|Fifteen minority students entering Texas medical schools this fall each will receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Texas Medical Association (TMA). Physicians selected the students for their academic achievement, commitment to community service, and desire to care for Texas’ increasingly diverse population. TMA announced the winners today during TexMed, the association’s annual conference, in Houston.
TMA created the Minority Scholarship Program in 1998 to help diversify the physician workforce to meet the health care needs of Texans. The TMA Educational Scholarship, Loan, and Awards Committee chose one recipient entering each Texas medical school from a competitive field of promising future physicians. The TMA Foundation (TMAF), the association’s philanthropic arm, funds the program.
The scholarship lessens the financial burden of the minority students’ medical education, which averages about $200,000. TMA has awarded 178 scholarships totaling $1.4 million since the program’s inception.
Recipients are known as the “Bayardo Scholars” in recognition of the majority support provided by the TMA Foundation Trust Fund of Roberto J. Bayardo, MD, and the late Agniela (Annie) M. Bayardo of Houston. This year’s scholarships also are supported by generous gifts from the TMAF Minority Scholarship Endowment of the late Patrick Leung, MD, and Nancy Leung of Midland; H-E-B; TMAF donor physicians and their families; and TMA county medical societies.
“Many of these scholars have come from places in the U.S. and around the world where adequate health care is lacking,” Dr. Bayardo said. “This experience prepares them well to meet those needs in areas of Texas with limited access to care and to those with shared racial identity.”
2022 TMA Bayardo Scholars
Christiana Adebowale of Richmond graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences in 2021. Ms. Adebowale will study at the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine in San Antonio and plans to pursue a primary care specialty. Her scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and H-E-B.
Myles Anderson of Houston earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2021 from The University of Texas (UT) at San Antonio. Mr. Anderson will pursue his medical degree at the University of Houston College of Medicine and intends to practice internal medicine in underserved areas of Houston. The TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund; C. Enrique Batres, MD, of Missouri City; and the Khushalani Foundation of Humble are providing his scholarship.
Mamadou Balde of Houston graduated from UT Austin in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He plans to pursue orthopedic oncology. Mr. Balde will attend UT Austin Dell Medical School. His scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and Travis County Medical Society.
Melinda Benavides of Round Rock received a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience in 2021 from Trinity University in San Antonio. Ms. Benavides will study at UT Health San Antonio Long School of Medicine and intends to become a pediatrician. Her scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and Drs. Rajam and Somayaji Ramamurthy of San Antonio.
F. Junior Clark of Amarillo received a bachelor’s degree in biology from West Texas A&M University in 2021. Mr. Clark plans to practice pediatrics in the Texas Panhandle. He will attend Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine in Lubbock. The TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and Cynthia Ann Jumper, MD, of Lubbock are providing Mr. Clark’s scholarship.
Andrew Goh of Houston received a master’s degree in medical physiology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 2019 after receiving his bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Baylor University. He will train at TCU School of Medicine in Fort Worth, with the goal of practicing emergency or family medicine in Central Texas. Mr. Goh’s scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund; Rudy Alberto Herrera, MD, of Keller; and Laurie J. Sutor, MD, of Dallas.
Briana Gonzalez of McAllen graduated from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, and medical humanities. She will study at UTRGV School of Medicine in Harlingen and later plans to provide primary care for residents of the Rio Grande Valley. Ms. Gonzalez’s scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund; Hidalgo-Starr County Medical Society; and E. Linda Villarreal, MD, of Edinburg.
Alessandra Gutierrez of Weslaco will graduate from the University of Dallas in May with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. Ms. Gutierrez will attend UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas with the goal of practicing medicine in the Lone Star State. The TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund; Dallas County Medical Society; and Charles B. Mullins, MD, of Austin are providing Ms. Gutierrez’s scholarship.
Gengi Kleto of Houston received a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science from Texas A&M in 2020. Ms. Kleto will study at The UT Medical Branch School of Medicine in Galveston and intends to practice obstetrics and gynecology. Her scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund; Mark J. Kubala, MD, of Beaumont; and Drs. Mary Dale Peterson and Rafael Coutin of Corpus Christi.
Robert Mbilinyi of Houston received a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy from UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2019. He will pursue his medical degree at Texas A&M College of Medicine in Bryan/College Station and plans to pursue family medicine or general surgery in a small Texas community. The TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and Bell County Medical Society are providing Mr. Mbilinyi’s scholarship.
John McDonald of Spring graduated from UT Austin in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He will study at Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Huntsville and plans to return home to the Spring area to practice family or internal medicine. The TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund; the TMAF Leung Minority Scholarship Endowment; and Bruce Meyers, MD, and Mary Meyers of Lake Jackson are providing Mr. McDonald’s scholarship.
Tyler Simonek of Waco earned a master’s degree in biomedical sciences from The University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTSHC) in 2021 and his bachelor’s degree in biology from Texas Tech University in 2019. Mr. Simonek plans to continue his studies at UNTHSC Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and later practice primary care in West Texas. His scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and Tarrant County Medical Society.
Shaige Werth of Spring received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Houston in 2021. He will attend McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and intends to practice family medicine in communities along the Texas-Mexico border. Mr. Werth’s scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and H-E-B.
Ricardo Alfaro Zeledon of Dallas graduated from Texas A&M in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences. He will attend Baylor College of Medicine in Houston with the goal of providing primary care in underserved Texas communities. The TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund; Harris County Medical Society/Houston Academy of Medicine; and Carla F. Ortique, MD, of Houston are providing his scholarship.
Peter Zotor of Arlington received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from UT Arlington in 2017. Mr. Zotor will continue his studies at the TTUHSC Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso. While still deciding on a specialty, Mr. Zotor plans to practice in a suburban or rural Texas community. His scholarship is provided by the TMAF Bayardo Minority Scholarship Fund and Darrel W. Dodson, MD, of El Paso.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 56,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans. The TMA Foundation raises funds to support the population health, science, and quality-of-care priority initiatives of TMA and the family of medicine.