This week the West Virginia State Medical Association Alliance (WVSMAA) donated $90,000 to help provide scholarships for new medical students in West Virginia.
The Alliance is a membership organization comprised of physicians’ spouses. WVSMAA has held numerous fundraisers over the years for a variety of healthcare related projects throughout the state, primarily focusing on women’s and children’s health issues. Their fundraising has been entirely self-supported: all donations have been provided by WVSMAA members. Their latest effort will provide $30,000 endowments to each of the three medical schools in the state: the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, and the West Virginia University School of Medicine. The endowments will be known as the WVSMA Alliance Scholarship Funds. Interest from the funds is expected to provide at least three $1,000 scholarships each year to WV residents entering one of the three medical schools. The eligibility criteria include academic performance, leadership experience, and financial need.
The WVSMA Alliance Scholarship Fund was established in 2003 when then WVSMAA President Sarah Wade presented a check for $2,000 to Dr. Ron Stollings, who at the time was chairman of the West Virginia Medical Foundation, the administrator of the fund.
Rahul Gupta, MD attended the presentation of the endowments. He serves as chairman of the West Virginia Medical Foundation. The WV Medical Foundation served as the custodian of the fund since 2003. With the establishment of the endowments by the WVSMAA, administration of the scholarship fund has now been turned over to the three medical schools: Linda S. Holmes, Director, Development and Alumni Affairs at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Heather J. Antolini, Director of Institutional Development at West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and Clare Flanagan Assistant Vice President Health Sciences Development, Office of Philanthropy at WVU Health Sciences Center.
Members of the WVSMAA who participated in the endowment presentation were Sarah Wade, Ruth Gilbert, Judy Bofil, Sue McKinney and Rose Romero. Karen Foy, Director of the WV Medical Foundation and Sue Baek, Director, Health Care Policy and Legislative Affairs for the WVSMA and a WVSMAA member, were also present.
The WVSMAA is excited to offer these endowment opportunities to the medical community. Donations to the endowments can be made in honor of someone, as a memorial or to support an alma mater.
Many thanks to Sarah Wade for initiating the fund.