Meet the newest Peach State Scholars, who have committed to completing medical school in three years and entering directly into a primary care residency program in Georgia. Thanks to a generous gifts from Peach State Health Plan, other MCG donors and matching funds from the state, their tuition will be paid for after they commit to serve an underserved area of the state.
Jordan M. Bothwell
Jordan M. Bothwell, of Roswell, GA is interested in pursuing Emergency Medicine. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a BS in Genetics, Genomics, & Biotechnology. Mr. Bothwell’s interest in medicine began with seeing a close family member struggle through trips to the ER to receive treatment for lupus flares. A mission trip opened his eyes to the issues of healthcare access in underserved populations, and upon his return home he became acutely aware that these issues were also being felt here in his home state after volunteering at local homeless shelters. Mr. Bothwell has a passion for helping underserved and rural communities, and when he was applying to medical schools he specifically looked for a program that would allow him give back to the state that he loves.
Madison L. Chimenti,
Madison L. Chimenti, of Canton, GA is interested in pursuing Emergency Medicine. She graduated from The University of Alabama with a double major in Chemistry and Biology. Mrs. Chimenti was introduced to the challenges experienced by patients pursuing healthcare in rural communities through her work as an emergency room scribe. After witnessing a patient pass away from a very treatable condition because paramedics were unable to reach them in time, she came to realize how lack of access to care can significantly increase the risk of poor outcomes. As a Georgia native, she is committed to a career focused on alleviating unnecessary death due to lack of access to care in her home state.
Christopher “Chris” P. Dick
Christopher “Chris” P. Dick, of Dunwoody, GA is interested in pursuing Internal Medicine. He graduated from The University of Georgia with a BS in Environmental Health. Mr. Dick’s interest in medicine in underserved communities began after reading about the work of Dr. Paul Farmer who dedicated his life to ending treatable and preventable diseases by improving access to healthcare in disadvantaged areas around the world. He is currently working as a student clinical coordinator with FaithCare Free Medical Clinic to gain more experience in caring for patients in underserved populations. Through this work, he has become even further committed to pursuing a career in outpatient internal medicine, which will allow him the opportunity to work toward his goal of ending disease and illness that could be preventable with proper access to care.
Samantha N. Feinstein
Samantha N. Feinstein, of Hartsfield, GA is interested in pursuing Pediatrics. She graduated from Rhodes College with a BS in Biology and a minor in Psychology. Ms. Feinsteins’ interest in working with children began through her work as a substitute teacher the year after college graduation. Her family had recently moved to a small town in South Georgia, and she learned about the culture of the farming community through the eyes of the children around her. Her realization of the need for reliable access to healthcare came when she learned that the people in her town had to drive over thirty minutes to the closest doctor, and were often asked to meet ambulances halfway in the case of an emergency. It is Ms. Feinsteins’s desire to bring a pediatric practice to the rural farming areas in South Georgia that will provide quality healthcare to the children in these communities.
Jessica H. McElrath
Jessica H. McElrath, of Woodstock, GA is interested in pursuing Pediatrics. She graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a BS in Biomedical Engineering. Ms. McElrath’s passion for medicine began after watching a close family member battle cancer while living in a rural town, and have to drive 3 hours to the city for treatment. This opened her eyes to the disparity in medical care between larger cities and rural areas in South Georgia. She has also recently volunteered at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia and observed children transferred to Augusta from smaller towns across the state due to lack of hospital beds. Ms. McElrath is committed to a career focused on fostering positive change in primary care pediatrics, particularly in underserved communities throughout Georgia.
Taylor Nicholson, of Suwanee, GA is interested in pursuing Psychiatry. She graduated from The University of Georgia with a BS in Psychology. Ms. Nicholson has known for many years that she wanted to pursue Psychiatry, and she has had many opportunities to witness the need for reliable care through her many volunteer experiences. Her work with Crisis Text Line allowed her the opportunity to connect with those needing Psychiatric help through a digital platform, but she knows this is not a reliable method for those who lack infrastructure and reliable internet in many areas of the state. When she learned that most counties in Georgia do not have a practicing psychiatrist, a fire was ignited in her to help Georgia families with their mental health without stigmatizing them.
Caleb A. Padgett
Caleb A. Padgett, of Langley, SC is interested in pursuing Internal Medicine. He graduated from The University of South Carolina with a BS in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and MS in Applied Biotechnology. He also received his PhD in Vascular Biology from the Medical College of Georgia. Mr. Padgett has lived in the CSRA for most of his life and hopes to practice preventive and primary care medicine in the area. Through his doctoral research in obesity-associated cardiovascular disease, he learned how many risk factors for disease can be modifiable when patients have access to primary care. Through his unique background, he seeks to share rigorous, evidence-based medicine practices in a format that can be understood by all of his patients, including those with lower healthcare literacy.
Blayne Thomason Santa Maria
Blayne Thomason Santa Maria, of Dalton, GA is interested in pursuing OB/GYN. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a BS in Biological Sciences and MS in Poultry Science. Mrs. Thomason Santa Maria was raised in a small town and has a deep desire to return to her roots and practice medicine within her community. Through her background, she has felt a calling to make a positive difference in the lives of underserved and rural Georgians. She also has a passion for OB/GYN and seeks to facilitate the health of women through their unique life stages. In particular, she finds the study of the female reproductive system and its role in affecting the physical, psychological, and emotional wellbeing of women a worthy career goal.
Peter-Jon Williams, of Douglasville, GA is interested in pursuing Internal Medicine. He graduated from Emory University with a BS in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology. Mr. Williams recognizes the need for primary care services in medically underserved areas. Before living in Georgia, Mr. Williams lived in Jamaica and witnessed the issues patients in rural areas had accessing care, and how resource availability was dramatically different between small towns and big cities. He understands how these issues can exacerbate barriers to care that already exist for patients of certain demographics. Mr. Williams seeks to provide primary care services in medically underserved areas to aid in the prevention of chronic illness, and to improve the wellbeing of the residents of his community.