West Conshohocken, PA — July 31, 2019 — Tandigm Scholars, a nonprofit organization formed by Tandigm Health, LLC to support deserving Philadelphia-area primary care physicians, today announced the selection of its 2019 scholarship recipients. Since the program’s launch in 2015, Tandigm Scholars has helped 25 physicians offset existing educational debt.
Each year, five Scholars are awarded up to $60,000 over the course of three years. Beyond financial support, each Tandigm Scholar has a Tandigm Physician Mentor to provide guidance for professional development and positively impact programs focused on population health. Mentors also help in the development of skills that allow the Scholars to be successful in providing value-based care.
The five primary care physicians being recognized as the 2019 Tandigm Scholars are:
- Dr. Nicholas Kalman – Village Family Medicine at Lionville, Exton, PA
- Dr. David Lewis – Bucks Family Medicine, Levittown, PA
- Dr. Aekata Shah – Stoll Medical Group, Philadelphia, PA
- Dr. Rachel Sugarman – Lower Merion Family Medicine, Narberth, PA
- Dr. Jaime Wolf – St. Mary Health, Richboro, PA
“We founded this scholarship program with the goal of providing necessary support to outstanding primary care physicians in the Philadelphia area. That support takes the form of financial assistance for school loans but also valuable mentorship that the Scholars can rely on as they begin to practice medicine,” said Tandigm Health CEO and Tandigm Scholars Chairman of the Board, Anthony Coletta M.D., M.B.A. “At our core, Tandigm seeks to strengthen the foundation of primary care by providing physicians the resources they need to ensure patients get the finest possible care. For us, the Tandigm Scholars Program is an extension of that promise.”
The average student loan debt for medical students is approximately $200,000, as reported by the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2018. Primary care physicians in family medicine often carry large debt relative to physicians in other specialty areas, with 31 percent still working to pay off their student loans, according to the 2019 Medscape Physician Wealth and Debt Report. Understanding the challenges primary care physicians face, the Tandigm Scholars Program seeks to relieve financial pressure and allow physicians to focus on enhancing patient care.
“I became a primary care physician because I was passionate about making a difference in helping patients live healthier lives,” said Dr. Nicholas Kalman, a 2019 Scholar recipient. “Being part of the Tandigm Scholars network means that I will not only receive financial support, which is a huge relief with a growing family, but will also have the support of a mentor who will provide incredibly valuable insight as I begin to practice and look for guidance on how to truly make a difference in the lives of my patients.”
An investment in primary care is an investment in the future of health. Funds to support the Tandigm Scholars Program come from Tandigm Health and private donors. For additional information about this 501(c)(3) organization, please visit www.tandigmscholars.org.