At a Sept. 4 scholarship luncheon to honor University Physicians Inc. and CU School of Medicine students, Dean Richard Krugman, M.D., shared some key historical information about the organization that has played a vital role in the lives of the scholarship students to whom he was speaking that afternoon.
University Physicians Inc. (UPI) is a quiet but powerful force on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. Dedicated to providing business operations and administrative support to the School of Medicine’s 2,200 clinical providers, UPI has recently been a very important donor to scholarships. In 2009, UPI made its first set of scholarship contributions to CU medical students in recognition of the steep and rising costs of a medical education.
“That board, which includes all chairs of all clinical departments, decided that UPI should make an annual contribution to our students for scholarships,” Krugman said.
Since 2009, UPI has allocated more than 100 scholarships totaling more than $1 million. Until 2014, the scholarship supported only medical students; this year, UPI extended its support to include scholarships for the Physical Therapy Program and the Child Health Associate/Physician Assistants Program. This academic year alone, $350,000 has been given in scholarships to 45 MD, PT and CHA/PA students.
The goal of these scholarships is to ensure excellence. Each program decides how it wants to allocate the funds and what the award process looks like, but the goal is to produce an excellent health care workforce.
“Because of this scholarship, I am able to participate in more community service activities,” said physical therapy student Michele Myers. “I’m currently working with students from multiple disciplines and Spanish interpreters to organize a new free clinic on Dayton and Colfax that will be run by CU students.”
Julius Ngaile is a fourth-year medical student specializing in internal medicine. “It’s made a huge difference and it feels like a huge burden has been lifted financially,” he said. “It’s motivating to have been chosen by others who you have never even met. It makes me feel more responsible to use my time well here… and it makes me want to give back in the future.”
CU Anschutz Executive Vice Chancellor Lilly Marks said she and her peers were there to celebrate the students and recognize those who had funded the scholarships. “The faculty who teach you are also supporting you,” she said.
She introduced UPI Board Member and Executive Director Jane Schumaker, who spoke briefly to thank the students as well as her fellow board members. Dean Krugman then presented a book to Schumaker that contained letters of gratitude from the students.
“This scholarship is a huge financial blessing to both me and my new husband as we start our new lives together. I am honored to have been selected,” PT student Andrea Hedger said.