May 17, 2019
Thirteen minority students entering Texas medical schools this fall each will receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Texas Medical Association (TMA). TMA awarded the scholarships to the students today in Dallas at TexMed, TMA’s annual conference. Physicians selected the students for their academic achievement, commitment to community service, and desire to care for Texas’ increasingly diverse population. TMA has awarded close to $1 million in scholarships to budding medical students.
TMA created the Minority Scholarship Program in 1998 to help diversify the physician workforce to meet the health care needs of Texans.
The TMA Educational Scholarship, Loan, and Awards Committee chose one recipient for each Texas medical school from a competitive field of promising future physicians. The TMA Foundation (TMAF), the association’s philanthropic arm, funds the program.
The scholarship encourages minority students to attend medical school by lessening the financial burden of their postgraduate education, which averages more than $175,000. TMA has awarded 148 scholarships totaling $967,500 since the program’s inception.
Recipients are known as the “Bayardo Scholars” in recognition of the majority support provided by the TMA Foundation Trust Fund of Roberto J. Bayardo, MD, and the late Agniela (Annie) M. Bayardo of Houston. Other generous gifts from the TMAF Patrick Y. Leung Minority Scholarship Endowment, TMAF donor physicians and their families, H-E-B, and TMA county medical societies also support the scholarships.
2019 TMA Bayardo Scholars
Maya Adams of Houston graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2018 with a bachelor of science degree in neuroscience. She will attend The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas this fall. She hopes eventually to become an obstetrician-gynecologist and practice in a medically underserved urban area, such as in Dallas. Ms. Adams’ scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund; the TMAF Patrick Y. Leung, MD, Endowment; and the Dallas County Medical Society.
Anna Amune of Sugar Land received a bachelor of science degree in biomedical science from Texas A&M University in 2018. She will pursue her medical degree at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in Bryan/College Station and wants to work in a primary care specialty one day. The TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and E. Thomas Wightman Jr., MD, of Arlington, provided Ms. Amune’s scholarship.
Mia Benavidez of San Antonio will graduate from The University of Texas (UT) at Austin later this month with a bachelor of science and arts degree in biochemistry. Ms. Benavidez will study medicine at The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine in Galveston. Her eventual interest is geriatrics and palliative care. She hopes to return home to practice in San Antonio after earning her medical degree and completing her residency and fellowship. Ms. Benavidez’ scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund; Baldemar Covarrubias, MD, of Corpus Christi; Mark J. Kubala, MD, of Beaumont; and Courtney George Williams, MD, of Kemah.
Megan Garcia of Dallas received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2016 with a double major in science-business and Spanish. She will enter The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine in Harlingen in the fall, and ultimately hopes to pursue pediatrics or another specialty that provides direct care to patients. Ms. Garcia’s scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund; the Hidalgo-Starr County Medical Society; and E. Enrique Batres, MD, of Sugar Land.
Ashley Henderson of Diboll earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Prairie View A&M University in 2017. She will attend McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. After she earns her medical degree and completes her post-doctoral training, Ms. Henderson hopes to return to her native Angelina County as a primary care physician. Her scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund; Harris County Medical Society/Houston Academy of Medicine; H-E-B; and Gregory R. Johnson, MD, of Houston.
Joshua Lara of El Paso received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from UT Austin in 2011. He will continue his studies at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso in the fall. Ultimately, he aspires to practice emergency medicine in a rural area of Texas. Mr. Lara’s scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and the Nueces County Medical Society.
Rachel Ortega of Amarillo graduated from Texas Tech University in 2015 with a master of science degree in accounting. She will attend Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. After earning her medical degree Ms. Ortega hopes to study family medicine, with the goal of practicing in a small town in East Texas. The TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and Carla F. Ortique, MD, of Houston provided Ms. Ortega’s scholarship.
Monserrat Paez-Espinoza of Plano received a bachelor of science degree in child learning and development from UT Dallas in 2015. Her plan is to become an obstetrician-gynecologist, and she will begin that pursuit by starting her medical studies this fall at University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. The TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and Irvin Robinson, MD, of Fort Worth provided Ms. Paez-Espinoza’s scholarship.
Diana Palacios of Houston earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from Texas Tech University in 2018. She will enter The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Long School of Medicine this fall. Ms. Palacious' long-term goal is to practice obstetrics-gynecology, caring for low-income patients in Houston. Her scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund, Drs. Mary Dale Peterson and Rafael Coutin of Corpus Christi, and Drs. Rajam and Somayaji Ramamurthy of San Antonio.
Michelle Raji of League City graduated from Harvard University in 2018 with a bachelor of arts degree in English. She plans to become an internist or a psychiatrist to care for patients in rural areas of Texas. Ms. Raji will attend Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin this fall. The TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and the Travis County Medical Society provided Ms. Raji’s scholarship.
Alexandria Rivas of Lubbock received a master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Texas Tech in 2017, after having previously earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish at Texas Tech. Ms. Rivas would like to provide care for people in rural Texas as a family or emergency physician. She will attend Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in Lubbock in the fall. The TMA Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and Cynthia Ann Jumper, MD, of Lubbock provided Ms. Rivas’ scholarship.
Yesenia Velis of Weslaco graduated from UT Rio Grande Valley in 2016 with a bachelor of science degree in biology. She will begin her medical studies at University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine in San Antonio in the fall, with the ultimate goal of practicing family medicine in South Texas. The TMAF Bayardo Minority Fund and H-E-B provided her scholarship.
Erica Brown of Crowley is entering Texas’ newest medical school in Fort Worth, TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine this fall. Ms. Brown graduated from Hampton University in 2006 with a master of science degree in public health. The TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and the Tarrant County Medical Society provided her scholarship.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing nearly 53,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans. The TMA Foundation raises funds to support the population health, science, and quality-of-care priority initiatives of TMA and the family of medicine.
TMA Contacts: Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320; email: brent.annear[at]texmed[dot]org
Marcus Cooper (512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336; email: marcus.cooper[at]texmed[dot]org
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