$35,000 scholarship helps to address Arizona’s doctor shortage
PHOENIX (April 27, 2023) — In an effort to support higher education, as well as health and human services in Arizona, The Arizona Lottery announced a $35,000 partnership with the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. This partnership directly benefits a student who has committed to working in an underserved specialty and/or in an underserved or rural community in Arizona.
On Thursday, April 27, the Arizona Lottery surprised Amaris Tapia, a University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix medical student, with a $35,000 check to pay all tuition and fees for her final year of school. The surprise check presentation was held at the Phoenix Bioscience Core campus and was attended by UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix officials, Arizona Lottery leaders, and special guests.
"Amaris is an inspiration to us all and we are honored to support her as she pursues her dream of becoming a doctor in Arizona," said Alec Esteban Thomson, Executive Director of the Arizona Lottery. "This $35,000 Arizona Lottery-funded scholarship will pay for Amaris’ final year of medical school, allowing her to focus on providing the best possible healthcare to Arizona children as she completes her residency at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. This scholarship will help address the shortage of doctors and help Arizonans living in communities faced with limited access to healthcare and allow them to start getting the medical services they need, closer to home.”
This partnership eases the burden on state-funded programs, like the University Bond Fund and Healthy Arizona, by directly providing vital skills and training to medical professionals that will support the people of Arizona.
Amaris is a native Arizonan, born and raised in Chandler, and a first-generation college graduate and medical student. She is one step closer to reaching her goals and has already matched into the pediatrics residency program at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, a world-class facility that is training the next generation of pediatricians.
“It means the world to me to have this financial award as I begin my career as a doctor and pursue my vision for providing care for underserved communities in Arizona as a pediatrician.,” said Amaris. “I am going to feel relieved and thankful the whole way through. Whether it’s rural or urban, I definitely know I want to serve patients who need the most care and support from the medical community… so I’m excited!”
The Arizona Lottery has a long history of supporting programs that benefit the public through higher education. The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix is the anchor of the Phoenix Bioscience Core, a 30-acre life sciences innovation district in downtown. In fact, the historic buildings, which formerly comprised Phoenix Union High School on the campus, were renovated with Arizona Lottery transfer dollars to the Arizona Board of Regents’ University Bond Fund (UBF). Since the Arizona Lottery began funding the UBF in 2010, these dollars have provided debt service for more than $689 million in financing, allowing the state’s three universities to build out critical research and academic expansions while also addressing deferred maintenance on older buildings.
“It is so important to the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix to have community partners, such as the Arizona Lottery, join us in training future physicians to serve the communities of Arizona, especially communities that are underserved,” said Guy Reed, MD, MS, dean of the college. “We are very grateful for their continued support for our medical students by easing the financial burden of medical education.”
In the 2022 fiscal year, the Arizona Lottery transferred close to $67 million to several vital state programs and services that benefit higher education and health and human services in Arizona, which would otherwise rely on tax dollars for their funding. These transfers were part of a historic transfer that totaled $270 million.
The Arizona Lottery’s support will enable one of Arizona's best and brightest new doctors to provide care to the most vulnerable Arizonans without taking on so much of the crippling student loan debt that prevents many from entering the field.
To learn more about how the Arizona Lottery Gives Back, please visit www.arizonalottery.com.
To learn more about the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, please visit www.phoenixmed.arizona.edu.