VCOM 2022 Annual Report

The Julie W. Ghent Memorial Scholarship

J ulie Ghent helped to shape the future of VCOM-Carolinas students who completed their clinical rotations at the MUSC Health Lancaster Medical Center where she worked as a student coordinator. Ghent’s eternal optimism, and her natural ability to inspire others, created a supportive environment in which the third and fourth-year medical students could learn and thrive. “Julie knew all the medical students’ names before they showed up, and she guided them through the complex process of medical rotations, physician introduction, direction and housing,” said Dr. William Lee Thomas. “Whatever each needed to succeed, Julie supplied.” Ghent passed away from COVID-19 in January 2021, but her legacy is being honored with the Julie W. Ghent Memorial Scholarship. Established by Ghent’s loving family and Mid-Carolina Area Health Eduction Center (AHEC), this scholarship is awarded to students who rotated at the Lancaster hospital and are committed to the health needs of rural communities in South Carolina.

Kristopher Gross and Emma Hand Kunkleman are the first students to receive the Julie W. Ghent Memorial Scholarship. Both are members of the Class of 2023. Gross plans to practice primary care, and Kunkleman plans to practice pediatrics. “I feel that rural medicine is a special field that reaches the poorest, the sickest and the most disadvantaged, and I believe that my talents and my abilities can make a significant impact to these rural communities,” said Gross. “I am so honored and grateful to have received the Julie W. Ghent Memorial Scholarship,” said Kunkleman. “My rotation in Lancaster has been extremely rewarding and allowed me to help care for rural and underserved communities since those patients are the ones who need it most.”

Below left: Remembering the legacy of Julie Ghent. Below: Kristopher Gross and Emma Hand Kunkleman are pictured with Cheri Plyler, Julie’s childhood friend, and Joe Ghent, Julie’s husband.



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