The Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation Health Care Careers Scholarship Program began in 2005. IHERF is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Iowa Hospital Association. IHERF is a charitable nonprofit and exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.

IHERF’s main function is the oversight of the health careers scholarship fund. The goal of this program is to fill health care positions that have a significant number of openings statewide and to recruit students with the opportunity to obtain significant scholarships to help cover the costs of health care education.

The Iowa Hospital Association supports the Health Care Careers Scholarship Program through the Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation (IHERF), an IHA subsidiary. Scholarships of up to $7,000 ($3,000 per year for a maximum of two years) each have supported higher education for more than 700 Iowa college students.

Since 2020 the IHERF Disaster Relief Fund has contributed to hospital employees affected by natural disasters.. Hospitals will be asked to report the number of employees displaced from their homes because of the natural disaster. IHERF approves the funds, and the hospitals determine the distribution of funds to affected employees.

  • $120,000 with $1,000 contribution to each hospital’s employee assistance fund during COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $100,000 contribution divided among eight regional Iowa food banks to address food insecurity due to COVID-19.
  • $156,500 Natural Disaster Relief
  • $75,000 in Derecho Relief to Iowa Hospitals
  • $16,500 in Derecho Relief to Iowa Hospital Employees
  • $50,000 in Tornado Relief to Iowa Hospital Employees
  • $15,000 in Flood Relief to Iowa Hospital Employees

IHERF Disaster Relief Fund Form

Guidelines for Members Seeking Hospital Employee Disaster Relief Funds:

  • A “disaster” is defined as a natural disaster (weather related).
  • Hospital employee(s) impacted must be displaced from their home. Either temporary or permanent loss.
  • Member hospital (Institutional Type 1 dues paying) request must be submitted on the IHERF Disaster Funds Request form and signed off on form by member hospital administrator.
  • IHERF funds will be distributed to member hospital and member hospital will then distribute funds to employee(s). Member hospital determines split of funds they award if two or more hospital employees affected.
  • IHERF does not request or maintain record of names of member hospital employees impacted.  


Are you interested in supporting health care in Iowa? The IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program helps ensure a consistent and strong workforce for Iowa hospitals while providing career and advancement opportunities for students. Contact us and learn how you can help.
Contribute to IHERF


Participate in events, such as our popular Swinging for Scholars golf event, the primary fundraiser for the scholarship program. Your participation shows a commitment to the future of health care in Iowa.


Are you interested in being a Swinging for Scholars sponsor? Please contact Michelle Ketelsen 515-288-1955 or complete this FORM


Click HERE to apply for college scholarships for health care careers. Applications are due February 29, 2024.



Jennifer Nutt
Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation
100 E. Grand, Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50309

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