LSU Health Shreveport celebrates $500k in new endowed scholarships, professorships for Schools of Medicine, Allied Health

1411

Shreveport, LA (September 1, 2020) – LSU Health Shreveport announces the creation of three new endowed scholarships and two new endowed professorships. Private donations of $360,000 will be combined with $140,000 in matching funds from the Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund to create these endowments.

Leveraging donor dollars through the Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund matching program provides more impact for each dollar invested. Endowed gifts serve as a reliable source of income for institutions and in many ways are crucial to funding their continual success. Endowed scholarships provide funds to supplement the cost of a student’s education and make medical education accessible to talented and deserving students. Recipients of endowed scholarships are among a select group of the best and brightest students, who will join the ranks of our most distinguished medical alumni. Likewise, endowed professorships allow LSUHS to recruit and retain superior faculty. These endowments provide crucial support for faculty-led research, departmental enhancement, and educational development.

“Supporting our students and faculty remains a top priority at LSUHS” said Chancellor Dr. G.E. Ghali. “We thank our visionary donors for their commitment to the future success of our health sciences center and positively impacting higher education in Louisiana. Gifts such as these allow LSUHS to continue to lead the region in providing exemplary medical care, conducting ground-breaking research, and educating the next generation of healthcare professionals.”

Superior Graduate Student Scholarships

Lester Wayne Johnson Family Scholarship for Medical Students – Dr. Lester Wayne Johnson has served on the faculty of LSU Health Shreveport in Monroe for 24 years and assumed the position of Vice Chancellor for Monroe Clinical Affairs on July 1, 2016. A well-respected surgeon both locally and nationally, Dr. Johnson has made his home and practice in Northeast Louisiana his entire life. This scholarship will be used to attract exceptional candidates from Louisiana to enroll in LSUHS School of Medicine and offset a portion of the financial barrier facing students wishing to enter medical school.

Tommy Brown, MD Memorial Scholarship for Medical Students – On December 29, 2017, the Shreveport medical community and LSU Health Shreveport lost favorite son and brilliant cardiologist Tommy Brown to a brief but courageous battle with heart disease. Soon after his death, two of his closest friends, Dr. Paul “Corky” Davis and Mike Echols, sprang to action to honor their fallen friend. Corky and Mike engaged the LSUHS Foundation in a fundraising effort that raised over $98,000 for an endowed scholarship in Tommy’s memory. This scholarship will help defray the cost of tuition for a medical student hailing from a rural community in Louisiana.

Sandra and Jerry Martin Endowed Scholarship for Medical Students – Dr. Cindy Martin, an alumna of the Shreveport School of Medicine (who now resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota), has graciously donated to the Health Sciences Foundation to endow a second scholarship for medical students at LSU Health Shreveport. Her first endowed scholarship was created in 2018 for the same purpose. This scholarship continues to honor the legacy of her parents, Sandra and Jerry Martin. Sandra and Jerry are educators in Ashland, Louisiana, and Cindy credits them for inspiring her to achieve academic and professional excellence. This scholarship will help defray the cost of tuition for a medical student hailing from a rural community in North Louisiana.

These scholarships are critical to help meet the current and future shortage of physicians practicing in rural communities.

Professorships

David N. Cole Endowed Professorship for Community Health Initiatives in the School of Allied Health Professions – Margaret M. Shehee and David N. Cole have a long history of providing philanthropic support to areas of critical need in Northwest Louisiana. The Cole Professorship will build a competitive health and wellness research program by investing in talented faculty educators in the School of Allied Health Professions. The recipient will pursue initiatives that support health and wellness in underserved communities, including academic research into the nutritional concerns plaguing these parishes.

Max M. Morelock Professorship in Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery – Jasmine Morelock-Field was an accomplished artist and educator who enjoyed engaging children in creative painting. Married for 50 years to Max M. Morelock, she had two children, Maurice and Valerie. Both Max and Jasmine were grateful for the care they received at LSU Health Shreveport from Dr. Cherie-Ann Nathan in the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. As a result, Jasmine and her son Maurice have supported medical research in the Department for the past six years and at LSU Health Sciences Center as a whole for over sixteen years. With this endowed professorship, the Morelocks hope to recruit faculty interested in bioinformatics or genomics, memorialize Max and Jasmine in perpetuity, and provide a consistent source of funding to Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. Sadly, Jasmine passed away in late December 2019 before she could see this endowed professorship become a reality.