

Through HEART!, the Carolyn and Bobby L. Rush Scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to engage in community based research and also will shadow physicians and nurse practitioners at the Rush Heart Center for Women and engage in the center’s outreach efforts.

“Congressman Rush and his late wife were always committed to the improvement of health care and education of our community members, and we are honored to have a scholarship fund set up that fulfills their lifelong mission,” said Dr. Kim A. Williams, chief cardiology at Rush University Medical Center and professor of cardiology at Rush University.

The BSHS Program is currently recruiting for its fifth cohort of students. Past graduates have landed positions in health care institutions, or continued their academic pursuits in nursing, medical or health related graduate programs.

Scholarship support remains a central component of the growth plans for the BSHS Program. The most competitive students are actively recruited to programs across the country. Rush University is looking to offer two-year scholarships to attract the best students to the program and to give them the assurance they will be able to complete the program. The total tuition costs per student for the two-year BSHS program is approximately $45,000.

The Carolyn and Bobby L. Rush Scholarship will be directed to support underrepresented minority students, with a preference for applicants who live in Illinois (especially Chicago), are graduates of the Chicago Public Schools or the City Colleges of Chicago (especially Malcolm X College), and have a demonstrated financial need. All recipients must have an expressed intent to pursue a career in health sciences and to establish their career in Illinois.

Each year, the scholarship will provide four, $10,000 scholarships for a total of $40,000 per year for scholarships. An additional $40,000 will be directed to the Rush Division of Cardiology HEART! program to conduct community screening events on the South and West sides of Chicago, aimed at early detection of heart disease and risk factors in our inner city population.

Carolyn Rush died of congestive heart failure on March 13. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Rush University Medical Center to support the Carolyn and Bobby L. Rush Scholarship. Please send memorial gifts to Rush University Medical Center, 1700 West Van Buren, Suite 250, Chicago, Illinois 60612, or visit”