BrickStreet Foundation donates $900K to WVSOM

BrickStreet Foundation has donated $900,000 in endowed scholarships to the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

The announcement was made during a luncheon that took place Dec. 3 on WVSOM's campus that officially shared the news, as well as allowed scholarship student recipients the opportunity to express their gratitude for financial assistance.

"This is a first of its kind in the history of WVSOM," said WVSOM President Michael Adelman, D.O. The donation was the largest single gift since the school's founding in 1972. "I'm thrilled to have BrickStreet make such a profound commitment to WVSOM students through this scholarship endowment. BrickStreet Foundation should also be credited for its keen awareness of the ramifications of extraordinary debt that can be placed on physicians as they select their future paths. This generosity will not only benefit the students directly, but it will impact their future patients as well."

Kirk Aguirre, business director for the WV Large Business team at BrickStreet Insurance, served as a representative from the company. He explained how one of the goals of the BrickStreet Foundation is to give back to communities where "we live and work."

"One of the products of this foundation is the scholars program, which is a program that provides educational opportunities at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. This is a specifically targeted program that allows us to reach our injured work community as well," he said. "We partner every day with the product of this institution as we collectively try to bring injured workers back to work and the levels of care that are expected. It's not a strange partnership that we would be here. We hope to continue the success and vision that Dr. Adelman, the board and foundation have set into motion."

Lori Tucker, D.O., is the vice president of the WVSOM Foundation and a 1997 graduate. She thanked the company for allowing the school to be a more affordable option for potential students. Knowing that scholarship funds are available for medical students helps ease the burden of student debt, she said.

One student who has directly benefitted from a scholarship is third-year student Taylor Simmerman. She was the recipient of another scholarship that was provided by BrickStreet about two years ago. She recalls the moment when her mother called her in tears informing her that BrickStreet was giving her a full scholarship for the remainder of her three years in medical school.

"I cannot describe the feeling of relief this scholarship has provided me. BrickStreet's generosity has erased $60,000 in debt and financial stress from my life," she shared at the luncheon. "Many medical students are limited by the financial burden of simply being a medical student. Books are expensive, taking boards is expensive and suddenly going out to eat with friends can become a game of roulette with your debit card. This scholarship has allowed me to budget my finances so that I have had the opportunity to expand my learning beyond the classrooms and campus of WVSOM."

With these scholarship monies the BrickStreet Foundation is helping invest in students' careers as future physicians — something recipients like Simmerman don't take for granted.

"The generosity BrickStreet has shown me, from an intern to scholarship recipient, is something I can never repay. I cannot express my appreciation enough. I can promise, however, that due to this scholarship, BrickStreet is helping each and every patient through me," Simmerman said.