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Medical student recognized for serving underserved communities

Kaiser Permanente selected Lindsay Buzzelli, third year medical student at Penn State College of Medicine, to receive a 2021 Kaiser Permanente Northern California Medical School Scholarship for her commitment to supporting underserved communities.

Prior to becoming a medical student, Buzzelli worked as a high school biology teacher with Teach For America in San Antonio where she started a pre-health professions group for underserved students. She organized activities including a workshop on taking vital signs, question and answer sessions with local health care professionals and a field trip to a local medical school. Upon starting medical school at the College of Medicine’s University Park Curriculum, Buzzelli started a similar pre-health professions program with a classmate for rural high school students.

Buzzelli was a founding member of the College of Medicine’s student-led contact tracing team which aided Penn State Health’s COVID-19 response efforts. She and fellow medical student Amy Hoffman won the best student paper award at the virtual 2021 Health Humanities Consortium International Conference, hosted by the College of Medicine, for their submission titled, “Medical students as contact tracers: professional identity formation in the times of COVID-19.” She also formed a sub-group within the contact tracing team that worked to identify patients’ needs and connect them with community organizations that could provide resources.

“Lindsay is a wonderful advocate for patients and is genuinely passionate about patient care. Her leadership ability is exemplified by the many initiatives and community services that she has undertaken, especially during the pandemic,” said Dr. Juan Qiu, professor of family and community medicine.

Buzzelli will be recognized at an awards banquet on Saturday, Sept. 11. As a scholarship recipient, she has been invited to complete a one-month elective at one of Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California facilities.

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