In 2016 Lucas T. Wittman received the $1,000 Myrtle Siegfried, MD, and Michael Vigilante, MD, Scholarship. The scholarship is available to first-year medical students who are residents of Berks, Lehigh, or Northampton counties. Lucas is son of Chris and Wendy Wittman, of Macungie, attends Harvard Medical School, in Boston.

Wittman said, "First and foremost, I hope to be a compassionate physician who is able to console and care for patients through some of their most vulnerable times. In addition to practicing clinical medicine, I also realize the importance of getting to know the needs of specific communities. This knowledge will not only lead to better patient care on the individual level, but it can also be used to address population-level problems."

Wittman said that his appreciation for education and desire to practice medicine in underserved communities has stemmed from his own humble upbringing as the youngest in my small-town household of seven. He said, "Motivated in part by my own socioeconomic background, I dedicated a significant portion of my undergraduate years seeking to better understand some of the implications involved at the interface of society, neuroscience, and health by leading research projects on poverty and pediatric brain development at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia."

"I have sought to further apply these passions domestically as a strategic development intern for programs designed to improve the health of socially vulnerable and medically complex patients at Boston Children's Hospital, as well as globally in leading the development of a public health intervention for indigent communities in the Amazon," he said.