The Wellmark Foundation and Drake University fund six scholarships to John Dee Bright College to show appreciation to health care workers

Employees and dependents at Broadlawns Medical Center, MercyOne Des Moines and UnityPoint Health – Des Moines are eligible

The Wellmark Foundation and Drake University announced today two employees or their dependents from each of three of central Iowa’s health systems will receive scholarships to attend John Dee Bright College at Drake University. The Wellmark Foundation and Drake are establishing the John Dee Bright Wellmark Health Care Appreciation Scholarship, with both organizations contributing $90,000 each to fund six scholarships valued at $30,000 for the two-year program.

“The Wellmark Foundation is committed to positively impacting the well-being of communities we serve, including the outstanding, dedicated health care workers of central Iowa,” said Cory Harris, The Wellmark Foundation Chairman and Wellmark President and CEO. “Higher education, and the opportunities it unlocks, can benefit the health and well-being of individuals, their families and communities. We are grateful to be able to give back to those who do so much for us all.”

Bright College admissions staff will select two employees or their dependents from each of the following organizations to receive the scholarships: Broadlawns Medical Center, MercyOne Des Moines, and UnityPoint Health – Des Moines. Recipients will be eligible to enroll in the college starting the fall 2022 semester. Interested applicants can apply at

“We created Bright College with the motivating belief that Drake University can, through education, empower individuals of all ages and from all backgrounds to enhance their lives and the lives of others,” said Drake University President Marty Martin. “The individuals who will receive these scholarships have proven their dedication to enhancing lives and have done so during a time in which we’ve made historic asks of their service. We are grateful to the leadership of The Wellmark Foundation for sharing our vision and making these scholarships possible.”

Bright College offers two-year associate’s degrees in either Business, Organization and Professional Studies or the Integrated Arts, Sciences and Humanities. Bright College educators emphasize hands-on experience and transferable skills like critical thinking, systems literacy, intercultural understanding, collaborative problem-solving, and effective communication. In addition, all Bright College graduates are guaranteed admission, with full credit transfer, to a Drake University four-year degree program.

Since its inception in 1991, The Wellmark Foundation has awarded nearly $58 million in grant and project funding to initiatives that positively impact the well-being of Iowans and South Dakotans.

About Drake University
Drake University is a midsize, private university in Des Moines, Iowa, enrolling nearly 3,000 undergraduate and more than 1,800 graduate students. Students choose from over 70 majors, minors, and concentrations and 20 graduate degrees offered through six colleges and schools. Drake students, faculty, and staff take advantage of the wealth of cultural, recreational, and business opportunities found in Iowa’s capital city. In return, Drake enriches the city through its own cultural offerings, considerable economic impact, and many service-learning endeavors, which channel the talent and energy of the Drake students toward meeting the needs of the community.

About The Wellmark Foundation
The Wellmark Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created by Wellmark, Inc., doing business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Please visit The Wellmark Foundation’s website at to learn more about our grant program, as well as a list of previous grant recipients. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa and The Wellmark Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.