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Physician assistant student receives national scholarship

By Elise Herrera-Green

Michelle Lagua, a member of the Class of 2013 Primary Care Physician Assistant Program, has been selected as one of six 2013 National Medical Fellowship, Primary Care Leadership Program (PCLP) Scholars across the nation.

As a National Medical Fellowship Scholar, Lagua will receive a $5,000 scholarship and a stipend to cover travel, living and lodging expenses for a 200-hour service learning opportunity at a community health clinic.

Beginning in June 2013, Lagua will work at AltaMed Medical Group in Los Angeles with a designated mentor. There she will have the chance to see first hand the rewards and challenges of primary care practice in community health centers.

“I’m truly surprised and delighted at the honor. This is a wonderful opportunity, not just because of the scholarship, but because it provides experience in a community health clinic,” Lagua said.

During her time in service-learning, Lagua will engage in health care service, leadership training and project activities, as well as have the opportunity to network with organizations and the National Medical Fellowship alumni.

Selection of scholars is rigorous, and eligible candidates must demonstrate academic achievement, leadership, participation in community-based activities, participation in research and a proven passion for improving health care in medically underserved communities.

“The criteria for receipt of this honor are in alignment with what we look for when selecting students to attend our program,” said Kevin Lohenry, director of the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program. “We’re thrilled that Michelle is being recognized for these same values by others outside of our program.”

Created as a partnership between the GE Foundation and the National Medical Fellowship, the PCLP aims to address the growing need for primary care health professionals in underserved areas. Its overall mission is to develop a pipeline for future primary care professionals to build capacity at community health centers.

The PCLP is one of three service-learning programs offered by the National Medical Fellowship, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement and increase of underrepresented minority health care professionals in the workforce.

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