When Central Infusion Alliance, Inc. (CIA Medical) created an essay-based scholarship program in the spring of 2017, the Chicago-area medical products distributor had an ulterior motive. In addition to helping students fund their post-secondary educations, the company wanted to unmask the unsung superheroes of healthcare – the doctors, nurses, physical therapists and others who strive every day to improve their patients’ physical and emotional wellbeing.
“With so many people focused on the cost of healthcare, we wanted to remind everyone that – at its heart – this industry is about people helping people,” said CIA Medical Managing Partner Charles Lewis. “So we asked each applicant to write a story of how a healthcare worker made a difference in their life or a loved one’s life. We weren’t sure what to expect, but when the essays began flooding in, they blew our minds. People were in tears while reading these essays.”
From across the country, hundreds young people from diverse backgrounds shared intimate stories about compassionate and dedicated professionals who delivered not only great clinical care, but also helped them cope with physical pain, fear and emotional traumas.
From the student who told how a nurse raised his spirits during arduous rounds of chemotherapy to the smiling surgeon who “danced his way into the room” to reconstruct a young woman’s face to the psychologist who counseled a sexual abuse victim back to mental health, every essay was a profile in caring.
In fact, the judges were so inspired by the essays that they expanded the number of scholarships from a single $1,000 prize to include six runner-up prizes of $250 apiece. Shortly thereafter, they increased the number of scholarships to be awarded in 2018 from seven to ten.
The top award winner of the 2017 CIA Medical Scholarship is Naomi Ecanow, who told how the personal care and attention she received from her pediatrician, Dr. Susan Weisberg, inspired her to pursue a medical career of her own. Naomi is now a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the GPPA (Guaranteed Professional Program Admissions) Medicine program.
“Naomi’s story speaks to the profound impact that healthcare professionals can have on the lives of others – something we at CIA Medical strongly believe in,” said Lewis. “In an era of ‘impersonal interactions in healthcare,’ the ‘never unreachable’ Dr. Susan Weisberg was a pediatrician who made house calls and memorized her patients’ names and personal histories. She was an outstanding example of the humanity that many healthcare workers bring to their jobs. Hers is the kind of story that we wanted to discover and present to the world.”
Central Infusion Alliance, Inc. (CIA Medical) is an innovative, customer-focused medical supply company serving a broad range of healthcare professionals and organizations. Founded in 2012, CIA Medical has grown to become one of the largest online medical distributors in the world. In addition to offering 750,000+ medical and surgical SKUs from over 5,000 leading manufacturers, CIA Medical offers customers premium white glove service, including consulting on IV therapy and vascular access products, and assistance in sourcing back ordered and hard-to-find supplies.
For more information about the 2017 Scholarship Program winners, contact Matt Kilcran at matt@ciamedical or 312-275-5850 x226 or visit www.ciamedical.com/insights/congratulations-winners-2017-cia-medical-scholarship/
To learn more about the 2018 CIA Medical Scholarship, visit www.ciamedical.com/scholarship.