First Class of Aspirus Scholars Named to Tackle Physician Shortage

Jan 18, 2017

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The Aspirus Health Foundation has announced the first class of future doctors and physician assistants have received scholarships totaling more than $200,000. The goal is to help alleviate a shortage of physicians in the region.

The Foundation's Executive Director Kalynn Pempek.....

".....we have named one medical student as an Aspirus Scholar. His name is Christopher Zeman and he's a student with the Medical College of Wisconsin Central Wisconsin campus, as well as two Physician Assistant students, Kristin Erickson and Hayley Schaenen, and they are both the UW-Madison Physician Assistant community-based program, held locally at the UW-Marathon County campus...."

The program provides scholarships for tuition. In return, the students agree to work at Aspirus upon completion of their training.

Pempek says the national physician shortage is reflected in this effort...

"...in the state of Wisconsin, by the year 2030 we're expecting a shortfall of 2,000 physicians and by the year 2035, 4,000 physicians. Aspirus and community partners created a $14 million endowment fund to pro-actively address this shortage...."

The Aspirus Scholars Program projects it could bring up to 62 new primary care, psychiatry or general surgery providers. Students are given preference if they grew up in, or have a connection to, this region.

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