This year, the Association of Korean American Medical Graduates (AKAM) is giving two scholarships to medical students from our community.

The AKAM Research Award will be given to Daniel Cho from Englewood Cliffs, NJ. The AKAM Service Award will be given to Christine Ha, from Old Tappan.

These awards were established by AKAM to address health concerns that specifically affect the Korean American community. Because Koreans have a different biology and culture, some health problems, like gastric cancer, or tuberculosis, or suicide, affect Koreans more.

The AKAM Research Award encourages students and researchers in our community to look more closely at these problems.

In the past, students who have won this award have specifically been interested in health problems for Korean American dry-cleaners, mental health conditions in Korean immigrants, and skin conditions that affect Korean American. Though the award is small (usually <$5000), the results of this award could lead to bigger studies.

The AKAM Service Award was added last year to help support Korean-American medical students interested in gaining experience doing medical missions. Both of these awards have been a way for Korean American physicians to give back to our community.

Daniel Cho is a sophomore in the Program for Liberal Medical Education (PLME) at Brown University. Daniel worked with the Korean Medical Program at Holy Name Medical Center during high school, and he is an Executive Board member on the Korean American Students Association (KASA) at Brown.

Daniel’s project, “Korean Immigrants in Healthcare: A Tale of Two Countries” is designed to look at differences in healthcare policy toward Korean immigrants in Europe and the United States.

Christine Ha is a graduate of Princeton University and will be a first-year medical student at Rutgers- New Jersey Medical School this coming fall.

Currently, she is working as an Intern in Asian Health Services at Holy Name Medical Center. This summer, she will be going on a mission trip to Morogoro, Tanzinia, with Grace Community Chapel to help establish a medical clinic.

Congratulations to both Daniel and Christine on these awards.