School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
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Preparing for Admission : Advisor & Student Resources : Visit SOMA : Requirements : Accreditation : Hometown Scholars

Hometown Scholars

Do you …

Want to help improve the health of your community?  Desire to work in your community’s health center as a physician?

If you answered “yes,” then Hometown Scholars may be for you!

ATSU-SOMA was started in response to a request from, and in partnership with, the nation’s healthcare safety net of community health centers (CHCs). The purpose of Hometown Scholars is to help the innovative medical school meet the needs of CHCs by attracting and training dedicated, motivated, and qualified community-minded physicians. This information is designed to help you explore how you might become a Hometown Scholars endorsed applicant.

Hometown Scholars applicants are those who have

  • Located a CHC to stay involved with
  • Developed relationships with CHC staff and leadership
  • Learned about the working environment of a CHC
  • Gained valuable volunteer or work experience
  • Gained ATSU-SOMA application endorsement from a CHC leader

Hometown Scholars endorsement lets the medical school know which applicants CHCs believe could become the compassionate community-minded healers they would like to employ. If you are interested in seeking a Hometown Scholars endorsement, visit the Bureau of Primary Health Care web page to identify a CHC to connect with as a volunteer or employee. In this way, you can learn about that health center’s approach for improving community health, develop health center relationships, and hopefully, gain the endorsement from that CHC.

A CHC leader can advocate for your acceptance into the medical school by sending a Hometown Scholars endorsement letter to Gary Cloud, PhD (address below). Hometown Scholars letters of endorsement do not replace the regular application process. Hometown Scholars endorsement letters parallel the regular application process – a process that requires its own letters of support.

What is a CHC?

CHC mission
To promote the provision of high-quality, comprehensive healthcare that is accessible, coordinated, culturally and linguistically competent, and community directed for all underserved populations.

More information and related links:


National Association of Community Health Centers

Bureau of Primary Health Care website through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 

For more information about the Hometown Scholars program, contact

Gary Cloud, PhD
Vice President, Strategic University Partnerships
Phone: 480.219.6013

For more information on the DO program at ATSU-SOMA, please contact a representative at 866.626.2878 x2237 (toll free), 480.219.6000 (direct dial), or via email at