The idea of the Lehigh County Medical Society Alliance (originally Auxiliary) was present on January 14, 1919, during a banquet at Hotel Allen for LCMS members and their wives. At the time, discussions were in place for building a home for the medical society, which led to the proposal of organizing a women’s auxiliary to assist in raising money for a building fund. Under the first president, Mrs. Martin J. Backenstoe and later leadership, the LCMSA not only helped raise funds for the society’s home, but contributed thousands of dollars to charitable organizations throughout Lehigh County. Their first donation, for example, was $20 each to Sacred Heart and Allentown Hospitals in 1925. Other charity drives included an annual Christmas tree decorating event and a Dorney Park picnic, among many others.
As the first auxiliary in the state of Pennsylvania, the LCMSA quickly inspired the formation of others auxiliaries – the Pennsylvania Medical Society Alliance in 1924, and the American Medical Society Alliance in 1922. Communication with these larger societies helped the LCMS Alliance flourish.
Lehigh County Medical Society Auxiliary’s Scholarship and Educational Fund, Inc. (LeCoMASE)
LeCoMASE was incorporated as a sub-organization of the LCMSA in the late 1960’s to help student from the Lehigh County meet the cost of earning an M.D. degree. The fund has grown from its precursor, the Nurse’s Scholarship program, which the LCMSA first awarded in 1922. In 1971, the fund awarded its first educational loans to medical students. Since that time, LeCoMASE has provided over half a million dollars in interest-free loans to Lehigh County residents attending medical school. In 2009, LeCoMASE began its partnership with the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society to enable it to award even more scholarships, furthering its goal of providing affordable medical education to aspiring doctors from Lehigh County.
The Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society is partnered with LeCoMASE. See more about them here.
The Lehigh County Medical Auxiliary’s Scholarship and Education Fund, Inc. in conjunction with the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society is offering its $2,500 LeCoMASE Medical Student Scholarship award. Medical students who are residents of Lehigh County are eligible to apply. Additionally, students must be enrolled full time in an accredited United States allopathic or osteopathic medical school.
The Lehigh County Medical Auxiliary’s Scholarship and Education Fund, Inc. established this fund within the Foundation to assist Lehigh County residents with the cost of attending medical school. Individuals are invited to contribute to the fund to secure its future.
The Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, a nonprofit affiliate of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, sustains the future of medicine in Pennsylvania by providing programs that support medical education, physician health, and excellence in practice.
Foundation Offers Medical Student Scholarship to Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton County Residents
The Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society is offering its annual $1,000 Myrtle Siegfried, MD, and Michael Vigilante, MD, Scholarship to first-year medical students who are residents of Berks, Lehigh, or Northampton counties. Requirements include full-time enrollment in an accredited U.S. medical school. To help local medical students offset the cost of education, former Foundation trustee, Elena Pascal, and her sister, Carla Vigilante, established this scholarship in 1999 in memory of their parents who were prominent Allentown physicians.
Scholarship for Students of South Asian Indian Heritage
The Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society is offering a $2,000 Scholarship from the Endowment for South Asian Students of Indian Descent. Students must be of South Asian Indian heritage and enrolled full time in their second, third, or fourth year at an accredited Pennsylvania medical school.
Jitendra M. Desai, MD, and Saryu J. Desai, MD, Sewickley, Pa., initiated this scholarship within the Foundation in 2002 to provide an opportunity for South Asian Indian students who demonstrate academic excellence. They invite others to contribute to the fund to secure its future.
For an application, call the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society at (717) 558-7852, or visit the Student Financial Services page under www.foundationpamedsoc.org.