Community Hospital Foundation supports student scholarships

By Steven Bartolotta

TCOM students

The Community Hospital Foundation has donated $320,000 to the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine for the creation of the Rohr, Tompson and Zima Scholarship fund. The fund is named after three osteopathic physicians, Dr. G.W. Tomson, Dr. Loren Rohr and Dr. Victor Zima, and will provide scholarships annually to TCOM students.

The fund will provide two $5,000 scholarships for second-year students, two $10,000 scholarships for third-year students and two $20,000 scholarships for fourth-year TCOM students.

“TCOM is so grateful for the scholarship gift that was made by the Community Hospital Foundation,” said Dr. Frank Filipetto, Dean of TCOM. “Their gift will transform the lives of future Osteopathic students in need of assistance. Their investment strengthens the legacy of Osteopathic Medicine in Texas.”

The three osteopathic physicians were committed to the profession and opened The Community Hospital in 1949 in Jacinto City, Texas. Dr. Rohr, Dr. Zima and Dr. Tompson invested their private funds in the initial construction and operation of the 50-bed hospital.

Like many other DOs at the time, the three physicians faced scorn from local MDs in the area, but the hospital continued to thrive. Over the years, the hospital saw the addition of many other Osteopathic physicians to the staff, many which had been interns at the hospital.

In the 1960’s the hospital was converted to a non-profit organization.  The hospital and staff continued to see growth and a new, larger hospital was constructed in the 1970s. This newer facility was later purchased and because the Community Hospital was a non-profit entity, the funds from the sale were required to be used to set up a foundation.

Patsy Simon, the President of the Community Hospital Foundation Board, worked alongside the physicians for decades and saw their dedication to the osteopathic profession.

“I think all three of them were great mentors to the people they came in touch with,” Simon said.

A total of $70,000 will be awarded each year to TCOM students who intend to specialize in primary care. Students can apply for the scholarship beginning in the spring of 2021. The Community Hospital was founded by three physicians who deeply believed in the osteopathic profession, and now years later they are able contribute to the next generation.

“They would have never done it themselves, because they wouldn’t have wanted the attention,” Simon said. “But we are doing it in their memory. They are the reason the foundation is there.”

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