Southwest Virginia Medical Clinics fund UVa-Wise scholarships

Southwest Virginia Medical Clinics donation to UVa-Wise
Left to right: Ed Stout, Clara Johnson, Kurtz Alderman, Don Green,
Chancellor Donna Henry, Larry Greear and Winston Ely

The Southwest Virginia Medical Clinics board of directors is giving back to the region that supported them for more than four decades by awarding The University of Virginia’s College at Wise $700,000 for medical related scholarships.

“We are pleased that they have placed their trust in us,” said Donna Henry, UVa-Wise Chancellor.  “Our talented students in the medical field of study will benefit greatly for years to come.”

The generous gift, presented on July 17, will be used to fund scholarships for deserving medical oriented students from the Southwest Virginia Counties of Dickenson, Russell and Wise and the City of Norton. Recipients will be pre-med, pre-dental, pre-physical therapy, nursing, medical technology and pre-physician assistant students at UVa-Wise based on financial need and academic achievement.

“We would like to see well deserving students benefit from the money,” said Kurtz Alderman, board chair and physician.  “When educating local students, often many of these students return to perform future medical services and that is the idea, to have local students who do well and come back home to practice their skills.”

The Southwest Virginia Medical Clinics Board maintained five clinics in Big Stone Gap, Clintwood, Wise, Hanging Rock and Haysi for more than forty years.  Four of the five clinics have since closed and one was sold.

“We began thinking about what we could do with the money left from the operational budgets of the clinics and from the sale of the one in Clintwood,” said Alderman. “We came to the conclusion that the only logical thing to do was to support students entering the medical field at UVa-Wise. We never changed our mind. It was that way from the beginning.”

The $700,000 gift will be placed in an endowment to provide the student scholarships.

“I have mixed feelings about today,” said Alderman. “I want it to happen but I realize it is the end of an association that has gone on for years. It is bittersweet.”

Larry Greear, clinic board secretary/treasurer, Ed Stout, legal counsel, and Clara Johnson, vice-chair, have spent several years working out the details and are positive about the potential benefits these funds will have for students and the community.

“We look for good things from the investments the College can make as with the other endowments,” said Greear. “Hopefully we will be able to assist many needy and deserving students and put the funds to good use in this area.”

For more information, please contact the Office of College Relations at 276-328-0130.