The Hanger Foundation today announced the creation of the Hanger Foundation Diversity Scholarship as part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion in the orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) profession. To help address nationwide systemic racism, interrupt bias, and ultimately create a more inclusive profession, Hanger, Inc. (NYSE: HNGR) committed to take tangible actions. One of the five areas of focus was attracting more diverse candidates to O&P graduate programs.
"Research has shown that clinicians of color are underrepresented within the O&P industry," stated Hanger Foundation Executive Director, Gloria Gonzales Dholakia, PhD. "It is our vision to help equip students from more diverse backgrounds with the tools they need to pursue a career in O&P. The Hanger Foundation is committed to this cause, and we look forward to building on the new program for years to come."
The scholarships will supplement the cost of the two-year Masters of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics (MSPO) program and will offer a two-year mentorship with the option of pursuing a residency with Hanger Clinic. Beginning this fall, the Hanger Foundation will issue the scholarships directly to a number of universities across the nation to help recruit underrepresented students of color into the O&P profession.
"By aligning with the Hanger Foundation on this important initiative, Hanger is committing to help build a more inclusive profession to better serve our patients," stated Hanger President and Chief Executive Officer Vinit Asar. "Our hope is that others will join us in actionable steps to help enact meaningful change within the healthcare profession."
Since 2015, the Foundation has donated nearly $1.4 million to local and national organizations serving a variety of communities, including people with limb loss and limb difference and other physical challenges. The new scholarship program will diversify the Foundation’s offerings, while still committing to advance communities by supporting charitable organizations that help people with physical challenges. To learn more about the Hanger Foundation and how you can get involved, visit http://www.hanger.com/doing/Pages/Diversity-Scholarships.aspx.
About the Hanger Foundation – The Hanger Foundation was founded in 2009 by Hanger, Inc. (NYSE: HNGR), a leading provider of orthotic and prosthetic patient care services and solutions. Hanger's heritage of charitable giving dates back to the company's founding 160 years ago. For many years, Hanger clinicians and employees consistently and generously donated millions of dollars in free care and financial contributions to a variety of causes, including hardship cases in their own communities. In 2009, Hanger formalized and increased its philanthropic work by establishing a non-profit organization, the Hanger Foundation. For more information, visit: www.hangerfoundation.org.
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Krisita Burket, Hanger, Inc.
Meghan Williams, Hanger, Inc.