HANCOCK, Mich. (WJMN) – Four U.P. medical students have been announced as the recipients of the first tuition assistance scholarship from Portage Health Foundation. The scholarship was created in support of Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, UP Campus students.

Dominique Aleo from Baraga County; John Berglund from Ontonagon County; Noelle Polakowski from Houghton County; and Lucas Tarvainen from Houghton County are the first to receive the scholarship.

Portage Health Foundation published the following release with information about the purpose for the scholarship and additional information about the recipients:

To be considered for the scholarship, medical students must currently be in their second, third or fourth year of medical school with assignments in the Upper Peninsula. Medical school applicants are encouraged to apply if there is a willingness to practice in the Upper Peninsula after residency training. Successful applicants receive a tuition assistance scholarship for summer semester. Preference is given to medical students from Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties. Secondary preference goes to medical students from the Upper Peninsula, and tertiary preference goes to medical students who are not from the UP but have intentions to practice in the area.

“I am grateful to the Portage Health Foundation for their vision and commitment to our UP Campus students,” said Community Assistant Dean of the UP Campus, Dr. Stuart Johnson. “Through their scholarships, the burden of debt is reduced, encouraging our students from rural and underserved areas to return and practice in these areas. This benefits our students and our UP communities.”

The Portage Health Foundation continues to show their commitment of supporting medical students who plan to come back to work and live in the Upper Peninsula. This investment can help increase our health care workforce, benefiting communities across the region.

“PHF is glad to be able to support our region’s students who have ventured on a path to return home as well-trained and qualified medical professionals,” said Portage Health Foundation Executive Director, Kevin Store. “We’re all incredibly proud of each of them and happily celebrate their achievement. It’s gratifying to be a small part of their journey.”

About our medical student recipients:

Dominique Aleo of L’Anse, Michigan, received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan.

John Berglund of Bergland, Michigan, received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Physiology from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan.

Noelle Polakowski of Houghton, Michigan, received a Bachelor of Biomolecular Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Lucas Tarvainen, of Alston, Michigan, received a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan.

The new Portage Health Foundation Tuition Assistance Scholarship will help ease some of the financial burden that medical students face. Providing this assistance to students whose goal is to return to the Upper Peninsula to practice, will have a positive impact on the region. To learn more about Portage Health Foundation visit https://www.phfgive.org, find them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or subscribe to the PHF Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. To Learn more about the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, UP Campus, visit https://www.uphealthsystem.com/marquette/msu-college-of-human-medicine-up-campus, and find us on Facebook @msuchmupr.

About Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Upper Peninsula Education Corporation
The MSU College of Human Medicine UP Education Corporation works in conjunction with UP Health System-Marquette to coordinate the training of family medicine and psychiatry residents and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine UP Campus medical students. Since its inception in 1974, 330 medical students and 222 family medicine physicians have graduated from these programs.