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Fund Supports Area Medical Students

Addresses region’s physician shortages

Jessica LaPiano, left, and Christine Robertson.

2016 recipients, Jessica LaPiano, left, and Christine Robertson.

Alarmed by the steady decline in the number of physicians practicing in Western New York, local physicians and community leaders created a new organization in 2015 that is designed to train and keep more doctors in the area.

The Western New York Medical Scholarship Fund is an independent community organization that provides four-year scholarships to Western New York students to attend the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

In order to accept the scholarship, the students must pledge to stay in Western New York to practice for at least five years. Each awardee receives a minimum of $30,000 annually for each of the four years of medical school.

Medical school scholarship gives new doctors a reason to stay

First-year medical students Jessica LaPiano and Christine Robertson are the 2016 recipients of the Western New York Medical Scholarship Fund award.

“I love the city of Buffalo and have always wanted to remain here,” says Robertson, who is from Williamsville, N.Y. “The city and its people are going through an incredible renaissance right now and it is so exciting to be part of that progress. It is such an honor to have been awarded this scholarship.”

LaPiano, from Lancaster, NY, says: “I am very excited to know that I will be part of Buffalo’s rising medical community. Buffalo has been and always will be the city that I call home. I am grateful for the opportunity this scholarship provides me to give back to the community that has inspired and mentored me.”

The 2016 scholarships are being funded by the John R. Oishei Foundation, Roswell Park Alliance Foundation and West-Herr Automotive Group.

Students accepted to the Jacobs Medical School must meet highly select criteria to be eligible for these scholarships. They must have graduated from a high school within the eight counties of Western New York, excel academically and have a demonstrated financial need.