The Avera Sacred Heart Foundation recently awarded four $5,000 scholarships to third-year medical students at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine campus at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital.

McKenna Fischer, Andrew Foley, Christopher Van Hove and Cassie Jackson were the recipients of the annual medical student scholarship funds.

“We’re always impressed with the caliber of students that come to our campus, and this year’s scholarship recipients are no exception,” said Sheila Kuchta, executive director of the Avera Sacred Heart Foundation. “The financial burden of medical school is a huge commitment, and we’re proud to invest in their future and the future of healthcare in our region.”

Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded 71 scholarships worth a total of $355,000.

The applicant criteria for the third-year medical student scholarship is an interest in the geographical area serviced by Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, an interest in primary and/or rural health care, and a past and future interest in community service activities.

Ten recipients of the scholarship have ultimately returned to practice in the Yankton area.

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