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Girod Scholarship Helps Kleint Excel in Medical School

By Ian Rollins

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Austin Kleint wasn’t sure what career path he wanted, until he took Anatomy and Physiology at East Linn Christian Academy

Today, the Lebanon native is in his first year at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific – Northwest (COMP – Northwest) and enjoying what he’s learning. His tuition is being assisted by a Girod Medical Scholarship, administered by the Lebanon Community Hospital Foundation.

“I knew Dr. Dana Kosmala when I was in high school. She quizzed me about anatomy,” Kleint said. “I fell in love with medicine at that point, and I had the chance to shadow a few doctors here in town.”

Kleint earned a bachelor’s degree from California Baptist University and then started applying to medical schools. His hope was to attend COMP-Northwest. He stopped the application process for all other schools when COMP-Northwest invited him for an interview.

In addition to his studies, Kleint is involved in student government at COMP-Northwest. He was selected as liaison to COMP-Northwest’s sister school in Pomona, Calif., through which he will visit that campus with a delegation of Lebanon students.

He is doing well in his classes and is grateful for the assistance of the Girod scholarship.

“It takes a weight off my shoulders, knowing I won’t have to worry as much about financing my education,” Kleint said. “There are a lot of disparities in rural health care. My experiences so far, and receiving the Girod scholarship, have helped me isolate that I want to practice medicine in a rural community.”

Kleint’s goal is to become a pediatrician, like Dr. Kosmala. He is interested in surgery as well, but only pediatric surgery.

The Girod scholarship was established by the family of the late Frank Girod, MD, one of the founding physicians of Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital. The Girod family’s goal is to make medical education more affordable for students from east Linn County. Scholarships can range up to $8,000.

The foundation is accepting applications now for the Girod scholarship, as well as the Rachel Easton RN Scholarship for nursing students, and the Dinges Scholarship for health career students at Linn-Benton Community Colleges. Applications and more information are available on the Linn County scholarship page.

Anyone who shares the Girod family’s passion is invited to contribute to the scholarship fund. Visit the foundation online or call 541-451-6303.