UArizona Medical Student Selected for National Scholarship Supporting Physician Workforce Diversity

May 11, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. – Third-year medical student Aaron Bia is one of 10 students in the nation selected for the inaugural ElevateMeD Scholarship. As a recipient, Bia will receive $10,000 for each of his remaining years at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

ElevateMeD is a nonprofit organization committed to increasing physician workforce diversity and improving cultural competency among physicians to reduce health disparities. The 2020-21 medical student awardees were selected for their talent and underrepresented backgrounds in medicine.

Aaron Bia, a member of the Navajo Nation set to graduate in May 2021, will receive one of 10 inaugural ElevateMeD Scholarships.Originally from Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, Bia is a member of the Navajo Nation — and the only Native American awarded an ElevateMeD Scholarship. Bia is scheduled to earn his medical degree in May 2021 and is interested in pursuing family medicine as his specialty. After his residency training, Bia plans to return to his nation to serve the community that raised him.

“It is an honor to be selected for this scholarship,” Bia said. “As an ElevatedMeD Scholar and future Native healer, I plan to continue my passion for rural health and hope to inspire the next generation of physicians to diversify health care.”

In addition to receiving scholarship support from ElevateMeD, Bia will receive physician mentorship, access to peer network support, leadership development opportunities and financial management education.

Bia’s passion for medicine came from his grandfather, a Navajo healer, along with strong family and community values that continue to motivate him today. Growing up, Bia observed his grandfather heal patients from a holistic perspective to balance the individual physically, mentally and culturally. 

Bia holds a bachelor’s degree in global health from Arizona State University. He began his journey at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson through the Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway (P-MAP) program. P-MAP introduces highly qualified, underrepresented students to the pursuit of medical education. Upon completion of P-MAP, students earn a master’s degree in cellular and molecular medicine from UArizona and automatically are accepted into the College of Medicine – Tucson.

“As an institution, we always are proud when one of our amazing students is recognized for their efforts,” said Victoria Murrain, DO, deputy dean for diversity and inclusion. “Aaron Bia has demonstrated leadership qualities that only will be strengthened by his participation in the ElevateMeD Scholars Program. We look forward to Aaron’s many anticipated accomplishments.”

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NOTE: Photos available here – https://arizona.box.com/s/12j81fpdi2etokftw0fe5hk59ka1oijh

About the University of Arizona College of Medicine –Tucson
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is shaping the future of medicine through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and beyond. Founded in 1967, the college boasts more than 50 years of innovation, ranking among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. Through the university's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the college is leading the way in academic medicine. For more information, visit medicine.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn).

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).

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