LEBANON — FamilyCare Health Plans Inc., a Portland-based osteopathic HMO, will give $2 million to the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest for scholarships supporting osteopathic medical students interested in primary care.
“Rising student loan debt and tuition cost is becoming more of a barrier to prospective students considering medicine as a career choice, especially in primary care,” said Paula Crone, COMP-Northwest executive associate dean. “This extremely generous donation will directly impact students and open up opportunities and options they previously didn’t have in the Northwest.”
FamilyCare serves more than 50,000 low-income Oregonians and is the oldest Medicaid managed care program in Oregon.
Jeff Heatherington, co-founder, president and CEO of FamilyCare Health Plans, has a history with COMP that dates to its founding in 1977. While serving as director of the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of Oregon, Heatherington helped bring together Western University of Health Sciences and Samaritan Health Services to build the COMP-Northwest campus.
He is also a member of the COMP-Northwest Advancement Board.
COMP-Northwest has completed its first academic year and will welcome its second class in August 2012.
The gift will be placed in an endowed scholarship fund named in memory of J. Scott Heatherington, D.O., and Arthur Rott, D.O. The COMP-Northwest Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Lab will be named in honor of J. Scott Heatherington, D.O.
J. Scott Heatherington was a past president of the American Osteopathic Association and the American Academy of Osteopathy, and also served as dean of the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa, Okla.
Rott was one of the founders of FamilyCare and served as its medical director for 16 years. He also served for many years as director of medical education at Eastmoreland Hospital.
In the first year of the gift, five second-year COMP-Northwest students each will receive a $20,000 scholarship. They will be eligible to receive additional $20,000 scholarships their subsequent two years at the school if they remain in good standing.
Five second-year students will receive scholarships each year.