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WVU School of Medicine Student Named to Prestigious Pisacano Scholars Program | Medicine School

Savannah Lusk, a fourth-year medical student at West Virginia University, has been named a 2022 Pisacano Fellow, the American Board of Family Medicine’s preeminent program for graduate medical students.

Honoring ten students across the country each year, the program provides scholarships and career development opportunities for medical students who specialize in family medicine. Recipients must demonstrate leadership skills, academic excellence, and community service, among other requirements.

For Lusk, who is from Covel, West Virginia, a rural town with a population of about 150, according to the U.S. Census, she has experienced the leadership of family practice providers, not just as healers but as as community helpers. She credits these physicians for inspiring her to pursue her family medicine residency at WVU after graduation in December.

“The family doctor is a community leader,” Lusk said. “Many health problems stem from a patient’s access to care and resources. Everything from water quality to food access and reliability will impact a person’s mental and physical well-being, and I want to focus my career on improving the experience. patient as a whole.

Lusk is only the second West Virginia University student to win this honor. Darrin Nichols, MD, earned the distinction in 2016.

A West Virginia native and WVU alumnus, she is in the Rural and MATTER streams of the School of Medicine and has dedicated her time at the University to service, learning, and outreach opportunities within the community. ‘State.

Understanding obstacles and being a patient advocate at such a young stage in her career are just some of the qualities that make Lusk an ideal candidate for the Pisacano program, according to Treah Haggerty, MD, co-director of the school’s rural track. .

“Savannah embodies the qualities we hope our program will instill in students: patient-centered care that leads with compassion and empathy to ensure the best possible outcomes,” said Dr. Haggerty.

The American Board of Family Practice created the program in honor of Dr. Nicolas Pisacano, recognized for uplifting and championing family medicine as a specialty practice.

“Dr. Pisacano embodied what it means to be a family physician and to treat patients holistically,” Lusk said. alleviate some of the difficult health issues that we face as a country.”

Looking to the future, Lusk hopes to implement programs that create healthy and strong communities.

“I would like to create a healthcare organization that is focused on holistic patient care,” Lusk said. “I want to create a community where I can exercise my love for public health and be able to create positive interventions in the lives of these people where we work together to get healthy.”

In addition to being a Pisacano Scholar, Lusk is an alumnus of WVU’s Exercise Physiology program, a 2014 WVU Foundation Scholar, and a former Mountaineer Mascot alternate.

To learn more about the Pisacano Scholars Leadership Program, visit To learn more about the School of Medicine, visit



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