Healthcare Foundation Announces Medtronic Grant for SRJC HOPE Program

The Healthcare Foundation announced a $15,000 grant from Medtronic to support the HOPE Program at Santa Rosa Junior College.


Healdsburg, CA, September 26, 2022 – The Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County today announced a grant of $15,000 from the Medtronic Bay Area Community Engagement Council to support the HOPE Program at Santa Rosa Junior College. The Healthcare Foundation is contributing an additional $5,000 for a total of $20,000 in support to the HOPE program.

The Health Occupation Preparation Education (HOPE) program at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) is designed for low-income, first-generation students with visible or invisible disabilities pursuing degrees in the medical field. HOPE is built on intervention strategies, support networks, and proven evidence-based models for student success to ensure participants persist and complete their certificate or degree, or transfer to a four-year institution. HOPE provides maximum support and satisfactory educational progress from orientation through graduation and transfer.

HOPE provides career and academic counseling, assistance with applying for scholarships and financial aid, a study center featuring staff support, workshops, career resources, and more. HOPE also organizes field trips to colleges and arranges for mentors within the medical community.

HOPE contributes directly to student retention and success. In previous years, when fully funded, the HOPE program saw a 100% retention rate and a 98% rate of good academic standing among its scholarship recipients—far above the 20% average for similar students without the program.

“The Medtronic Foundation’s generous grant allows HOPE to provide much-needed scholarships to first-generation students pursuing careers in medical professions,” explained Healthcare Foundation Executive Director Kim Bender. “We are proud to be contributing to this effort with this funding, all of which goes to HOPE’s range of activities and services, including a tutor to support students in required STEM classes.”

“Medtronic is proud to partner with the Healthcare Foundation to assist rising healthcare professionals in Sonoma County and believes in the importance of supporting first-generation students to achieve their career aspirations,” said Jean Lalla, Senior Director of Marketing, Medtronic, and a Healthcare Foundation Trustee. 

“HOPE has been extremely helpful,” said second-year student Rogelio Lopez. “They are super approachable if anything arises. The main thing about the HOPE Center is right there in the title. It actually gives you hope. I had hope of getting financial aid; I had hope of being in class again; I had hope of having somewhere to study—and they provided that.”

About the Medtronic Foundation

The Medtronic Foundation focuses on improving lives for underserved populations worldwide, as well as supporting communities where Medtronic employees live and give. Our vision is a world where every person has equitable access to quality healthcare and education. About the STEM portfolio: The Medtronic Foundation is focused on working with nonprofit partners to grow representation of underserved and under-represented populations in STEM studies and STEM jobs and in engaging employees to collaborate with nonprofit partners in service that meets the needs of the nonprofit partner and its beneficiaries.

About the Healthcare Foundation

The Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County connects people and resources to promote wellness in underserved communities. We do this by supporting nonprofits in the areas of access to healthcare and mental healthcare, with a vision of eliminating health inequities in our region. The organization’s values center on community, compassion, and equity. All our strategies support equitable access to culturally sensitive healthcare and mental health services and promote overall community wellness. Founded in 2001, the Healthcare Foundation has invested more than $27 million to build a healthier region for all who live, work and play in northern Sonoma County. For more information, visit

Media Contact: Kim Bender, Executive Director
(707) 395-4924

Related News + Stories