HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 1, 2015 – Shane Georgeff and Audrey Hellams, Triad natives and first-year graduate students in High Point University’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies program, are National Health Service Corps Scholarship recipients. They are among 177 recipients from across the country to receive the highly selective federal scholarship.
The scholarship covers tuition and expenses in exchange for their commitment to work in medically underserved communities. Georgeff and Hellams were selected based on their academic performance, community involvement and achievements, and their commitment to primary care. They are also part of the 20 students selected out of 800 applicants for HPU’s first Physician Assistant cohort.
Georgeff grew up in Belews Creek and attended Winston-Salem State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. His life goal is to serve people who don’t have access to quality health care since he faced a similar situation as a child.
“I truly love the PA experience here at HPU,” he says. “It is extremely demanding, but in the end, I will be equipped to serve my patients with high quality, caring and passionate care. That is the care that everyone desires and deserves.”
Hellams, of High Point, has come back to school after earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pfeiffer University and a master’s degree in counseling from Appalachian State University and becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor. She says she is fascinated with medicine and the workings of the body and looks forward to a career in women’s health or pediatrics.
“Pursuing this new step in my education still feels like a dream come true,” Hellams says. “First to be in PA school at HPU and then to receive this scholarship is amazing. I feel very blessed.”
Dr. Linda Sekhon, chair of HPU’s Physician Assistant Studies program, says their selection for such a competitive scholarship is evidence of the quality of HPU’s PA students.
“We are all very proud of both Shane and Audrey and their commitment to providing primary health care in communities identified as having a shortage of health professionals,” Sekhon says. ”Having two recipients in our inaugural class is truly amazing, and we wish them both much success in their journey.”
Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the scholarship pays tuition, fees, other educational costs, and provides a living stipend in return for working at least two years at an approved site in a high-need urban, rural or frontier community. It is offered to students pursuing careers as doctors, dentists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners or midwives specializing in adult medicine, family medicine, geriatrics, psychiatry or women’s health.