JONESBORO – Ritter Arnold, along with his brother Paul Arnold and sister Melissa Wren, have established a new scholarship to assist students at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic at Arkansas State University with their medical education.
The scholarship will be funded by the Mary Ann and Sidney Arnold Foundation and will cover a portion of tuition for students who are from select Arkansas Delta counties who have expressed interest in remaining in the area to practice medicine once they complete their training.
Arnold chose to name the scholarship after his dear friends Dr. Michael and Julie Isaacson in honor of their commitment to serving Northeast Arkansas through medicine. Dr. Michael Isaacson, a cardiologist with NEA Baptist Health System, has practiced in the Jonesboro area for nearly 40 years and has cared for numerous members of the Arnold family. Julie Isaacson is a registered nurse who spent four decades practicing the profession while also training aspiring healthcare workers at the collegiate level.
“We are incredibly grateful to Ritter and his family for their extremely generous gift that will make a significant impact on physicians from our area who wish to practice here,” said Shane Speights, D.O., dean of NYITCOM at A-State. “We can’t thank him enough for the numerous ways he has supported our medical school since day one, and this gift is a testament to his commitment to improving access to healthcare in a region that so desperately needs it.”
Arnold has been a member of the NYITCOM dean’s advisory board since its inception in 2017 and has been an ardent supporter of NYITCOM and its mission.
“I’m extremely passionate about finding ways to address some of the most pressing needs in our Delta communities, and healthcare workforce is certainly among those,” Arnold said. “I hope the students who benefit from this scholarship are inspired to practice medicine and serve their communities in a manner that models Dr. and Mrs. Isaacson.”
Arnold and the Isaacsons recognized the first two recipients of the Dr. Michael and Julie Isaacson Scholarship, Student Doctors Katie Head of Paragould and Andrew Sullivan of Jonesboro, at NYITCOM at A-State’s annual White Coat Ceremony, which was held on Friday, Aug. 11 at the Fowler Center on the Arkansas State University campus.
About NYITCOM at Arkansas State University: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University, located on A-State’s Jonesboro campus, is dedicated to improving access to health care for the underserved and rural populations in Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta Region. Arkansas annually ranks near the bottom among states in overall population health status due to low health indicators including obesity, hypertension and diabetes. The state also ranks near the bottom of states in the number of active physicians per capita and in the number of primary care physicians. NYITCOM at A-State was established in 2016 with the mission of meeting the need for more physicians in this medically underserved area.