Dr. Joel Alderson and his partners at Southcentral Pathology Laboratory in Wichita recognized a growing problem in rural parts of Kansas and decided to try to do something about it through the power of education.
By creating a high-impact scholarship for Wichita State students in the medical laboratory science field, they hope to help those students graduate and start careers as medical technologists, filling a void that is affecting health care all over Kansas.
“We continuously see difficulty in recruiting medical technologists and keeping them here,” says Alderson, a pathologist who works with labs in Wichita and throughout the state. “It’s a profession that’s very vital to good health care.”
Medical technologists collect and analyze samples of blood, tissue and body fluids that help doctors make diagnoses and care for their patients. The Southcentral Pathology MLS Scholarship will provide generous awards to two students each year. The laboratory pledged $200,000 to endow the scholarship and another $80,000 to create awards immediately, while the endowment grows.
Alderson began working closely with Wichita State students and faculty when he agreed to become director of the WSU Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, a facility created in fall 2020 to conduct high-volume Covid testing for counties across Kansas.
“We’re doing this for the community, which has been very good to us. Both the scholarship and our help with the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory are ways we can give back to our community,” Alderson says.