2009 TMA Minority Scholarship Recipients
Nine Texas minority college students about to enter medical school each have received a $5,000 scholarship from the Texas Medical Association (TMA). The nine scholarships are made possible through a grant from the association's philanthropic arm, the TMA Foundation , thanks to generous gifts from physicians and their families, and others.
TMA, America's largest state medical society, awarded the scholarships at TexMed2009, TMA's annual conference and expo, held this year in Austin. Since 1999, TMA has awarded scholarships to encourage outstanding minority students to enter the medical profession and help meet the medical needs of Texas' diverse population. To date, TMA has awarded 47 scholarships, totaling $235,000.
TMA selected the recipients from a highly competitive pool of minority students who have been accepted to a Texas medical school this fall. Each honoree demonstrated outstanding community service, health care experience, and academic standings.
José Romero of San Juan graduated from The University of Texas at Austin. He will begin his medical study at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston this fall. After attaining his medical degree, Mr. Romero plans to pursue political involvement in precollege education systems. His goals include improving the quality of education in deficient regions so that students will be prepared and even encouraged to attain a higher education. Additionally, he hopes to allow students on the pre-med path the opportunity to shadow him so that they can receive the same kind of insightful observation that he received from mentoring physicians. A gift from H-E-B provided Mr. Romero's scholarship.
Paul Hernandez of Laredo graduated from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. He will attend The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in the fall. Mr. Hernandez wants to provide proper health care to underserved South Texas border communities while helping to solve emerging border health issues. Gifts from the Khushalani Foundation; Somayaji Ramamurthy, MD, and Rajam Ramamurthy, MD; and physicians and their families provided Mr. Hernandez's scholarship.
Cynthia Miranda of Laredo graduated from The University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg. She will attend The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston this fall. As a Spanish-speaking physician, Ms. Miranda hopes to better serve Spanish-speaking patients in the Rio Grande Valley. Gifts from physicians and their families funded Ms. Miranda's scholarship.
Nelly Estrada of El Paso graduated from The University of Texas at Brownsville. She will attend the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso in the fall. Ms. Estrada hopes to set up a student-run health clinic where she can address the unmet medical needs of the urban poor. In addition, she hopes to organize health fairs so she can help patients acquire the knowledge and skills needed to successfully manage their own health. Ms. Estrada's scholarship was provided through gifts from the Dallas, El Paso, Harris, Hidalgo-Star, and Travis County Medical Societies.
Carlos Gonzalez of Laredo graduated from the Texas A&M International University in Laredo. He will attend The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas this fall. Mr. Gonzalez plans to start research in the fields of immunology and autoimmune diseases, where as a physician investigator he can improve the lives of people in Texas and around the world. Mr. Gonzalez's scholarship was provided through a gift from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.
Amy Thorne of Tulsa, Okla., graduated from Rice University in Houston. She begins her study of medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth this fall. Ms. Thorne plans to practice as a family physician in rural Texas, where she hopes her bilingual skills will help her to improve the health care delivery system for a largely underserved population. Ms. Thorne's scholarship was provided through a gift from an anonymous donor.
Janet Benavidez of Freeport graduates in May 2009 with a master's in medical science from the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. She received her undergraduate degree from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. She will begin her study of medicine at the Texas A&M University Health Science Center this fall. Ms. Benavidez plans not only to practice medicine, but also to motivate and teach potential physicians. Ms. Benavidez's scholarship was provided through a gift from James Rohack, MD, and Charli Rohack, and physicians and their families.
Asongu Josephine Ncho of Midland graduated from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) in Lubbock, where she obtained a master's degree in physician assistant studies. She will attend medical school at TTUHSC in the fall. Ms. Ncho plans to become a preventive medicine physician in the public sector and wants to improve health care at the community level. Ms. Ncho's scholarship was provided through gifts from Alan and Sarah Losinger, Potter-Randall County Medical Society, and physicians and their families.
Jessica Vela (not pictured) of Laredo graduated from The University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg. She will attend Baylor College of Medicine this fall. She plans to become a cardiologist in the South Texas Region, where she hopes to treat and educate the community in an attempt to enhance the quality of life. Her scholarship is provided by Wendell D. Daniels, MD, in honor of Vester B. Daniels and in memory of Ona Daniels, and other physicians and their families.