Alumna Murtagh receives Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship

Pictured is Hallie Murtagh, a sophomore at Holmes Community College who received the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship. Hallie Murtagh, who graduated from Holmes Community College on May 11, was awarded the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship valued at $30,000 per year for her medical training at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson. The daughter of Johnny and Cathy Murtagh, she is a native of Lexington.

"Hallie Murtagh is so deserving of the Rural Physician's Scholarship," said chemistry instructor Heather Jones. "Born and raised in Holmes County, she is a perfect fit for the medical school scholarship and for serving her community as a physician there. We are very proud of her accomplishments and know she will do well. It was a joy to teach her for the past two years, with her huge smile, great work ethic and always a positive attitude."

While at Holmes, Murtagh was an Ambassador for the Goodman Campus, part of the Baptist Student Union Lead Team, a member of the Student Government Association and a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She was also named the 2017 Homecoming Queen, Sophomore Class Favorite and as one of the Top Five in Beauty Review both years.

Upon graduation from Holmes, Murtagh will marry her college sweetheart, Bailey Rutledge, before moving to Starkville to attend Mississippi State University. While she pursues her bachelor's degree in biological science at MSU, the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship program will provide opportunities and materials for her to prepare her for medical school.

"During the next two years of undergraduate study, the program will provide MCAT study materials, job shadowing opportunities and other materials/opportunities to prepare me for UMMC," Murtagh said.

Created in 2007, the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program (MRPSP) is designed to provide more primary care physicians in rural areas of Mississippi.  During medical school, each MRPSP scholar receives $30,000 per year based on available funding. Consistent legislative support of the MRPSP translates to 60 medical students receiving a total of $1,800,000 to support their education this fall.

"The Mississippi Legislature celebrates with these Mississippians from across the state in their commitment to improving healthcare for rural Mississippians by becoming rural primary care physicians," said Buck Clarke, Chairman of MS State Senate Appropriations. In addition to the legislative support, 4 privately funded scholarships are also awarded this year. Other benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural physicians and academic support.

Upon completion of medical training, MRPSP scholars must enter a residency program in one of five primary care specialties: family medicine, general internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology or pediatrics. The MRPSP Scholar must provide four years of service in a clinic-based practice in an approved Mississippi community of 20,000 or fewer population located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.

MRPSP provides a means for rural Mississippi students to earn a seat in medical school and to earn a $120,000 medical school scholarship in return for four years of service and learn the art of healing from practicing rural physicians.

For more information, contact MRPSP Associate Director Dan Coleman at 601-815-0564, jdcoleman@umc.du or http://mrpsp.umc.edu.

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IN THIS PHOTO: Pictured is Hallie Murtagh, a sophomore at Holmes Community College who received the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship.