Health sciences grad awarded $10,000 scholarship for medical school

Russell Witt (left), a 2008 graduate of the Health Sciences program at UCSC, with Donna Murphy, vice chancellor for University Relations at UCSC; and Larry deGhetaldi, M.D. (Merrill '76), president of the Santa Cruz region of Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center (SMSC) has named Russell Witt, a June 2008 graduate of the Health Sciences Program at UCSC, as the recipient of this year's Primary Care Physician Award. Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center is part of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and the Central Coast Alliance for Health (CCAH).

Witt will receive a $10,000 scholarship to help pay for medical school fees and tuition.

The award was established in conjunction with the University of California, Santa Cruz, Foundation in 2007 by SMSC and CCAH to help carry out the Alliance's mission to provide high quality primary care to Central Coast Medi-Cal patients.

"I've decided to pursue a medical degree due mostly to my family's personal experience of having wonderful doctors and being taken care of in our times of most need," said Witt, a resident of Aptos. "I'm very honored to receive this award and look forward to caring for patients in our community."

The award supports a graduating senior with a major in Health Sciences at UCSC who will be entering an accredited medical school soon after successfully completing his or her bachelor's degree. The recipient's medical training must result in an M.D. or D.O. degree and the recipient must intend to return to the Central Coast to practice in the area of primary care and serve Medi-Cal patients.

"As a non-profit health plan that serves over 85,000 members we see the overwhelming need for more physicians who see Medi-Cal patients in our area," said Alan McKay, executive director of CCAH. "This is an excellent way to support the education of physicians who can return and help fill this need."

For more information, contact Mark Riley, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, (831) 460-6034.