Senior Rural Health Scholar honored by ISU Foundation

September 13 2007

TERRE HAUTE, Ind.-- A future rural health physician received recognition for his achievement and service and financial assistance from the Indiana State University Foundation.

Brad Hirsch, a senior chemistry major from Haubstadt, was awarded the Rural Health Initiative Scholarship, recognizing high achievement and exceptional service by a rural health scholar.

The recognition was a fitting honor for a student who was drawn to Indiana State by the rural health program, offered jointly by Indiana State and the Indiana University School of Medicine. The program, in existence since 1997, addresses the rural health needs of the State of Indiana by providing increased opportunities for residents from rural communities to obtain education and training in medicine.

After successfully completing the four-year undergraduate degree at Indiana State, rural health scholars who have completed all program components and meet the grade point average and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) requirements are eligible to being training as a medical doctor with the IU School of Medicine.

“I learned about the program from my high school counselor and by talking with students from my high school who had been accepted in the program,” he recalled.

Hirsch, who has been in Rural Health program since his freshman year, would like to continue his education at the IU School of Medicine-Terre Haute.

“The integration between the BA/MD program and the IU School of Medicine has been a great opportunity in terms or research opportunities and community service,” Hirsch said.

The future physician, who pursuing a minor in Spanish, has gained valuable experience in the Terre Haute community through his work with the Community Health Fair, Minority Health Summit and working with elementary to high school students at the IU School of Medicine’s summer medical programs.

Those experiences with diverse groups will help him in the future -- as a family practice physician.

“It’s always been a dream of mine,” he said. “My mom is a nurse so I’ve grown up around the medical field.”

Hirsch would like to return to his hometown to set up a medical practice.

“I come from a rural area. I grew up working in the cornfields and this is my way of giving back to the community,” he added.

Holly Hobaugh, pre-professional advisor at Indiana State, sees Hirsch as a perfect role model for younger Rural Health Scholars.

“I appreciate Brad’s leadership. He understands that with opportunity comes responsibility,” Hobaugh said. “He’s gone to great lengths to give back to the program.”

Hirsch, who is currently mentoring freshman and sophomore Rural Health Scholars, said he is grateful for the opportunities he’s been given.

“ISU has allowed me to step up to the plate and develop my leadership skills. I’m also grateful to everyone who helped me achieved this honor -- my professors and my fellow students,” he said.

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Contact: Holly Hobaugh, pre-professional advisor, Indiana State University, (812) 237-8633

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or pmeyer4@isugw.indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

A future rural health physician received recognition for his achievement and service and financial assistance from the Indiana State University Foundation.

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