WVSOM students receive Health Sciences Service Program award

April 6, 2015

Two fourth-year West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) students made a commitment to give back to their home state, filling a vital role in small communities.

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission announced that Michael Bledsoe, from Chapmanville, W.Va., and Darby Mullen Ford, from Logan, W.Va., received the Health Sciences Service Program award for medicine. The awards are granted to students committed to practicing at least two years in an underserved area of West Virginia.

"This program is a win-win for our students and our state," said Paul Hill, the commission's chancellor. "This year's remarkable student recipients represent the next generation of health professionals who will fill the critical role of serving in West Virginia's high-need areas."

WVSOM President Michael Adelman, D.O., J.D., said he is proud of the students for being honored with an award that recognizes those who excel in the health profession at the school level.

"This is yet another example of how WVSOM is educating and training students to commit to practicing medicine in rural communities once they graduate," he said. "WVSOM students want to care for the underserved population and are constantly willing to fulfill the school's mission of doing that."

Bledsoe and Ford were selected based on academic excellence, their commitment to serve West Virginia and a strong connection to underserved communities. They will receive awards ranging from $10,000 to $20,000.

Since 1995, the Health Sciences Service Program has supported more than 175 health professionals willing to practice medicine in the state.