Iraqi War veteran Benjamin Smith, one of 40 medical students who started classes August 1 at the new Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, has been named the recipient of The Florence and Robert A. Rosen Family Foundation Veteran’s Medical School Scholarship Award for Excellence. The annual scholarship is given to a veteran who has served the nation in an exceptional and honorable capacity.
“Having a medical student with Ben’s proven leadership and life experience will enrich the learning experience for everyone” said Dr. Lawrence Smith, Dean of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. “It’s a privilege to have a scholarship for returning veterans. We owe them our thanks and our support.”
“Having completed two tours of duty, Benjamin Smith has served his country proudly and I’m sure he will bring the same level of commitment to the practice of medicine,” said Rear Admiral Rosen, NYNM (Retired), a member of the North Shore-LIJ Health System Board of Trustees. “In recognition for all he has done for his country, the Rosen Family Foundation is proud to honor him with its Veteran’s Medical School Scholarship Award for Excellence.”
Smith, 31, grew up on the base at The United States Military Academy at West Point, where his father was a military bandsman. He graduated from West Point in 2003 and was sent for training to Fort Benning in Georgia. His first duty station was in Colorado Springs. Four months later, he was sent to Iraq, where he served a five month tour, then returned to Colorado Springs. A year later he was deployed again to Iraq, where he fought for another 15 months.
He was considering what he wanted to do with his life -- he had married in 2007 -- and was looking for a career that gave him the satisfaction that he had felt during the military without being away from home. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from West Point and also attended Dartmouth College for additional undergraduate work before applying to medical school.
“Medicine seemed to be a logical extension of the Army experience,” Smith said. “Hofstra was so exciting that I immediately felt like this was where I wanted to be.”
The Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine received more than 4,000 applications for entry into the inaugural class. Those 40 students accepted were selected from more than 700 applicants who were interviewed over a five-month period. The 20 women and 20 men range in age (from 22 to 36 years old) and come from more than 38 different hometowns, 14 different states and 33 different universities.
About the Rosen Family Wellness Center
The North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Florence and Robert A. Rosen Family Wellness Center for law enforcement and military personnel and their families was launched in 2007. Through this first-of-its-kind program, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other healthcare professionals provide behavioral health counseling at no cost to military personnel and their families who live in the New York metropolitan area, as well as members of the Reserves, Naval Militia, National Guard and Service Academies and their families. The same services are also available to local, state and federal law enforcement officers and their families.
Since the program’s inception, more than 5,400 clinical sessions have been provided to veterans, law enforcement officers and their families. It has also provided community outreach, education and support services to more than 7,300 law enforcement and military personnel and their families. The Rosen Center is part of North Shore-LIJ’s Office of Military and Veterans Liaison Services, which has initiated numerous support programs in support of veterans in the community, as well as North Shore-LIJ employees who serve in the military. Photo caption. Benjamin Smith is presented with The Florence and Robert A. Rosen Family Foundation Veteran’s Medical School Scholarship Award for Excellence. From left are Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine Dean Dr. Lawrence Smith; Sarah Smith; Ben Smith; Admiral Robert Rosen; Florence Rosen; North Shore-LIJ Health System President & CEO Michael Dowling; Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz; and Ralph Nappi, President of the North Shore-LIJ Health System Foundation.