Shyan Baker

Shyan Baker, an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) student at the joint Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech)/Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) program, has been selected as one of six recipients of the program’s EMS Diversity Scholarships, designed to address the need to improve diversity among the EMS workforce and recognize students who embody the university’s emphasis on inclusion, innovation and impact.

Recipient of a $1,000 scholarship, Shyan expects to graduate from Oregon Tech/OHSU in 2024 with a bachelor’s degree in EMS Management. “I lost my job because of COVID and so getting this scholarship was extremely helpful,” said Shyan, who is originally from Estacada. “School is very important to me and this scholarship helped me continue with school.”

Now more than ever, first responders are needed for extraordinary circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic currently putting a strain on the state’s, and the world’s, health care systems. Because cost is often a barrier to education, Oregon Tech and OHSU EMS faculty received grants from the AMR Foundation for Research and Education, the philanthropic organization affiliated with the nation’s leading medical transportation company, to reduce the financial barrier for marginalized communities.

“I think I can add a lot of diversity and experience to emergency medical services,” shared Shyan. “I am part of the LGBTQIA+ group and believe being a part of that group will make more patients comfortable when getting treated and transported. I also have a few mental illnesses, which gives me an advantage when working with patients who struggle with the same thing. I feel like I can be more empathetic with those patients.

“I have been interested in helping people all my life,” she continued. “I wanted a job that was fast-pace and where I could help people. I chose Oregon Tech because it was close to home and they are linked with OHSU. I grew up in a small town and being recognized is pretty awesome. It’s not something you think about really, especially coming from a small town. I struggled a lot in high school and I’m so happy that I’m able to go to school and pursue my dream career because not everyone has that luxury.”

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