2024 Aspirus Scholars named to tackle physician shortage

The Aspirus Health Foundation has awarded two medical students $300,000 in scholarships through its Aspirus Scholars Program. The students, both from the Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin campus (MCW-CW), accepted their scholarships during a ceremony Wednesday, February 7, at the Aspirus Westwood Conference Center.
The Aspirus Scholars Program is a community collaboration to address the national physician shortage and meet the needs of people and communities in north central Wisconsin and Upper Michigan today and for future generations.
It provides generous scholarships for tuition to medical students and connects them to Aspirus and the communities served by Aspirus during their training. In return, students commit to employment at Aspirus in the areas of primary care, psychiatry or general surgery.
This year’s scholarships were awarded to:
Payton Jorgenson, 1st Year Medical Student (Hometown: Owatonna, MN)
Dylan Pierce, 2nd Year Medical Student (Hometown: Rudolph, WI)
“Our Aspirus Scholars award recipients already have strong ties to our area and are passionate about medicine and caring for patients,” said Lanna Scannell, Aspirus Vice President, System Philanthropy. “Both will be a tremendous addition to the Aspirus family and help us grow access to vital services in our communities.”

The Aspirus Scholars Program is a forward-looking approach to bringing new primary care, psychiatry and general surgery providers to communities in Northcentral Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan within the next decade. It leverages the unique opportunity to collaborate with a college partner whose program is specifically designed to attract students interested in learning and working in rural community settings.
A selection committee made up of Aspirus physicians and community members from Wisconsin and the U.P. screened applications and selected the recipients. This is the eighth class of Aspirus Scholars.
“This program is a great example of our commitment to ensuring our patients and families have access to the best health care providers today and for future generations,” said Matt Heywood, President & CEO of Aspirus Health. “Securing these types of commitments early helps us supplement our efforts to recruit physicians to practice in rural areas.”
The Aspirus Scholars Program is made possible through contributions from Aspirus hospitals, as well as community partners such as The Legacy Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, Judd S. Alexander Foundation, Dwight and Linda Davis Foundation, B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation, Dudley Foundation, and the family of the late surgeon Dr. Al Molinaro.