Optum Ireland announces five new Healthcare Scholars

Optum Ireland, part of the UnitedHealth Group, is delighted to announce the annual Optum Healthcare Scholars — and a commitment to funding dedicated scholarships for the new graduate entry School of Medicine at Ulster University.

This year’s Optum Healthcare Scholars will benefit from annual financial assistance, as well as other support they may require, to complete their undergraduate studies. The programme, established in 2018, is designed to support students in Donegal from less advantaged backgrounds who may face additional challenges.

The newly appointed Healthcare Scholars are:


Moya McCloskey (Crana College)

Caitlín Gillespie (St Columba’s Stranorlar)

Saoirse Bonner (Rosses Community School)

Artur Kryszkowski (St Eunan’s College)

Siobhán Griffin (St Columba’s Stranorlar)

The scholars join the existing cohort of Healthcare Scholars from Donegal. All scholars selected for the programme are studying healthcare and innovative technology programmes in Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ulster University and National University of Ireland, Galway.

CEO of Optum Ireland, Padraig Monaghan said the scholarship programme is designed to meet the needs and realities of this cross-border region and support the local healthcare system.


“Optum has a presence in the North West for more than 20 years. We are delighted that our contribution comes at a time when there is an acute focus on the healthcare service and an increased level of application to third level healthcare courses in Ireland”.

Liam Orr from Letterkenny is an Optum Healthcare Scholar and is in his third year studying medicine in NUI Galway:

Living away from home, the cost of living accommodation and travel is considerable. The Optum scholarship has taken the pressure off myself and my family. There is a great sense of security knowing that the support is there and the support, coming as it does from a local company, has meant a lot. I have been able to focus more on my studies and I’ve been able to travel home and stay connected to my family and community. My ambition is to work in a community-based practice at home in Donegal.”

The establishment of a new, graduate entry School of Medicine in Ulster University’s Magee campus in Derry city is a significant development for the North West City region. Optum has announced that the scholarship programme will support two graduate entry medical students when the School of Medicine opens in 2021.

The Foundation Dean of the School of Medicine, Professor Louise Dubras, has welcomed the funding announcement for prospective students:

Ulster University is a proud partner of Optum Ireland and their commitment to fund postgraduate scholarships comes at a critical time for the School of Medicine and is most welcome. Our new medical provision will provide much-needed doctors for the North West’

The Optum Healthcare Scholarship Programme for 2021/22 will be launched in January 2021.


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