||Last Updated: Jul 24, 2018 - 10:49:13 PM
In its continued effort to ensure that sufficient numbers of Bahamians are trained to fill the varied healthcare positions throughout the country, the Doctors Hospital Dr Meyer Rassin Foundation presented more than 40 young Bahamians with scholarships to assist with next year’s tuition and associated expenses.
The students, who include those just headed off to college to begin their studies as well as students wrapping up their course work, are enrolled at colleges and universities throughout the Caribbean and North America and are pursuing degrees and careers in a wide variety of healthcare fields.
Each year, Doctors Hospital pledges a percentage of its profits to support the scholarship foundation which also hosts fundraising activities to ensure as many young Bahamians benefit as possible.
Doctors Hospital Chief Executive Officer Charles Sealy congratulated the students at an awards ceremony held earlier this month and explained why the health system feels compelled to support young Bahamians interested in pursuing careers in healthcare.
“Right here in Doctors Hospital, we have about 26 countries represented of professionals who come from around the world to be able to provide support to the healthcare continuum. That is because we don’t have the local population to meet our own needs. There are huge shortages within any number of disciplines in healthcare within the country. One of the things we want to do is not so much talk about Bahamianization but give Bahamians an opportunity within the healthcare environment locally,” he said.
The foundation Board members, led by Chairman Dr Judson Eneas, review hundreds of applications and select recipients based not only on their GPAs, but also on the need locally for their intended area of specialization.
Scholarship recipient Robin Nixon is following her lifelong love for biology as she heads off to the University of South Florida in Tampa for her first year of college in September. She will study biomedical sciences and is torn between becoming a laboratory technician or an obstetrician/gynecologist. She was surprised to get the call that she had been selected.
“I was so grateful because I didn’t think I would have gotten it for some reason, but I was just really grateful that you gave the time to give it to me and I appreciate the help,” she said.
Her mother, Bianca Cartwright, was equally appreciative of the financial support.
“She is my only child so I’m going to do everything I can to help her get through anything she needs to get through no matter how hard. I’ll find a way. I appreciate this so much. We really need it and I’m really glad this is available to us,” she said.
Another first-time recipient, Rose Charles, is going into her second year at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill as she works towards her dream of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon.
“This is very important. It goes a long way to helping me achieve my goals and I really appreciate it. Both me and my parents who are funding my education are grateful. If it were a dollar, we’d be happy because as you know, healthcare education is very expensive, so we do appreciate the help from the Dr Meyer Rassin Foundation and Doctors Hospital,” she said.
Lamonte Sands, who is entering her final year studying Biology at Florida Memorial University with a goal of becoming a neurologist and holistic medicine specialist, is a second time recipient who can truly appreciate how much the Dr Meyer Rassin Foundation scholarship can help.
“Studying abroad is extremely expensive, especially when you don’t really have the money,” she explained, “So any organization that gives you the opportunity to achieve your goals, especially in healthcare, is extremely important and a true blessing. As an international student there aren’t many programs you can apply to for financial assistance, so it’s an amazing opportunity and a great help.”
As he enters his final year studying Medicine at the University of the West Indies, Gary Deal-Laroda, a three-time scholarship recipient, says that for him, the scholarship is much more than the obvious financial support.
“The Meyer Rassin Foundation is a crutch that we rely on as students. The scholarship is encouraging, because going through medical school or any field in healthcare is very tedious,” he said, “Honestly, sometimes when you look at the system as a whole, it does seem as though the chips are stacked against you, so it’s great to know that you have people like the Dr Meyer Rassin Foundation in your corner willing to help you out.”
Sealy implored the students to return home to work alongside Doctors Hospital to provide healthcare to the Bahamian community when they complete their education and commended their choice of careers.
“I want to say thank you to you students who have determined that healthcare is something that is important to you. It is certainly something that is important to us. We look forward to you coming back and being a part of our health system, working along with Doctors Hospital to be able to provide the healthcare that meets the needs of the Bahamas,” he said.
Doctors Hospital and the Dr Meyer Rassin Foundation have given close to a million dollars in scholarships to young Bahamians over the past 10 years.
Scholarship applications are available at www.doctorshosp.com/dr-meyer-rassin-foundation and are due by March 31 each year.
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