Triebsch Health Scholar Program Created by Gift from Legacy Health Endowment and Livingston Community Health
December 11, 2023

A $250,000 grant from Legacy Health Endowment (LHE) to Livingston Community Health (LCH) will fund the creation of the Joelle and Robert Triebsch Health Scholar program at Stanislaus State.  

The grant builds on a previous LHE grant to LCH that created the Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nursing Practitioner program at Stan State. Since that previous grant was made in 2018, more than 65 students have graduated from the nurse practitioner master’s program.  

The primary objective of the Triebsch Health Scholar program is to support nursing practitioner graduates who pursue a doctorate in nursing through a program being developed by the University’s School of Nursing. The anticipated launch date for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program is fall 2025. 

The scholarship program is named to honor longtime Turlock lawyer Robert Triebsch for his outstanding service to the community and honor the memory of his wife, Joelle, a landscape artist who passed away in 2020. Triebsch is an original member of the LHE Board of Trustees and the longest serving member of the Stanislaus State Foundation Board, having joined the board in 1988. He has also served on the Turlock Public Schools Financing Agency Board of Trustees, Turlock High School Board of Trustees and UC Davis Chancellor’s Advisory Committee. 

In naming the scholars program in honor of Bob and Joelle  Triebsch, LHE President and CEO Jeffrey Lewis lauded the couple and their devotion to Stan State. 

“Joelle was an absolute gem for the few times I got to spend with her,” Lewis said. 

As for Bob, Lewis said, “If anybody in your life touches you like Bob Triebsch, consider yourself blessed.”  


Following an announcement of the gift at a recent gathering of the Stanislaus State Foundation Board, Bob Triebsch was moved as he noted his beloved wife Joelle could not be there to share the honor with him. 

“She was another pillar of the community,” Triebsch said, noting his wife’s volunteer work with the Girl Scouts and Association of American University Women, as well as freely lending her expertise as a landscape architect to design the landscape on Turlock’s Main Street and did tree planting there and at Turlock High School. 

 Triebsch also expressed his gratitude for the affordable education he received in California, paying $50 a semester as an undergraduate at UC Davis and $100 at UC Berkeley’s law school.  

“We need to provide a lot of support through the foundation. My paying it back has been in the form of over 60 years serving on educational boards: Turlock High School, Stan State, UC Berkeley and UC Davis. 

“I feel a great debt to the educational institutions of the state for what we received. We have a duty to students to pay it forward.” 

Lewis recognized the Triebsch’s service in choosing to name the scholars program in their honor. The DNP program, when launched in 2025, will continue to train nurses to serve the region. 

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to honor Joelle and Robert Triebsch and for the opportunity to honor Stan State for the marvelous nursing program that it offers, the fantastic nurse practitioner program that it offers,” Lewis said. “Most importantly, when Stan State launches its doctorate in nursing practice, we will educate more and more local students and we will rebuild the healthcare infrastructure in this area more than anywhere else in America.” 

Through this program, LHE and LCH hope to improve local access to quality health care by increasing the number of highly educated practitioners serving the region. To that end, Triebsch Health Scholars must agree to work within the LHE service area, which spans southern Stanislaus County and northern Merced County, for at least two years after they graduate.  

Noting that the grant is a major honor, Stan State Interim President Susan E. Borrego said the generous gift will help elevate the region by educating more medical practitioners at a higher level who are culturally competent.  

“This doctorate program will address the decades-long shortage of medical providers in the community,” she said. 

Borrego added that the doctorate program will connect graduate students with opportunities for local employment while helping to meet the medical needs of the Central Valley. 

“Most importantly, when Stan State launches its doctorate in nursing practice, we will educate more and more local students and we will rebuild the healthcare infrastructure in this area more than anywhere else in America.”

- Jeffrey Lewis, President and CEO of Legacy Health Endowment

LHE President and CEO Jeffrey Lewis emphasized the importance of increasing access to medical care locally by training medical professionals who will work in the area.  

“We firmly believe in fostering medical training programs that motivate graduates to serve the local community, thereby addressing this critical shortage,” Lewis said. 

Livingston Community Health CEO Leslie Abasta-Cummings said the LHE grant serves as a testament to the importance of advancing healthcare in the region and also signifies a brighter future for area residents. 

“Through the Joelle and Robert Triebsch Health Scholar program at Stanislaus State, we see hope, progress, and the promise of providing dedicated and exceptional healthcare professionals to serve our community,” Abasta-Cummings said. 

Founded in 2014 and based in Turlock, LHE was created from the net proceeds of the sale of Emanuel Medical Center, Inc., which were placed into a charitable foundation tasked with improving the health and wellbeing of area residents. 

LCH provides comprehensive primary and preventative health care services to patients, regardless of their ability to pay, at eight centers in Hilmar, Delhi, Waterford, Hughson, Turlock, Modesto and Livingston.