On Monday, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) officials announced that the school has raised more than $775,000 for medical student scholarships as part of its campaign celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.
“This effort is unprecedented, and I could not be prouder,” said Andrea Tawney, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for TTUHSC El Paso’s Office of Institutional Advancement. “The entire team at TTUHSC El Paso collaborated to help raise more funds than ever for our students, and they reached this milestone in just nine months. We are so grateful for the outpouring of community support.”
The donations will benefit incoming and current medical students by funding new Foster, Excellence, and Anniversary Scholarships. This is TTUHSC El Paso’s most successful scholarship fundraising drive to date.
The Foster, Excellence, and Anniversary Scholarships are designed to recruit medical students to the Paso del Norte region and give talented young people from the border region the opportunity to attend medical school locally. TTUHSC El Paso created the Anniversary Scholarship in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Foster School of Medicine, which graduated its first class in 2013.
“Together, these scholarships help TTUHSC El Paso remain competitive while also investing in the local workforce and the future of health care in our region,” said Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., founding president of TTUHSC El Paso and dean of the Foster School of Medicine. “As one of only two Hispanic-serving medical schools in the country, it’s incredibly important that we recruit and retain talent in our region.”
The anniversary campaign raised scholarship support through many channels, including direct donor gifts, endowed scholarships, matched funds, and sponsorships for the Foster School of Medicine’s 10th anniversary celebration, “A Red Tie Affair for A White Coat Occasion.”
During the event, more than $50,000 was raised, which will be matched by Dr. Carlos and Mrs. Rocio Viesca, and Dr. Richard and Mrs. Bobette Lange.
“Because of the Anniversary Scholarship, I can start medical school this fall focused on becoming a great doctor instead of worrying about how to pay for my studies,” said Andrea McWilliams, an Anniversary Scholarship recipient and incoming medical student. “I was elated to find out I had been awarded a scholarship, and I hope that when I graduate, I will be able to give back to this community that has given so much to me.”
The February 28 celebration was attended by more than 600 community members and featured special honoree Dr. Jesus Guzman, a Foster Scholar and first-generation college and medical student.
Event guests were also able to “shop” and purchase books and tools that first-year medical students need, such as white coats and stethoscopes, at the pop-up shop, “M.D. To Be.”
“Thanks to our community’s generous support, students in El Paso can attend medical school without having to leave town,” said Dr. Lange. “Ten years ago, the medical school set out to improve access to quality health care in our region, and today, with student-run clinics serving low-income residents, residences for recent graduates, and physicians choosing to stay in El Paso to practice, we are doing just that.”
In the last decade, TTUHSC El Paso has graduated 523 doctors and medical residents and contributed $227 million annually to the local economy.
For information about TTUHSC El Paso, the 10-year anniversary of the Foster School of Medicine, the celebration or how to contribute to the scholarship fund, please visit the website.