Two incoming members of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine’s Class of 2021 have been named Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation scholars. Jennifer Jordan of Scott Township and Katherine Snyder of Dallas have been selected for the scholarship, which significantly reduces their tuition burden. Both scholarship recipients are from northeastern PA, and have demonstrated both academic excellence, and a desire to serve the communities of northeastern Pennsylvania.
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation was established in 2011 following the sale of Mercy hospital in Scranton. Its mission is to function as a foundation that supports the health care needs including, but not limited to, health education, community wellness, payment for medical care of the uninsured and underinsured, regardless of the facility of treatment, and to improve the complete physical, mental, and social well-being of the residents of Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wyoming Counties. The Scranton Area Foundation (SAF) serves as foundation administrator.
“Establishing this scholarship made sense, given NEPA HCF’s direct charge to improve the region’s health and wellbeing,” said Laura Ducceschi, administrator of NEPA HCF & SAF’s president and CEO. “Incoming medical students who apply for the scholarship must have a demonstrated commitment to practicing medicine in Northeastern Pennsylvania and a strong history of service to the community. Giving these students the financial support necessary to get their medical education helps ensure that talented future physicians can stay here in the region and care for our neighbors.”
“We are grateful to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation for giving these deserving students such generous support as they begin the study of medicine,” said Steven J. Scheinman, M.D., president and dean of Geisinger Commonwealth. “The academic road to becoming a doctor is difficult by itself. Financial concerns should not be an extra burden for these talented students.”
Jordan, valedictorian of her class at Lakeland High School and a graduate of the University of Rochester, is a first-generation-to-college student. As a physician, she is interested in primary-care fields, although she remains open to all possibilities. What is not in doubt, she said, is her desire to stay in northeastern Pennsylvania. “When I read the email explaining the scholarship I had received, I cried,” she said. “I couldn’t believe I’d been chosen to receive something this amazing, this life-changing.”
Katherine Snyder is a graduate of Dallas High School and Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. She also holds a master of biomedical sciences (MBS) degree from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. As a first-generation-to-college student, she said she grew up watching her father work multiple jobs to care for his family. As a high school and college student, she adopted his work ethic, sometimes juggling as many as three jobs in addition to her school work. “Describing what this scholarship means to me is difficult. It means that, for once, academics can become my top priority. My worries won’t need to focus on how to pay. Instead my priority can be my studies and my future patients,” she said, adding, “I don’t have a particular medical specialty in mind, but without hesitation, I hope to return to NEPA to practice medicine and serve my hometown community.”
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (Geisinger Commonwealth) is the newest member of the Geisinger Health System family. Geisinger Commonwealth offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Doylestown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) degrees. The college’s innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from within its 17-county region in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania, as well as from across the state and the nation.
PHOTO: Standing from left are Jeremiah Eagan, MD, NEPA HCF Board Member; Laura Ducceschi, President/CEO Scranton Area Foundation, Administrator of NEPA HCF; Michele McGowan, NEPA HCF Board Member; Mark Mitchell, NEPA HCF Board Member; Katherine Snyder of Dallas, NEPA HCF scholar, Class of 2021; Matthew E. Haggerty, Esq. NEPA HCF Board Member; Laura Barna of Mountain Top, NEPA HCF scholar, Class of 2019; Kerry O’Grady, NEPA HCF Board Member; Honorable Terrence Nealon, NEPA HCF Board Member.
Seated from the left are Natalie Gelb, NEPA HCF Board Member; James Clemente, CPA, NEPA HCF Board Chairman; Erin Connolly of Shickshinny, NEPA HCF scholar, Class of 2020; Jennifer Jordan of Scott Township, NEPA HCF scholar, Class of 2021; Jacob Parrick of Duryea, NEPA HCF scholar, Class of 2019; and Jason Homza of Kingston, NEPA HCF scholar, Class of 2020.