Optum Ireland announces Healthcare Scholars and support for Ulster's new School of Medicine

2 November 2020

Optum Ireland announces Healthcare Scholars and support for Ulster's new School of Medicine
Optum Ireland announces Healthcare Scholars and support for Ulster's new School of Medicine

Optum Ireland has announced its annual Optum Healthcare Scholars and a commitment to funding two dedicated scholarships for the new graduate entry School of Medicine at Ulster University.

Optum Healthcare Scholars benefit from annual financial assistance, as well as other support they may require, to complete their undergraduate studies. The program, established in 2018, is designed to support students in County Donegal from less advantaged backgrounds who may face additional challenges.

The newly appointed Healthcare Scholars are:

Moya McCloskey (Crana College)
Caitlín Gillespie (St Columba’s Stranorlar)
Saoirse Bonner (Rosses Community School)
Artur Kryszkowski (St Eunan’s College)
Siobhán Griffin (St Columba’s Stranorlar)

The scholars join the existing cohort of Healthcare Scholars from County Donegal. All scholars selected for the program are studying healthcare and innovative technology programs in Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ulster University and National University of Ireland, Galway.

CEO of Optum Ireland, Padraig Monaghan said:

“Optum has a presence in the North West for more than 20 years. Our scholarship program is designed to meet the needs and realities of this cross-border region and support the local healthcare system. We are delighted that our contribution comes at a time when there is an acute focus on the healthcare service and an increased level of application to third level healthcare courses in Ireland”.

The establishment of a new, graduate entry School of Medicine in Ulster University’s Magee campus in Derry city is a significant development for the North West City region. Optum has announced that the scholarship program will support two graduate medical students when the School of Medicine opens in 2021.

The Foundation Dean of the School of Medicine, Professor Louise Dubras, has welcomed the funding announcement for prospective students:

‘Ulster University is a proud partner of Optum Ireland and their commitment to fund postgraduate scholarships comes at a critical time for the School of Medicine and is most welcome. Our new medical provision will provide much-needed doctors for the North West’

Sophie Carlin, a third year Personalised Medicine student at Ulster University, received an Optum Healthcare Scholarship in 2018. She is now being supported by Optum during her placement year.

Sophie was selected by Dr. Kyle Matchett, Lecturer in Molecular Immunobiology, to be a member of his research team focusing on an aggressive childhood leukaemia. The research aims to better understand how childhood leukaemia develops including the role of the key altered gene and to create more effective, kinder treatments.

Sophie hopes to become a Doctor in Cancer Research and help people who have been affected by cancer,

"Optum Ireland has made us a part of their family and I will be forever grateful to them for giving me this scholarship and allowing me to pursue my dreams."


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