Main header image
Van R. Johnson Sutter Scholars Program
Deadline to apply: April 1, 2024 11:59 pm Pacific Time

Established by Sutter Health in 2002, the Sutter Scholars Program is named in honor of former Sutter Health CEO Van R. Johnson and supports the continuing education of children and grandchildren of Sutter Health and entity employees. Sponsored by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation on behalf of Sutter Health, the program helps prepare students to become compassionate, responsible citizen leaders of tomorrow while also showing appreciation for the employees of Sutter Health by providing a competitive scholarship for their children and grandchildren. Scholarships are awarded annually and vary based on need and competitive review.

This program is administered by Scholarship America®, the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals. Awards are granted without regard to any federal or state protected class or category.


Applicants must:

  • Be children or grandchildren of Sutter Health or entity employees who have completed their introductory period with Sutter Health or its entities as of the application deadline date. Employment status will be verified through the official payroll system.
    • “Child,” for the purposes of this program and application, means an employee’s child, stepchild, legal ward or the child of an employee’s registered domestic partner.
    • There is no age limit for applicants.
    • Children or grandchildren of employees on an approved leave of absence are eligible.
    • Children or grandchildren of a Sutter Health employee who retires, is laid off, terminated or voluntarily leaves the organization during the application cycle (February 1 through April 1), remain eligible for the current award.
    • Previous recipients may reapply for further awards if the Sutter Health employee retires, is laid off, terminated or voluntarily leaves the organization during or after the term of an awarded scholarship.


    • Be a graduating high school senior, high school graduate or current undergraduate who plans to enroll or is already enrolled in a full-time undergraduate course of study at an accredited two-year or four-year college/university, or vocational-technical school in the United States for the entire upcoming academic year.

    • Be a graduate student who has earned a bachelor’s degree and who plans to enroll or is already enrolled full-time in an eligible healthcare-related degree at an accredited graduate school in the United States for the entire upcoming academic year.

      Eligible graduate level degrees may include, but are not limited to, concentrations in the following healthcare-related subject matter areas:

      • Acupuncture
      • Chiropractic studies
      • Complementary and/or integrative medicine programs
      • Dentistry
      • Health sciences
      • Homeopathy
      • Medical school
      • Nursing
      • Occupational therapy
      • Optometry
      • Pharmacy
      • Physical therapy
      • Psychiatry or psychology
      • Public health
      • Social work (health-related career path)
      • Speech therapy

      Graduate students enrolled in post-graduate teaching credential programs are NOT eligible.


  • Maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent).

Ineligible Applicants

  • Children or grandchildren of independent contractors, temporary staff or volunteers are NOT eligible.
  • Children or grandchildren of physicians are NOT eligible unless the physician is employed by Sutter Health or one of its entities.
  • Applicants who are themselves Sutter Health or entity employees are NOT eligible even if they are the child or grandchild of another Sutter Health or entity employee. Also, scholarship recipients may not be employed by Sutter Health or one of its entities at the time the awards are disbursed. Note for applicants: Please call Sutter Health’s Employee Service Line (855-398-1631 or 916-297-8300) to determine if your Sutter entity has a tuition reimbursement policy.

Have a question? View these Frequently Asked Questions.

If selected as a recipient, scholarships may be awarded for the upcoming academic year as follows:

  • Scholarship Program I: awards up to $3,000 for the academic year: Available to students attending four-year schools in any major or graduate students in healthcare-related fields. Applicants must submit an essay with their application of 2,000 characters or less.
    • The 2024 essay question is: Certain factors such as race, gender, age, education, income, disability and living situation can make it difficult for people to get the healthcare they need. What are some inequalities in healthcare you know of? If you could do something to make it easier for more people to receive high-quality healthcare services, what would that be?
  • Scholarship Program II: awards up to $1,000 for the academic year: Available to students attending two-year colleges, community colleges and vocational schools. No essay is required with the application.

Awards are not renewable; however, students may reapply to the program each year they meet eligibility requirements. Recipients may receive the award for a maximum of four years.

Awards can be used for any education-related expenses. Once tuition, fees and other on-campus expenses have been met, the college may release any remaining funds to the student for other education-related expenses.

Awards are for undergraduate and graduate study.

Applicants will be notified by the end of June of their award status. This program is highly competitive and not all students applying for a scholarship will receive an award. All applicants agree to accept the decision as final.

Payment of Scholarships
Scholarship America processes Van R. Johnson Sutter Scholars Program payments on behalf of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation. Payment is made in one installment in August. The student and their family are responsible for directing the scholarship to the correct department within the educational institution. Recipients must notify Scholarship America of any changes in address, school enrollment or other relevant information.

Selection of Recipients
The program will consider the following factors to determine each applicant’s merit:

  • past academic performance
  • leadership and participation in school and community activities
  • work experience
  • statement of career and educational aspirations and goals
  • any unusual personal or family circumstance

Four-year college students and graduate students are required to provide an essay of 2,000 characters or less, which is part of the evaluation.

Financial need will be considered. Recipients must demonstrate financial need.

Recipients are selected by Scholarship America. All information received is considered confidential. In no instance does any officer or employee of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation or Sutter Health play a part in the selection. The selection committee’s decisions are final and are not subject to appeal. The selection process will not be influenced or affected by any federal or state protected class or category of any applicant.

Have a question? Visit these Frequently Asked Questions.

As part of your application, you must upload the following documents:

  • A current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Transcripts must display student name, school name, grades and credit hours for each course and term in which each course was taken.

NOTE: If you are providing SAT or ACT test scores, and those scores are not listed on your high school transcript, you will need to upload a copy of your test score report(s) separately. If you are uploading a college transcript, those scores are not required.

Your application is not complete until you have submitted all documents online with the application through the Scholarship America Student Hub.

Have a question? Visit these Frequently Asked Questions.

The Sacramento Region Community Foundation has partnered with Scholarship America to manage this scholarship. Select the button below to be redirected to the Scholarship America Student Hub.

Please make sure to add as well as the program email address provided below in the footer as safe senders in your email contact list.