Banner Health Celebrates 32 Ashford University Graduates
More Than 100 Employees Have Graduated from the Program

CHANDLER, Ariz., Oct. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Zovio (Nasdaq: ZVO), an education technology services company that works with higher education institutions and employers to deliver educational programming and benefits, has partnered with Banner Health, a non-profit health system in the United States, based in Phoenix that operates 29 hospitals and several specialized facilities across six states, to provide debt-free education to their employees.

"Since the partnership began, more than 100 Banner Health employees have completed their degree(s) through Ashford University, including 32 employees who graduated this fall," said Vice President of Zovio Employer Services, Sam Fernandez. "By offering both Full Tuition Grants and Tuition Benefits, Banner Health is helping to transform the lives of their patients and their employees."

"Over the years, the partnership between Banner Health and Ashford University has continued to evolve and demonstrate the power of collaboration. People have always been at the heart of our mission and work; now, they play an even more critical role in our future," said Banner Health's Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion and Talent Pipeline, Jackie Hunter. "Not only are our people learning, but they're taking their knowledge and transforming their well-being in addition to the way we provide hope and healing to our communities."

"Receiving a Full Tuition Grant from Banner Health has allowed me to achieve my goal of being a first-generation college graduate," said Operations Director - Banner Children's Specialists, and Ashford University alumna, Joannie Merrifield (B. A. in Health Care Administration, 2020). "The formal education, which matches my work experience, has helped my career excel too. As the 100th graduate of this program, I am incredibly grateful to Ashford University and Banner Health for this once in a lifetime opportunity." 

"I graduated with my B.A. in Leadership (2017) through Ashford University after being selected for a Banner Health Leadership Development Grant. I then utilized Banner Health's Ashford University Tuition Benefit to complete my M.B.A. in 2019," said Human Resources Associate – Physicians HR Group, Haley Drunasky. "After starting school, I continued to move into higher roles, culminating in my most current human resources role. I am so thankful for the opportunity that both Banner Health and Ashford University provided me."

For information on how to work with Zovio Employer Services, please visit

About Zovio
Zovio (Nasdaq: ZVO) is an education technology services company that partners with higher education institutions and employers to deliver innovative, personalized solutions to help learners and leaders achieve their aspirations. The Zovio network, which includes Fullstack Academy, TutorMe, and Learn@Forbes, leverages its core strengths and applies its technology and capabilities to priority market needs. Using advanced data and analytics, Zovio identifies the most meaningful ways to enhance the learner experience and deliver strong outcomes for higher education institutions, employers, and learners. Zovio's purpose is to help everyone be in a class of their own. For more information, visit

About Banner Health
Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system owns and operates 29 acute-care hospitals, Banner Health Network, Banner – University Medicine, academic and employed physician groups, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services; including Banner Urgent Care, family clinics, home care and hospice services, pharmacies and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit

Contact: Alanna Vitucci
858 668 2586 x11636