The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) Student Scholarship Fund has received a significant boost, thanks to a new partnership with Pegula Sports & Entertainment (PSE).
Through this initiative, PSE has committed $1 million over the next 10 years to the LECOM Student Scholarship Fund. Each year, 10 LECOM medical, pharmacy and dental students from a 22-county region in Western New York will receive a $10,000 scholarship. By expanding the accessibility of medical education for the region’s aspiring students, PSE hopes this program will spur more health care professionals to serve Western New York and the Southern Tier, ultimately improving the lives of area residents for decades to come.
Despite having one of the lowest tuitions among U.S. private medical schools, many LECOM students graduate with significant debt. Since 1994, LECOM has distributed more than $37 million in scholarships to deserving students, including $20 million over the last five years alone.
PSE President & CEO Kim Pegula and LECOM Provost, Senior Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Silvia Ferretti, D.O., announced the scholarship initiative this week in Buffalo, New York. Both agreed the PSE-LECOM relationship is a natural fit, given the level of commitment both athletes and health care professionals devote to their careers.
“With this partnership, we will be able to highlight the full spectrum of health and wellness through the sporting events that are a mainstay of this region,” explained Ferretti. “We are delighted to partner with Pegula Sports & Entertainment to advance and encourage health and wellness. There is no better example to highlight wellness than with young athletes who, like our LECOM students, commit themselves to an extraordinary amount of work to achieve their career goals.”
The PSE scholarship program is part of a multifaceted, multi-year partnership that includes naming rights to PSE’s 750,000-square-foot mixed-use facility, now known as LECOM Harborcenter, in downtown Buffalo. Adjacent to KeyBank Center and Canalside, LECOM Harborcenter includes two NHL-size hockey rinks, a 205-room full-service Marriott, training facilities, four restaurants, retail space and a parking garage. It serves as the official practice facility of the NHL Buffalo Sabres and is home to the NHL Scouting Combine, the Academy of Hockey, Buffalo Jr. Sabres youth hockey organization, Canisius College men’s hockey and numerous tournaments at all levels that attract teams from across North America. LECOM Harborcenter annually draws an estimated 500,000 visitors to downtown Buffalo.
LECOM is also now an official Gold Ring Partner of the Sabres. LECOM began its relationship with the hockey team during the 2017-2018 season as an official education partner. This season the Sabres will continue the LECOM Student All-Stars Program, inviting the public to nominate outstanding students for recognition during five home games. The LECOM Value Ticket, which allows students to purchase discounted tickets with a valid school ID, and the LECOM T-shirt toss will also continue during the upcoming season.