The Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee, has gifted Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center with $1.66 million to permanently endow the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Scholars program. The program enhances access and support for young, underrepresented minority women interested in pursuing careers in medicine and biomedical research.
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“The Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund was created to uplift and strengthen the lives of young women,” said Heidi Jark, senior vice president and managing director, Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank. “We are proud to support this program, as it provides women with the knowledge and skills that they need to be successful in the STEM and biomedical research industries.”
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The Charlotte R. Schmidlapp STEM Scholars piloted in 2017 and supports underrepresented minority girls and young women from middle school through college to pursue their interests in science and biomedical research. Through research opportunities, mentorship, structured networking and science symposiums, the goal of the program is to increase the number of young underrepresented minority women who eventually go to medical and/or graduate school.
“Nationally, there is a critical shortage of underrepresented minority women in medicine and in biomedical research, which adversely impacts efforts to optimize clinical outcomes, improve health equity, and conduct innovative, high-quality research,” said Jessica Kahn, MD, MPH, Associate Chair of Academic Affairs and Career Development at Cincinnati Children’s. “We want to be part of the solution to increase the number of underrepresented minority women who will transform patient care and conduct breakthrough research.”
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