Upstate News

February 28, 2008
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

SUNY Upstate, county medical society create scholarship for local high school graduates

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Graduates of Onondaga County high schools who will begin medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical University this fall will be eligible for a scholarship made available through a fund established by the Onondaga County Medical Society and SUNY Upstate’s Medical Alumni Association. The scholar award could increase if its recipient promises to practice medicine in the Syracuse area.

The medical society’s Medical Student Fund was created through a $110,000 contribution by the medical society, financed by its Student Assistance Fund. Through the SUNY Upstate’s Matching Gift Initiative, this gift will produce a starting principal of $220,000.

The first scholarship, in the amount of $5,000 a year for four years, will be awarded this spring. An additional stipend may be provided if the recipient promises to practice medicine in the Syracuse area after completing medical training. At least one scholarship will be awarded annually.

“The creation of this fund is further evidence of the medical society’s historic relationship to the medical school,” said the medical society’s president, Thomas A. Bersani, M.D., who noted that many of the society’s members are graduates of SUNY Upstate alumni who have remained in Central New York to live and practice medicine.

“One of the reasons we decided to establish this scholarship fund, and stipulate that the recipients be a graduate of an Onondaga County high school, is the realization that someone raised here might be more easily convinced to practice here,” said Bersani.

“On behalf of the Medical Alumni Association and SUNY Upstate Medical University, we are honored to receive this generous gift,” said Vincent J. Kuss, executive director of SUNY Upstate’s College of Medicine Foundation. “This type of contribution exhibits the commitment and confidence the medical society has in our medical students. We look forward to working with the medical society with the hope of keeping many local students in the area to practice medicine in Onondaga County for years to come,” Kuss said.

Bersani added that the medical society will encourage physicians and members to consider an annual tax-deductible contribution to the scholarship fund.

For more information about the Onondaga County Medical Society Medical Student Fund, call 315-464-4361.

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