Two Michigan City High School seniors with healthcare career goals recently received Franciscan Health Michigan City Medical Staff Memorial Scholarships to assist with their post-secondary educations.

Adrian Huizar and Kourtney Pratt, both 18, were selected by the Franciscan Health Michigan City Medical Staff Scholarship Committee as the 2023 scholarship recipients.

Huizar is enrolled in an emergency medical technician program and plans to further his education with a physician’s assistant degree at Valparaiso University. His goal is to work in a hospital emergency department.

Huizar’s interest in a healthcare career was sparked by his parents’ difficulties in receiving Spanish translation services in medical settings.

“I want to be able to have that one-on-one support for patients and use my bilingual skills to help them get the care they need,” Huizar said. “The scholarship will help me a lot by paying for my books and tuition.”

Pratt, whose mother is also in the healthcare field, plans to attend the University of St. Francis to study radiology technology.

“It is an important part of the medical process,” Pratt said. “You need those images to help with diagnosis. The scholarship will help me cover part of my tuition, books and fees and allow me to focus more on my studies.”

The medical staff at Franciscan Health Michigan City voted unanimously in 2021 to establish and fund a scholarship honoring the memories and continuing legacies of physicians who served the community as members of the medical staff.

The $5,000 annual scholarship is funded by physicians on the Franciscan Health Michigan City medical staff in partnership with the Franciscan Health Foundation and may be split among recipients as the committee deems appropriate.

Matthew Troy, MD, who serves as chairman of the Scholarship Committee, said this is the second year the scholarships have been awarded. The first two students awarded the scholarships keep in touch with the scholarship committee, he said, and are thriving.

“The goal is to foster and affirm their decision to seek a career in which they can help others,” Dr. Troy said. “The Scholarship Committee firmly believes that our individual success began with someone believing we could succeed in healthcare. We want to be that voice for these students. We believe in them and know they will enrich our community in the future.”