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Student Chosen As Winner of Ripple Effect Contest, Will Make Humanitarian Service Trip.

Osteopathic medical student will embrace LECOM’s mission of service in Haiti this summer

Matthew Schilling, a first-year medical student at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, will embrace LECOM’s mission of serving others when he makes a paid humanitarian service trip to Haiti.

Schilling was announced as one of two winners of the 2014 Ripple Effect Contest, a joint initiative of Heart to Heart International and Welch Allyn designed to inspire medical students to “change the world by giving back to their communities.” This summer, Schilling and the other 2014 and 2013 Ripple Effect student winners will work alongside physicians and aid workers in impoverished and medically underserved communities in Haiti.

David Allyn, Matthew Schilling, and Steve Hower standing with winner of Ripple Effect Contest

LECOM’s Matthew Schilling (center) will be making a humanitarian service trip to Haiti as a winner of the Ripple Effect Contest. He is shown with David Allyn (left) of Welch Allyn, and Steve Hower of Heart to Heart International.

Representatives from Heart to Heart International, Welch Allyn and the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) served as judges for the contest. Schilling was chosen as one of the winners based on the “superior passion, creativity, sincerity, and quality of expression” of the essay required of all entrants.

In his essay, Schilling discussed his experience last summer volunteering for New Ark Mission of India, a humanitarian organization that seeks to provide care, shelter, and medication for the destitute and dying in Bangalore. Witnessing the extreme poverty and suffering reinforced Schilling’s desire to become a physician and to care for those in need.

“I wept for the people there,” he said in his essay. “It was powerful and humbling. I promised God and myself that I would get into and through medical school so that I could come back to these people and care for them with my heart, mind, and skill. I will go anywhere that needs me and be a blessing to whomever I meet.”

Schilling’s heartfelt words struck a chord with the judges. “We are extremely excited to have Matthew join the Welch Allyn team as a volunteer in Haiti this summer,” said Jim Mitchum, CEO of Heart to Heart International. “His passion and commitment to helping his fellow man exemplify what this contest is about. Volunteerism is essential if we are to fulfill our mission of improving global health. We hope his experience will inspire and encourage others to share their time and talents with those in need. Matthew is well on his way to creating his own ripple effect in the world today.”

The Ripple Effect Contest encourages medical students to use social media to share how they will create their own “ripple effect” of good in their community or globally. Entrants were asked to ‘like’ the Ripple Effect program page on Facebook and share a picture with a short essay or a short video showcasing their “ripple effect” — a brief narrative about how they would “change the world” by using their training to help those in greatest need.

“We are proud that a LECOM osteopathic medical student has been selected as a 2014 Ripple Effect Contest winner,” said Silvia Ferretti, DO, the College’s Provost, Senior Vice President, and Dean of Academic Affairs. “Matthew’s genuine commitment to providing care where it is needed the most is in keeping with our mission of enhancing the quality of life for all.”

Under Ripple Effect, Welch Allyn, a leading medical diagnostic device company that delivers pragmatic innovation at the point of care, provides up to $125 in merchandise credits to Heart to Heart International when a student purchases select Welch Allyn diagnostic instruments. Heart to Heart International, a nonprofit medical aid organization, uses the credits to acquire Welch Allyn devices for use in its global humanitarian programs, disaster relief, and health professional training for underserved populations. In 2014, the program raised credits valued at more than $1 million that Heart to Heart International applied to purchases of medical equipment from Welch Allyn for use in its worldwide humanitarian programs.

Reliable medical instruments play a critical role in helping physicians make key assessments, which informs diagnosis and helps improve care for patients. When physicians are equipped with the proper medical instruments, their ability to assess, diagnose, treat, and manage a wide variety of illnesses and diseases, and care for more patients, increases. In many places, medical providers do not have access to even basic diagnostic equipment, limiting their ability to provide quality care.

“Welch Allyn is proud to partner with Heart to Heart International to offer a way for medical students to start making a difference in people’s lives long before their first residency,” said David Allyn, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Welch Allyn. “By simply participating in the Ripple Effect Contest four lucky med students have been given the opportunity to participate in a life-changing humanitarian service trip to support people in need. As we celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2015, it is only fitting that we continue to uphold our core value—‘be always kind and true’, as W.G Allyn, the son of our founder, embraced, by sending four students on a humanitarian trip. Further, Welch Allyn is honored to be able to provide some of the equipment the students, physicians and aid workers will use on the trip to improve care in places where it is needed most.”

Since the establishment of the Welch Allyn and Heart to Heart International relationship back in 1998, Welch Allyn has provided more than $12 million worth of medical equipment to Heart to Heart International to help clinicians deliver vital patient care in the places that need it most. Welch Allyn employees have also contributed many hours of volunteer time both at home and abroad.

About the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) is the nation’s largest medical college and with Millcreek Community Hospital and the Clinical Practices of LECOM forms the only osteopathic Academic Health Center in the United States. LECOM is at the core of this highly innovative medical education system and strives to add to the quality of life of our neighbors by bringing total health care to the community. LECOM is preparing the next generation of physicians, dentists and pharmacists at its campuses in Erie and Greensburg, Pa. and in Bradenton, Fla.

About Welch Allyn, Inc.

Welch Allyn provides innovative solutions to help reduce risk and improve patient safety, satisfaction and outcomes in a variety of clinical settings through a complete range of EMR-interfaced vital signs and cardiac monitoring diagnostic solutions, physical diagnosis instruments, and infection control products. The company specializes in helping doctors, nurses and other frontline providers across the globe streamline workflow by developing cutting edge products that enable immediate access to accurate patient data. A leading global healthcare company founded in 1915 and headquartered in Skaneateles Falls, N.Y. (USA), Welch Allyn is a family-owned business that employs nearly 2,600 employees in 26 different countries.

About Heart to Heart International

Heart to Heart International is a nonprofit international health organization. Since its founding in 1992, HHI has delivered medical aid and supplies worth nearly $1.3 billion to more than 150 countries, including the United States.  HHI responds to crises and natural disasters both domestically and internationally by supplying medical relief and mobilizing volunteers. HHI broadens access to healthcare with medical education opportunities and lab standards training in the U.S. and in Haiti, and also works with U.S. safety-net clinics to increase their capacity by providing medical equipment, supplies and volunteers that are vital to operations.  The organization is a Charity Navigator 4-Star charity seven years in a row, a BBB Accredited Charity, and is on the “Philanthropy 400”.  HHI is also a founding member of the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD), and is a member of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).