Genesee Health Plan    5th Annual Health Heritage Essay Contest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020

Shannon Ciszek, Communications Coordinator, Genesee Health Plan, 810.232.7740,

Jen Shew, Director of Marketing, Sovita Credit Union, 810.720.8437,

Students invited to participate in Genesee Health Plan’s Fifth Annual Health Heritage Essay and Scholarship Contests

Contests teach Genesee County students about the importance of knowing their family health history, how it impacts their current and future health

FLINTGenesee Health Plan (GHP) today announced it is accepting entries for its Fifth Annual Health Heritage Essay Contest. This year Sovita Credit Union is sponsoring the contests, which are open to all students in Genesee County.

The essay contest is for elementary (grades 5 and 6 only), middle/junior high and high school students. Two scholarships will also be awarded to high school seniors pursuing a career in the healthcare field. 

“Knowing your family health history is a key part of prevention and living a healthy life. Our annual Health Heritage Essay Contest is one way we encourage students to think about their health today and in the future,” said Jim Milanowski, GHP President and CEO. “This year we are excited to announce that Sovita Credit Union is sponsoring the essay and scholarship contests.”  

Students are encouraged to interview one or more of their family members and write an essay about their findings, as well as their plans for their personal health and their future health. The specific essay guidelines are outlined below and can also be found at

Elementary (grades 5 and 6 only) & Middle/Junior High School

  • 200-350 words
  • Essay must be typed or clearly hand-written
  • First place winner will receive a $200 gift card; second place winner will receive a $100 gift      card

High School

  • 500-750 words
  • Essay must be typed
  • First place essay contest winner will receive a $400 gift card; second place winner will receive a $200 gift card

Health Care Career Scholarship Contest

  • High school seniors planning to pursue a career in the healthcare field may enter an essay for the opportunity to receive a scholarship. The essay must include information about the health career they plan to choose and why, the importance of good health, their goals and the impact they hope to make in their chosen field. Two $1,500 scholarships will be awarded.
    • 750 words or more
    • Essay must be typed      

“The name ‘Sovita’ celebrates the life of the community,” said Jen Shew, Sovita Credit Union Director of Marketing. “We serve the healthcare and educational community, so this partnership is a great fit for Sovita. We are honored to support the work Genesee Health Plan does to educate students and families about making healthy lifestyle choices and are very excited to sponsor this year’s essay contest.”

All essay submissions are due on or before Friday, March 27. Both scholarship recipients will be honored at Genesee Health Plan’s Health Care Hall of Fame Awards Dinner on April 17.

The contest also provides an opportunity for teachers to participate for the chance to win prizes. The middle/junior high school teacher who has the most students from their classes enter the contest will receive a $300 gift card and the high school teacher who has the most students from their classes enter the contest will receive a $500 gift card. Both winning teachers will also be recognized at the Health Care Hall of Fame Awards Dinner.

Essays can be submitted electronically to:

Contact Sherika Finklea at (810) 232-7740 ext. 217 with any questions.

For more information including specific contest rules and guidelines, visit


Genesee Health Plan (GHP)is Genesee County’s plan for better health which began with the vision to have a community where each person has equal and affordable opportunity to live a healthy life. GHP is a nonprofit health care organization that was launched in 2001 to provide health care coverage and life-saving services to the uninsured residents of Genesee County. The plan has provided more than 90,000 county residents with doctor’s visits, cancer screenings, prescription drugs, x-rays and many more life-saving services since 2001. Learn more about GHP at or call 844.232.7740.