Medical College of Wisconsin
Press Release

Third Class of Aspirus Scholars Named to Tackle Physician Shortage

Recipients receive scholarships for future service at Aspirus

By - Feb 15th, 2019 12:15 pm

WAUSAU, Wis. – The Aspirus Health Foundation’s Aspirus Scholars Program has awarded $550,000 to four medical students from the Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin campus (MCW-CW). The program is a community collaboration to address the national physician shortage and meet the needs of people and communities in north central Wisconsin and Upper Michigan today and for future generations.

The Aspirus Scholars Program provides generous scholarships for tuition to medical students and connects them to Aspirus and the communities served by Aspirus during their training. In return, students will commit to employment at Aspirus in the areas of primary care, psychiatry or general surgery.

Four Aspirus Scholars recipients have accepted scholarships in return for future employment with Aspirus:

“Our Aspirus Scholars award recipients already have strong ties to north central Wisconsin as well as the U.P. of Michigan and are passionate about medicine and caring for patients,” said Kalynn Pempek, Executive Director of the Aspirus Health Foundation and Volunteer Services. “Each will be a tremendous addition to the Aspirus family and the communities we serve.”

The Aspirus Scholars Program is a forward-looking approach that could bring as many as 62 new primary care, psychiatry or general surgery providers to communities in north central Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan by the year 2030. It leverages the unique opportunity to collaborate with a college partner whose program is specifically designed to attract students interested in learning and working in community and rural settings.

A selection committee made up of Aspirus and community members from Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan screened the applications and selected the third class of Aspirus Scholars.

The first two classes of Aspirus Scholars included five medical students from MCW-CW and four physician assistant students from the UW wisPACT program at the UWSP-Wausau Campus and from Marquette University.

“The local, state and national provider shortage is real, and the Aspirus Scholars Program was designed as an important approach to meet the needs of our communities for access to high-quality health care for future generations,” said Sid Sczygelski, Sr. Vice President and System Chief Financial Officer for Aspirus, Inc. “Aspirus and our community partners are proud to invest in the students who will care for our patients and communities as physicians and advanced practice providers in the future.”

Jenny Redman-Schell, President of Aspirus Clinics stated, “The Aspirus Scholars Program offers medical students an opportunity to begin rewarding careers with the Aspirus family and to see health care and community at its finest. With more than 7,600 employees and a world-class consortium of more than 500 providers committed to medical excellence, we provide a higher level of care to some of the most wholesome, family-focused communities in north central Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan.”

The Aspirus Scholars Program is made possible through contributions from community partners such as The Legacy Foundation of Central Wisconsin; Judd S. Alexander Foundation; Dwight and Linda Davis Foundation, B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation; Dudley Foundation, Molinaro Family, and individual donors.

Vital investments were also made by Aspirus Ironwood Hospital (Ironwood, Mich.); Aspirus Iron River Hospital (Iron River, Mich.);  Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital (Laurium, Mich.); Aspirus Langlade Hospital (Antigo, Wis.); Aspirus Medford Hospital; Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital (Ontonagon, Mich.); Aspirus Riverview Hospital (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.); and Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Aspirus is a non-profit, community-directed health system based in Wausau, Wisconsin. With more than 7,600 employees, Aspirus serves communities throughout northern and central Wisconsin, as well as the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The integrated system includes four hospitals in Michigan and four hospitals in Wisconsin, 50 clinics, home health and hospice care, pharmacies, critical care and helicopter transport, medical goods, nursing homes and high-quality affiliated physicians. Aspirus was recognized by IBM Watson Health as a Top 15 Health System in its 2018 annual study identifying the top-performing health systems in the country. For more information, visit aspirus.org.

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