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Two receive Mazzuchi Scholarships

From left, Ellen Wiitala, retired Community Assistant Dean Daniel Mazzuchi MD, and Jackie Luthardt.

Marquette — The U.P. Campus of Michigan State University College of Human Medicine has announced the medical student recipients of the Mazzuchi Scholarship, Jackie Luthardt and Ellen Wiitala.

Recipients of the scholarship are determined by three criteria: interest in practicing in the Upper Peninsula once done with residency training; interest in specializing in emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, hospitalist medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics or psychiatry; or need for financial assistance.

The scholarship fund, which began providing financial assistance to MSU College of Human Medicine students in 1983, was renamed the Mazzuchi Scholarship in 2006 in honor of retired local physician Dr. Dan Mazzuchi.

Mazzuchi served as the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine community assistant dean and chief executive officer of the Upper Peninsula Health Education Corporation (now Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Upper Peninsula Education Corporation).

He also helped launch the Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program, served as chief of staff at Marquette General Hospital and practiced nephrology and internal medicine. Currently he is a volunteer at Lake Superior Life Care and Hospice, and a board member of the Trillium House.

Both student scholarship recipients were raised in the Upper Peninsula and sought to return to the U.P. campus to complete their medical education.

Luthardt, of Kingsford, received a bachelor of science in biochemistry from Saginaw Valley State University before starting medical school. Completing her medical education at the U.P. Campus in Marquette brings her closer to home.

“I am honored to receive this award and I look forward to one day giving back to this incredible community,” said Luthardt. “I chose MSU College of Human Medicine U.P. Campus for the hands-on learning experience and to be closer to home. Having grown up in the U.P., you truly cannot beat the outdoor activities and quaint atmosphere.”

Outside of medical school, Luthardt enjoys exploring new areas, spending time with friends, and hiking.

Wiitala is a native of Marquette. Prior to medical school she completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, earning a bachelor of science in biomolecular science. Coming to the Upper Peninsula to complete her medical school education was an opportunity to train in a place she calls home.

“I loved growing up in Marquette, and I am so excited to return home for my last two years of medical school,” said Wiitala, “The Mazzuchi Scholarship is an incredible gift, and I am overwhelmingly grateful to be a recipient. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of the Marquette community, and I hope to use my education to give back to a place that means so much to me.”

When time permits, Ellen enjoys Nordic and alpine skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing and baking.

The MSU College of Human Medicine UP Campus works in conjunction with the UP Health System-Marquette to coordinate the training of family medicine residents and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine medical students.

Since its inception in 1974, 298 medical students and 204 resident physicians have graduated from the two programs. Currently, approximately 30 percent of the MSU College of Human Medicine UP Campus physicians are practicing in the Upper Peninsula in every primary care and additional specialties of medicine.

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