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Stephanie, Class of 2016

Chesapeake Urology Associates Scholarship recipient Stephanie Cerritos

Stephanie, Class of 2016

Posted: 03.29.16

Stephanie Cerritos is a senior at Loyola University of Maryland. As an honors student, Stephanie will graduate with her bachelor’s in biology in May of 2016. During the summer between her sophomore and junior year, Stephanie shadowed several physicians at a local hospital through the Stepping Stones program. As a native Spanish speaker, she found that she could connect with patients and help them feel comfortable during their hospital stays.

Stephanie writes, ”In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the physician I was shadowing allowed me to use the stethoscope to hear a baby’s soft and steady heartbeat. This small gesture reminded me just how fragile and vulnerable we are when we are sick. I want to be the helping hand that supports people during those difficult times.” Stephanie was awarded the Chesapeake Urology Associates Scholarship in 2015. This fund is set up to help students pursuing careers in the medical field. Recipients of the Chesapeake Urology Scholarship are selected based on demonstrated commitment to the medical field, financial need, and academic achievement.

Mariel, Patient Advocate

Posted: 12.31.14

Central Scholarship recipients: Christina Dorsey (left), Mariel Otter (center), and Sallyn Ratemo (right)
Mariel Otter is passionate about improving psychiatric care for pediatric patients. As a volunteer in the Pediatric Psychiatric Unit at University of Maryland Medical Center, Mariel has seen how disruptive it is for children to shift in and out of inpatient services.  She is currently working on an evidence-based practice research project examining the effect of outpatient service accessibility after discharge in reducing recurrent inpatient psychiatric admissions. Mariel is also waiting to see if she received a CNA position she applied for at the UMD Medical Center. A single parent and driven student, Mariel has set her sights on helping to heal disadvantaged peoples, families, and communities.  Mariel is pictured in the middle along with fellow Central Scholarship recipients, Christina Dorsey (left) and Sallyn Ratemo (right).

Central Scholarship announces $100,000 grant from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

Posted: 05.16.12

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield logoBaltimore, MD (May 16, 2012) – Central Scholarship today announced a $100,000 contribution from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) to create the Hal Cohen Endowed Scholarship. The Hal Cohen Endowed Scholarship will provide annual scholarships to students pursuing graduate or undergraduate degrees in health care policy, health care financing or economics.

CareFirst created a scholarship to honor Dr. Cohen, who passed away in January 2012, because of his long experience and distinguished service in health care in Maryland.  In his position as Executive Director of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission, Dr. Cohen served as a conduit between hospitals, insurance companies and patients, ensuring that fair pricing and services were received by all.

Dr. Cohen is credited as being instrumental in keeping Maryland health care costs below the national average throughout his career. Upon his death, Senator Benjamin L. Cardin called Dr. Cohen a “public servant of the highest caliber.”

“This contribution is a wonderful addition to the scholarships we are currently providing. We are proud to be working with such community-minded organizations like CareFirst and we hope to fund students with the potential to be as visionary about health care as Dr. Cohen,” says Jan Wagner, President of Central Scholarship.

“We are proud to work with Central Scholarship to honor Dr. Cohen,” said Maria Harris Tildon, CareFirst Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Community Affairs. “He was recognized both locally and nationally as an expert in health care economics.  The creation of this scholarship recognizes Dr. Cohen’s legacy and will support others who want to do work in a challenging health care field.”

Interested students can apply for funding for academic year 2013-2014 starting in January 2013.

 About Central Scholarship: Central Scholarship enables students to pursue education or training after high school through scholarship opportunities and interest-free loans that fund the gap after all other financial aid has been awarded.  Established in 1924 and with over $1 million in scholarships committed annually, we screen student applications against dozens of scholarship opportunities according to criteria established by our donors.  With a deep connection to our students and the local community, our uniqueness is in our approach:  we are investing in the future of our students, their families and the neighborhoods in which they live. For more information, visit

 About CareFirst: In its 75th year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health care company that, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to about 3.4 million individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. Through its CareFirst Commitment initiative and other public mission activities, CareFirst supports efforts to increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of health care throughout its market areas.  To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit

Fore more information contact Jessica Schmidt-Bonifant, Development Director. [email protected] or 410-415-5558