Avera Health Network

Avera Health Network provides scholarship funds
Medical education in South Dakota is about to get a huge boost, thanks to the regional Avera Health Network.

Medical students at the Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota are the beneficiaries of a new scholarship program resulting in $168,000 in new scholarship funds each year. These will be the largest scholarships available to students at the School of Medicine.

Avera is committed to funding 14 scholarships each year, giving preference to South Dakota's brightest and best students. Each year, these $12,000 scholarships will be made available to deserving first and second-year medical students, making it possible for a student to qualify for up to $24,000 in their first two years of medical school. The new scholarships were announced today at the USD Foundation annual meeting in Vermillion.

"Let me just say how excited I am that the Avera system has done this for the School of Medicine. I think it will have a significant impact on many, many medical students," said Dr. Rod Parry, vice president and dean of the School of Medicine. "This will give more students an opportunity to choose the school that I think is the best medical school available."

John Porter, president and CEO at Avera, said the scholarship commitment stems from the health system's belief in the quality of education provided at USD and an effort to help train South Dakota's future physicians. Each of the four major South Dakota hospitals in the Avera network, Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls, Avera Sacred Heart in Yankton, Avera St. Luke's in Aberdeen and Avera Queen of Peace in Mitchell, have agreed to fund this educational effort.

"Avera is pleased to strengthen its commitment to medical education in South Dakota," said Porter. "As a healthcare system, our goal is to provide the highest quality of care available anywhere in the region. Obviously, supporting talented young physicians is an important part of that effort."

The new scholarships will be available beginning in the fall of 2007.

For more information, please contact the Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota at 605-357-1300.

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