Thanks to the tireless efforts of John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) Dean Jerris Hedges, dedicated philanthropists Barry and Virginia Weinman and generous academic teaching partners Hawai‘i Pacific Health and The Queen's Health Systems, more than $3.66 million has been committed to fund 23 full scholarships for Hawai‘i residents starting their medical education this July. That is about one third of the 72 students that make up the incoming Class of 2022.
Mindful of a recent national survey that mentioned the economic challenges of becoming a doctor in Hawai‘i, Hedges said, “These 23 future doctors will be free from worry over the expense of a medical education while they study. They will be able to graduate nearly debt free and then choose their medical specialty based on their passion to serve, not financial constraints.” Hedges continued, “We are tremendously grateful to Barry and Virginia Weinman, and our partners at Hawai‘i Pacific Health and The Queen’s Health Systems for their multifaceted partnership over the years, and their investments in our collective future.”
How did these scholarships develop?
Experience with full-tuition scholarships began with the Barry and Virginia Weinman Fellowship in 2006 with a $1 million gift that funded 10 JABSOM students’ education in the ensuing decade.
Given the positive results of this earlier gift and discussions with Dean Hedges, Hawai‘i Pacific Health President and CEO Ray Vara committed to five full-tuition, 4-year scholarships for incoming, Hawai‘i resident, JABSOM medical students. Barry and Virginia Weinman agreed to match this HPH commitment and encouraged similar community commitments.
President and CEO Arthur Ushijima and The Queen’s Health Systems, building on its consistent and generous partnership with JABSOM, decided to fund 6.75 full-tuition, 4-year medical student scholarships, which were also matched by the Weinmans.
The mean medical school educational debt of a University of Hawai‘i JABSOM medical student upon graduation is $169,000. Some owe much more, from financing both their college undergraduate education and medical school. UH medical students also come from families of lesser financial means than those at most U.S mainland medical schools.
“Our mission is to create a healthier Hawai‘i. That commitment includes not only providing high quality health care, but also forming strong community partnerships that invest in the future of our industry to help accomplish our mission,” according to Vara. “We’d like to extend a sincere thanks to the Weinmans for not only envisioning the scholarship program, but for continuing to support the education of Hawai‘i’s future physicians.”
- Ray Vara
“Investing in physician education and retention is investing in Hawai‘i’s future,” said Arthur Ushijima, President and CEO of The Queen’s Health Systems. “In order to provide the best kind of care for the people of Hawai‘i, we must be proactive in giving young talent in the medical field the opportunity to succeed and thrive, right here at home. We are grateful for the leadership shown by the Weinmans in their desire to address this ongoing issue for Hawai‘i’s medical students and the landscape of health care in our community"
- Queen’s Health Systems
"Hawai‘i tends to lose talented medical student applicants to mainland colleges, where they often get full scholarships. While on the mainland, they may find spouses, have kids and may not be able to afford to return to Hawai‘i. Hopefully, these scholarships will enable these students to study at JABSOM and practice here in Hawai‘i. We provided scholarships to 10 students about a decade ago; many of these students have returned to practice here and raise their families in Hawai‘i. We enjoy hearing their stories - one married a mainland doctor and brought his spouse back to practice here.
With so many of Hawai‘i’s doctors retiring in the next 5 years and the cost of a medical education rising annually, Hawai‘i’s wellbeing will remain precarious unless more doctors can afford to be educated and then practice here. Hopefully, these scholarships will impact Hawai‘i’s wellbeing."
- Barry and Virginia Weinman
MAKE A GIFT
If you would like to help solve Hawai‘i’s doctor shortage, please contact Elaine Evans at (808) 692-0991.
You can also make a gift online.Make a Gift
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The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa honors its unique research environment to excel in science-based efforts to eliminate diseases that disproportionately affect people in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region. Annually at JABSOM, more than 500 future physicians are learning medicine, JABSOM researchers secure up to $52 million in grants, and overall economic stimulus to Hawaiʻi from the school tops $456 million annually. JABSOM also confers degrees in Clinical Translational Research, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Tropical Medicine, Cell and Molecular Biology, Medical Technology and Developmental and Reproductive Biology. Learn more at http://jabsom.hawaii.edu/
Hawai‘i Pacific Health is a not-for-profit health care system with over 70 locations statewide including medical centers, clinics, physicians and other caregivers serving Hawai‘i and the Pacific Region with high quality, compassionate care. Its four medical centers – Kapi‘olani, Pali Momi, Straub and Wilcox – specialize in innovative programs in women’s health, pediatric care, cardiovascular services, cancer care, bone and joint services and more. Hawai‘i Pacific Health is recognized nationally for its excellence in patient care and the use of electronic health records to improve quality and patient safety. Learn more at HawaiiPacificHealth.org.
The Queen’s Health Systems (QHS) is a nonprofit corporation established in 1985 to provide expanded health care capabilities to the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Region. Its mission is to “fulfill the intent of Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV to provide in perpetuity quality health care services to improve the well-being of Native Hawaiians and all of the people of Hawai‘i.” This mission has guided Queen’s for 158 years amidst changes in health care. QHS is the parent company of The Queen’s Medical Center (QMC), founded in 1859 by the Queen and King to save Native Hawaiians, who were dying of illness and disease. Today, QHS is also comprised of a pre-eminent family of health care-related companies with more than 7,000 employees and 1,700 physicians. In addition to QMC, The Queen’s Medical Center – West O‘ahu, The Queen’s Health Care Centers, Queen Emma Land Company, Queen’s Development Corporation, Queen’ s Insurance Exchange, Inc., Molokai General Hospital, and North Hawaii Community Hospital are wholly-owned subsidiaries of QHS. Additionally, it has ownership interests in CareResource Hawaii, Hamamatsu/Queen’s PET Imaging Center, Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc., and The Queen’s Clinically Integrated Physician Network. Learn more at www.queens.org.
The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations. www.uhfoundation.org