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Community Benefit

Scholarships Help Fund Future Doctors’ Education

Front row (l. to r.): Alan McKay, The Alliance; Kaitlin Russon, award recipient; Barry Bowman, UCSC. Back row (l. to r.): Richard Nichols, SMSC; Larry deGhetaldi, M.D., PAMF Santa Cruz Division.

With our country’s aging population and the continued rise in chronic diseases, ensuring there are enough doctors to take care of our increasingly complex health needs is a daunting challenge. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) and PAMF’s Santa Cruz health care partner Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center (SMSC), both Sutter Health affiliates, are helping to meet this critical need by awarding annual scholarships to deserving students who are committed to becoming doctors.

PAMF Physicians Award Scholarships for Almost 20 Years

Since 1993, PAMF physicians have awarded scholarships to outstanding local high school students to help pay for their undergraduate studies. This year’s scholarship winners are:

  • Sophie Ballard from Santa Cruz High School, who will attend University of California, Berkeley
  • Jeffrey Chen from Irvington High School in Fremont, who will be in the Physician – Scientist Program through Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy and Albany Medical Center in Albany, both in New  York
  • Stephanie Kong from St. Francis High School in Mountain View, who will go to University of California, Los Angeles

    Sophie Ballard

The Palo Alto Medical Group (PAFMG) Pre-Medical Scholarship is funded by our physicians and provides $5,000 a year (a total of $20,000 per recipient) to deserving students who attend a four-year college and plan to pursue careers as doctors. Unlike most other scholarships, which award a one-time sum, the PAFMG scholarship repeats for all four years of college.

 

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PAMF Breast Health Center Provides Free Mammograms for Ravenswood Clinic Clients

Every day, Rita Sohlich, M.D. a radiologist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation,  sees the benefits of early detection of breast cancer. As an expert at breast MRI, breast biopsy and intervention, mammography and outcome analysis, Dr. Sohlich is passionate about making breast health screenings available to everyone.

Rita Sohlich, M.D.

“When I started at PAMF six years ago, I took over as lead radiologist in Breast Imaging from my colleague and friend, Dr. Tracey Dellaripa, and continued her goal to bring high quality breast ultrasound to the clinic,” Sohlich says. “Under the mentorship of Dr. Tony Marzoni, Palo Alto Division president and Dr. Solon Finkelstein, a PAMF radiologist for 45 years, we conceptualized and designed the Breast Imaging Center.  Offering something back to the community was an integral part of our mission.”

In February, 2012, Dr. Sohlich oversaw the launch of a new program that has been an ambition of hers for years. Building on PAMF’s long-time relationship with East Palo Alto’s Ravenswood Family Health Center, Dr. Sohlich has been collaborating with Ravenswood for more than a year to provide free mammograms to more than 250 eligible Ravenswood patients, who come to the Palo Alto Center one Saturday each month. Read More

PAMF Physicians, Staff Volunteer at Autism & Developmental Screenings Event – April 21 in Dublin

The School of Imagination, a Dublin-based, non-profit education center that pairs typically developing children and children with developmental disabilities, is hosting the sixth annual “Happy Talkers Community Outreach” program on Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the School of Imagination/Happy Talkers, 9801 Dublin Blvd., in Dublin.

The Community Outreach event is the largest and most comprehensive program of its kind in California history, offering free developmental delay and autism early intervention screenings and support for families. In just a few short hours, parents will receive answers about their child, a roadmap and on-site referrals to a host of support agencies, critical early intervention assistance that would normally take months to obtain.

More than a dozen Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) physicians and staff are volunteering at the April 21 event. PAMF has been a sponsor of the School of Imagination for several years and funded a therapy room in the new school that opened in October 2011. Read More

Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Sutter Health Contribute $50,000 to Local Food Banks

PAMF Employee Nancy Hidaka delivers food donated by PAMF staff for local children and families in need.

To help local families in need of food this holiday season, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Sutter Health have made a $50,000 donation to Second Harvest food banks in the South Bay Area: $33,500 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, and $16,500 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County.

The funds are a portion of a quarter-million-dollar donation by the Sutter Health network to 29 food banks throughout Northern California, which will help provide more than a million healthy meals to families in need.

According to food banks representatives, monetary donations help maximize the amount of food available for the hungry – in many instances, a $1 donation can translate to over $5 worth of distributed food. Read More

Free Prostate Screenings, Health Lecture – September 17 in Santa Cruz

In honor of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center (SMSC) and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation will host the 10th Annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Day on Saturday, September 17, 2011 in Santa Cruz, California. The event is free and open to the community. The event provides an extremely important prostate cancer screening opportunity for those men in the community who otherwise may not have access to screenings.

According to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in American men. It is the second greatest cause of cancer related death for men, second only to lung cancer. Over 90 percent of prostate cancer cases are found while the cancer is still either local or regional, and nearly 100 percent of these men are still alive five years after being diagnosed. In cases where the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, 34 percent survive five years. Read More

PAMF Scholarships Help Pay for Future Doctors’ Education

With our country’s aging population and the continued rise in chronic diseases, ensuring there are enough doctors to take care of our increasingly complex health needs is a daunting challenge. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation is helping to meet this critical need by awarding scholarships to deserving students who are committed to becoming future doctors.

Since 2007, PAMF’s affiliate Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center in Santa Cruz and the Central California Alliance for Health have awarded a two-year, $5,000 scholarship ($10,000 total) to pay the medical fees of a University of California, Santa Cruz health sciences graduate, who is dedicated to returning to his or her local community to take care of uninsured patients.

This year’s scholarship winner, David Pham, has gained hands-on medical experience working as an intern for a local Santa Cruz family medicine doctor and during a medical mission to Honduras. With ambitions of becoming a pediatrician, Pham has volunteered regularly with an East Palo Alto charter school’s healthy eating program and as a Spanish translator at the Watsonville RotaCare community clinic.

As part of our commitment to supporting future generations of doctors, PAMF physicians also awarded scholarships to the following three outstanding local high school students to help pay for their undergraduate studies:

  • Roshni Bhatnagar from Harker School in San Jose, who will attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois
  • Raymond Downer from Santa Cruz High School, who is going to University of California, Los Angeles
  • Nina Ho from Carlmont High School in Belmont, who will be attending the University of California, Berkeley

The Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group (PAFMG) Pre-Medical Scholarship, established in 1993 and funded by our physicians, provides $5,000 a year (a total of $20,000 per recipient) to deserving students who attend a four-year college and plan to pursue careers as doctors. Unlike most other scholarships, which are one-time awards, the PAFMG Pre-Medical Scholarship repeats for all four years of college, helping students fulfill their ambition to become a doctor and give back to their communities.