Leeia Fields (Class of 2025) of Douglas was recently selected as a Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM) Nathan Deal Scholar, announced MUSM Dean Jean Sumner, M.D.
Nathan Deal Scholars are selected based on their strong ties to rural Georgia, character, leadership qualities, community involvement and their likelihood of serving in rural, underserved Georgia after their scholarship obligations are met. The recipients receive 85-100% of tuition for up to four academic years.
"The Nathan Deal Scholarship enables and supports students who want to practice in rural communities and become outstanding physicians. These scholars represent the highest commitment to providing excellent healthcare to rural Georgians," said Dr. Sumner. "The scholarship removes a huge financial burden of medical school debt which has been a perceived hurdle for doctors going into less populated areas. With this financial support, students can plan on practicing quality medicine in the small towns they know and love."
The mission of investing in students from rural Georgia so that they can return to their hometowns virtually debt-free and be educated to serve the rural, underserved communities of Georgia is what drew Hall to the Nathan Deal Scholarship.
"I am a Georgia girl through and through. Seeing Mercer's passion for rural Georgia is deeply moving. I was in awe when I heard that MUSM not only has this mission to meet the health care needs of rural Georgia, but they are actively making it possible," said Fields. "This scholarship allows future doctors like myself to get through medical school and set up successful practices in the areas we are most needed. Georgia is my heart and my home, so to see a team of people who love this state as much as I do is a blessing."
Fields knows the health care struggles in the underserved, rural areas of Georgia and hopes to someday give back to her hometown community. "My prayer is that I can return to my hometown to give back to the people who poured so much into my life. My teachers, my family, my church family and my friends have all made me who I am today," she added. "I know Doctor Morgan, my mentor and my friend, would be so excited. He loved our community and served us well."
Fields is the spouse of Taylor Fields, daughter of Matthew and Cheree McEachern and sister of Kaylie Harper.
"The Nathan Deal Scholars will make a difference in the health status of Georgians," added Dr. Sumner. "This scholarship is one more way Mercer is reinforcing its commitment to rural Georgia."
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