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Agricultural News

Blue Cross Blue Shield Looking for Future Doctors for Rural Oklahoma at OYE

Fri, 21 Mar 2014 11:02:22 CDT

Blue Cross Blue Shield Looking for Future Doctors for Rural Oklahoma at OYE

One of the newest sponsors at the Oklahoma Youth Expo this year is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. Ted Haynes, the company's president, said he first became aware of the OYE through Bob Funk, OYE's chairman of the board, who was also a member of the Blue Cross board.

With a shared interest in the youth of Oklahoma and healthcare in rural Oklahoma, the two put their heads together, Haynes said, and "we came up with an idea of sponsoring some scholarships for rural youth that are interested in going to college and majoring in the medical field and then practicing in rural Oklahoma to take care of rural Oklahomans." (Haynes spoke with Radio Oklahoma Network's Ron Hays. You can catch their conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of this story.)

Haynes said expanding the pool of healthcare providers outside of the metropolitan areas of the state is crucial for his company.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma has a large majority of the rural Oklahomans covered now and we're very concerned about access to healthcare for those people. We have a lot of doctors in Oklahoma who are nearing retirement age and we are interested in supporting efforts that would guarantee that we'd have young people that are interested in staying in rural Oklahoma taking care of people there."

To achieve that goal, Haynes presented four, $5,000 scholarships at the OYE last night. The scholarships were for high school students enrolling in colleges to become healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses or physicians' assistants. The students also have to make a commitment to go back and practice in rural Oklahoma.

The recipients of the 2014 Blue Cross and Blue Shield scholarships were:

-- Cade Childers, Altus FFA

-- Hannah Armitage, Dale 4-H

-- Chelsea Morris, Atoka FFA

-- Katie Taylor, Paden FFA

The Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Multi Media Platform coverage of the Oklahoma Youth Expo is powered by Devon Energy- where commitment runs deep- and by the Title Sponsor of the 2014 OYE, McDonald's- I'm Loving It.


Ron Hays talks with Ted Haynes about the 2014 Blue Cross Blue Shield OYE scholarships.
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