SEPT. 20, 2001 | Thanks to physicians and staff at Northeast Arkansas Clinic in Jonesboro, the College of Medicine presented two new full-tuition scholarships at its annual Scholarship Banquet Friday.
The clinic donated funds to establish endowments for the Northeast Arkansas Clinic Foundation Scholarships for young medical students at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).
Jim Boswell, chief executive officer, and Robert Taylor, M.D., of the clinic presented the scholarships at the banquet in Little Rock Friday evening. (See other photos of the banquet below.)
”As established physicians in this community, we wanted to invest in the future of our profession, honor the college, and help the emerging generation of doctors,” Dr. Taylor said. Boswell commented, “The clinic has served northeast Arkansas for nearly a quarter of a century. The physicians and staff of the clinic are committed to the health of our patients and the community we serve. We see the foundation as our gift to the entire community.”
The recipients were Lance Henry, a fourth-year student, and Joseph “Jay” Hudgens, a first-year student.
Grateful for the financial support, Henry said, “Like me, most students in my class need financial aid during medical school, so we must seek educational loans and scholarships to make it through school. The coursework is demanding, and we don’t have the time to hold part-time jobs for partial self-support. Loan debt must be repaid after graduation and residency training, but this scholarship is a gift from other physicians who have invested in my future as a doctor.”
Henry was the valedictorian of Jonesboro High School class of 1993 and captain of the school’s football team. He attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, earning a degree in microbiology. He received partial scholarships during his first three years of medical school at UAMS.
The clinic in Jonesboro established one of the full-tuition scholarships as a memorial to the late Hank Jordan, M.D., of Jonesboro. Dr. Jordan once diagnosed and treated Henry’s father, a lawyer in Jonesboro.
“My family is a beneficiary of the medical skill of the namesake of the scholarship I now hold,” the younger Henry said. (The scholarship is in addition to an endowed scholarship honoring Dr. Jordan raised by his UAMS classmates of the class of 1973. The NEA award is presented annually to an upperclassman, preferably a senior from northeast Arkansas, on the basis of superior academic performance, character, compassion, and financial need.)
Joseph Hudgens, a first-year medical student who attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, earning a degree in biology, received the second full-tuition scholarship. Hudgens’s career interests currently include geriatrics, orthopedics, and rehab medicine. He applied to 10 medical schools but focused on UAMS because of favorable comments from a cousin.
“Taking everything into account, it costs about $26,000 to attend med school here each year, so this scholarship will reduce the need for a bigger loan, save interest costs, and make school a lot less stressful. I really appreciate the help, and I intend to pay it back by achieving excellence in med school and through future medical practice,” he said.
Beginning with the 2001-02 academic year, the foundation created by the Northeast Arkansas Clinic awarded this full-tuition scholarship to the college with the view that the recipient be selected on the basis of superior academic performance and financial need. Preference is given to an entering first-year medical student linked to northeast Arkansas. The foundation also regards the scholarship as an incentive to keep outstanding students in the state to pursue a medical education and to enter medical practice here.
Richard Wheeler, M.D., executive associate dean of the college, said, “Scholarships help UAMS recruit and retain outstanding students. After graduating and setting up their own successful medical practice, our scholarship recipients often realize the significance of that early financial help and want to help others – to pass the gift along.”
Dr. Wheeler pointed out that the average educational loan debt of the students of the College of Medicine class of 2001 was about $72,000. “There is a concern that such huge educational debts may tend to limit the choice of specialty training these young doctors pursue – forcing them into potentially higher-income specialty areas – when some of them might prefer to pursue primary care medicine, which is frequently less financially rewarding. Meanwhile, this state needs more primary care physicians, especially in rural areas. So scholarships create win-win opportunities for students and the state,” he said.
Top: First year student Joseph Hudgens and Robert D. Taylor, M.D., CoM Class of 1976. (All photos by Dixie Knight)
Second: Jim Boswell, CEO of Northeast Arkansas Clinic Foundation, (right) and Lance Henry, a senior medical student
Sam LeNarz of Pine Bluff, (second from right), brother of Leroy LeNarz, M.D. (Class of 1976); Drew LeNarz; and Andra LeNarz presented the LeNarz-Ingram Scholarship to Justin B. Hunt (right).
From left: Robert Nunnally, M.D., (Class of 1958) and his wife, Ann Nunnally, of Camden, presented the R. H. Nunnally Scholarship to Erin Braden Goss, a first year medical student from Camden. Her husband, Benjamin Goss; mother, Dyan Braden; brother, Eric Braden; and father, Lawrence Braden, also attended the banquet.
From left: Bill Scurlock, M.D., of El Dorado (Class of 1960) and his wife, Barbara Scurlock, presented the Doctor and Mrs. Bill Scurlock Scholarship to Erik Young, a senior from Conway. The Scurlocks’ daughter-in-law, Amy Scurlock, M.D., (Class of 1998) joined in the presentation.
From left: Mike Velez presented the Debra Velez Owings Scholarship in memory of his daughter to Laura Duffy, a senior medical student from Eureka Springs, along with Mrs. Owings’ son, Alex Owings, and husband, Richard Owings, M.D. (Class of 1984).
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