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FHN Endows Scholarship at U of I College of Medicine - Rockford


The University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford is pleased to announce the establishment of the FHN Rural Medical Education (RMED) Program Scholarship Fund, thanks to a $30,000 endowment from the FHN Foundation. This fund will help selected medical students in the college's RMED Program to reduce their burden of debt and may increase the likelihood of students returning to practice in rural, underserved communities after completing their medical education and training.

“We are delighted about this generous gift and the continued support FHN provides,” said Alex Stagnaro-Green, regional dean of the College of Medicine Rockford. “This endowed scholarship will greatly impact our ability to recruit and retain future physicians to our RMED Program. Last year, we welcomed our largest RMED class in our history – 30 students – representing over 50 percent of the first-year medical students. Having scholarships available to offset the burden of debt will be critical for our students and will allow them to focus on being the best scholars and physicians they can be.”

Scholarships will be awarded annually, based on available funds, to selected RMED students with financial need from the Illinois counties of Winnebago, Stephenson, JoDaviess, Ogle and Carroll beginning in the fall of 2018.

“FHN truly values the high-quality medical education that the RMED Program delivers that focuses on meeting the specialized patient needs of rural families throughout the communities in which we are privileged to serve,” said Mark S. Gridley, president and chief executive officer of FHN, which is one of RMED's teaching sites and has been a long-standing partner to the program.

The RMED program is a supplement to the College of Medicine Rockford's Doctor of Medicine Program. FHN and 29 other rural hospitals and health centers across Illinois collaborate with the RMED Program to train health professions students in a rural environment. Through this collaboration, RMED plays a key role in helping health care partners successfully recruit talented physicians.

Recognized nationally as a leader in training rural physicians, RMED's educational delivery method has been designated a best-practice model, used in the development of new rural medical education programs around the world. Since its founding in 1992, the RMED Program, part of the National Center for Rural Health Professions, has graduated more than 250 physicians and over 70 percent have returned to practice in rural areas throughout Illinois.

For more information about the RMED Program or the FHN Rural Medical Education (RMED) Program Scholarship Fund, contact RMED director Dr. John Plescia at