The Fr. Jon-Stephen Hedges Humanitarian Award – A Student Scholarship Program

In February of 2021, Fr. Jon-Stephen Hedges passed from this earthly life into a heavenly one. This man, a co-founder, and a major cornerstone of Doctors Without Walls-Santa Barbara Street Medicine was a humanitarian extraordinaire. His remarkable characteristics and endearing qualities will remain our pillars of strength, truth, and compassion. Father Jon’s compassion for people and their plight is legendary. He always believed in the greater good and he believed there was good in all…even after a physical attack, he continued to help the most vulnerable and to promote human welfare.

Fr. Jon, best known for his ministering to distressed populations, did so locally (SB & IV) and nationally (9/11 in NYC; the wildfire that killed 19 firefighters in Arizona, Katrina in New Orleans just to name a few). Fr. Jon was a comfort and support to many folks in times of natural and man-made disasters. He was there for all; firefighters, police, victims, doctors and was open and willing to listen and spread his message of kindness.

In memory of this great man, DWW-SBSM has established The Fr. Jon Humanitarian Award. A $1,000 monetary scholarship award will be given annually to the most outstanding volunteer who demonstrates and embodies, during their time with Doctors Without Walls-Santa Barbara Street Medicine, the qualities and attributes Fr. Jon exhibited throughout his lifetime.

In 2021, the first annual Fr. Jon Humanitarian Award was given to 2 co-recipients. In 2022, the 2nd annual Fr. Jon Humanitarian Award was also given to 2 co-recipients. As with the previous award winners, both individuals selected exhibited and exemplified the best of the best. They showed up every single time, never wavered from the task at hand and always managed to provide comfort and care to the most vulnerable of Santa Barbara County.

Recipients:

2021 – Oscar Delgadillo and Andrea Ure
2022 – Majd Bakdounes and Daisy Cruz-Dominguez

Student Scholarship Program

In 2018 the DWW-SBSM Student Scholarship Program (SSP) was born.  The SSP is a private in-house scholarship funded solely by the volunteer clinicians of Doctors Without Walls-Santa Barbara Street Medicine. This program awards financial scholarships to a few select student Coordinators (“students”) who are DWW-SBSM volunteers in good standing and pursuing an advanced degree in medicine, public health, or mental health.

The Student Scholarship Program only grants funding to students as Reimbursement Grants or a College Tuition, Fees, and Books Grant.  With the Reimbursement Grant, upon submitting qualified expenses, students will be reimbursed for college application fees and travel for interviews. The College, Fees, and Books Grant will be paid directly to the student’s chosen school and assist them with the upfront school expenses.

The SSP rewards students who consistently show up and serve our mission.  Students are judged on attendance, interaction with other volunteers and their contribution to the mission.  As previously mentioned, the student must be continuing their education in the medical, mental health or public health arena. Students who meet this criterion will be invited to apply.

We are proud of all our students, especially those who have gone on to further their education in these fields.  The Student Scholarship Program winners and their schools of choice are as follows:

2018

Matt SumethesonUSC Keck School of Medicine
Daniel BoctorRush University, Chicago, Rush Medical School
Amanda McKennaCSU San Marcos – Post Baccalaureate Program

2019

Marina NajjarCooper Medical School of Rowen University, Phil. PA
Melissa Ausanka-Crues – San Francisco State University Nursing School

2020

Katrina GuzzardiLong Island University, Brooklyn, PA Program
Serina WilliamsCarilion School of Medicine, Virginia Tech
Niko VictoriaUSC, Keck School of Medicine

2021

Chris StathisUSC Keck School of Medicine
Jamila CampwalaUC San Diego, Post Baccalaureate Program
Abby LauDuke University, Physician’s Assistant Program
Sean ScheinerUSC, Keck School of Medicine

2022

Jesse BasraGeorgetown University School of Medicine
Nick WilsonBoston University School of Medicine
Andrea UreUC Davis School of Medicine

Underserved Medicine Seminar

The UCSB Underserved Medicine Course, is no longer being offered at UCSB. When offered, this course uses service and problem-based learning methodologies, explores unique medical needs of vulnerable, underserved populations internationally and locally. Guest speakers discuss topics ranging from refugee health, homelessness, humanitarian aid in conflict zones, care of military veterans, global health development, care of migrant farm workers, and more.

Please stay tuned as we are looking for a new location with dates and times to be announced by Fall-2022.