A recent XULA graduate’s dream of reducing health inequities is supported through the Ochsner Health School of Medicine Scholarship

Newswise—New Orleans, Louisiana — The fourth annual Ochsner Health School of Medicine Scholarship for LSU Health Shreveport – School of Medicine was awarded to recent Xavier University of Louisiana graduate Aaron Jackson. The scholarship award covers the cost of tuition for Aaron to attend LSU Health Shreveport – School of Medicine during the 4-year enrollment.

“Ochsner Health is driven by our mission to ‘serve, heal, lead, educate and innovate’ with a commitment to achieving a ‘healthy state’ for all by training the next generation of physicians.” said Leonardo Seoane, MD, FACP, Chief Academic Officer, Ochsner Health and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, LSU Health Shreveport. “Through outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated resilience, Aaron has demonstrated the attributes necessary to make an impact as a physician. He is committed to improving health outcomes for our communities by focusing on health equity.”

A first-generation college graduate, Aaron earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Xavier. Outside of the classroom, he worked to pay for college and participated in work-study programs, internships, and scientific research. His goal is to show young people of color that attending medical school is possible, even in the face of adversity, and to open new doors for aspiring young health professionals by providing shadowing, volunteering, and research opportunities.

Aaron is from Opelousas, La., a small, rural town near Lafayette with a majority black population. While known for its zydeco music and production of spices and condiments, Opelousas also has a high rate of poverty. Aaron was raised with three brothers by two loving parents. “From very early in life I knew I wanted to care for and treat people affected by mental illness, having witnessed firsthand my brother’s struggles with his combination of intellectual and impulsive disorders,” she said in her application letter. “However, I also knew that the path to becoming a doctor would not be an easy task, especially for someone like me and from my disadvantaged background.”

To qualify for this scholarship, students must be Louisiana residents, Xavier students, and have been accepted to LSU Health Shreveport – School of Medicine. To apply for the scholarship, Xavier students detailed academic achievements, recommendations, and an essay reflecting on how they have overcome adversity. A joint committee of Xavier and Ochsner reviewed the applications and selected the final recipient of the scholarship. One fellow is selected annually for this fellowship program.

“LSU Health Shreveport thanks Ochsner for continuing to award a full tuition scholarship to a deserving student who faced disadvantages, and we look forward to welcoming Aaron to campus in the fall.” said Dr. David Lewis, interim chancellor and dean of the LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine. “This scholarship is an important tool to enhance LSU Health Shreveport’s ability to recruit and retain the best minority students.”

The Ochsner Health School of Medicine annual scholarship to LSU Health Shreveport – School of Medicine is just one way Ochsner is investing in educating the next generation of healthcare professionals in the region: a key component of Ochsner’s 10-year vision to transform Louisiana into a healthier state by 2030.

With a focus on cultivating the next generation of healthcare professionals, Ochsner and Xavier have a relationship dating back to the 1980s when a membership agreement association was established to provide educational experiences for pharmacy students. Through this ongoing partnership, Ochsner provides clinical training to hundreds of Xavier students in multiple programs each year.

“The longstanding relationship between Xavier and Ochsner is key to promoting health equity and diversity in Louisiana,” he said. Dr. Anne McCall, Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Xavier. “We are grateful that Ochsner supports our students in multiple ways, including scholarship opportunities like the one awarded to Mr. Jackson. Such a benefit allows our students to continue to pursue their dreams by leaving Xavier and pursuing their academic careers.”

To learn more about Ochsner Academics, visit www.ochsner.org/locations/center-for-academic-excellence. For more information about Xavier, visit xula.edu. For more information about LSU Health Shreveport – School of Medicine, visit https://lsuhs.edu/som.


About Xavier University of Louisiana

Being the only historically Black Catholic university in the United States is just the first of many distinctions that have distinguished Xavier University of Louisiana for more than nine decades. Despite its relatively small size, Xavier is a nationally recognized leader in STEM and health sciences, producing more African-American students graduating from medical schools each year than any other university in the United States. Its College of Pharmacy is among the top producers of African-American pharmaceuticals.

Its liberal arts-based programs in areas such as art, business, education, psychology, and political science. The most recent additions in robotics, bioinformatics, engineering, data science, neuroscience, and genetics, plus new STEM-based master’s programs, have provided Xavier students (2,815 undergraduates and 787 graduates) with an unmatched mix of traditional classroom study, hands-on research, service-learning opportunities, and life experiences. Xavier students collaborate with world-renowned professors, who are experts in their fields, to produce award-winning research and notable papers. Xavier’s winning formula provides students with a well-balanced curriculum and environment that nurtures their intellects and feeds their souls, thereby facilitating a more just and humane society for all.

For more information about Xavier University of Louisiana, visit us online at xula.edu or follow us on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter @XULA1925. To schedule interviews and/or speak with our experts in the fields of pharmacy, education, pre-med, public health, science, technology, math, business, English, communications, and the arts, please contact Regi Reyes at (504) 520-5240 or [email protected].

About Ochsner’s Health

Health Ochsner is an integrated health system with a mission to serve, heal, lead, educate and innovate. Celebrating 80 years in 2022, it is a national leader in cancer care, cardiology, neurosciences, liver and heart transplants, and pediatrics, among other areas. Ochsner is consistently named the best hospital and best children’s hospital in Louisiana by US News & World Report. The nonprofit organization is inspiring healthier lives and stronger communities. His focus is preventing disease and providing patient-centered care that is accessible, affordable, convenient and effective. Ochsner Health pioneers new treatments, implements emerging technologies, and conducts groundbreaking research, including more than 700 clinical studies. It has more than 34,000 employees and more than 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in more than 90 medical specialties and subspecialties. Operates 40 hospitals and more than 300 medical and urgent care centers in Louisiana, Mississippi and the Southern Gulf; and its cutting-edge digital medicine program Connected Health is serving patients beyond its walls. In 2021, Ochsner Health treated more than 1 million people from every state and 75 countries. As Louisiana’s leading health care educator, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of health care professionals annually. For more information, visit https://www.ochsner.org/.

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