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Montage Health Foundation grant program selects four physician scholar projects to fund

Monterey Herald logo Monterey Herald 5/31/2021 Staff And Wire Reports
a person standing posing for the camera: Dr. Casey Grover and Dr. Reb Close are Emergency department physicians at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. (Photo courtesy of Montage) © Provided by Monterey Herald Dr. Casey Grover and Dr. Reb Close are Emergency department physicians at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. (Photo courtesy of Montage)

MONTEREY — The Montage Health Foundation recently announced it has selected four local physicians to receive funds from the medical group’s Physician Scholars and Clinical Volunteers grant program funds program.

The program, now in its second year, recognizes outstanding Monterey County doctors and provides grants in support of their pursuit of professional excellence and volunteer service.

Selected as physician scholars were: Dr. Reb Close, Dr. Kenneth Gjeltema, Dr. Casey Grover and Dr. Juan Magaña.

“The foundation is extremely pleased to have been able to recognize outstanding members of the local medical profession and to help support the important work they do,” Kevin Causey, vice president and chief development officer of Montage Health said in a press release. “They have used their grants to increase their knowledge in areas from cancer treatment to assessing autism and to volunteer in our community and around the world. Our community is so fortunate to have them.”

Montage Health Foundation has awarded more than $384,000 in grants to 24 recipients. The amount of money awarded in the specific grants wasn’t disclosed.

Grover and Close are emergency department physicians at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and the leaders of Prescribe Safe, a nationally recognized effort to reduce opioid abuse and misuse. They were each awarded grants to become board-certified in addiction medicine, enhancing their education, training and experience to support their work to reduce overdoses, improve access to addiction treatment and increase drug abuse prevention.

a man smiling for the camera: Dr. Kenneth Gjeltema © Provided by Monterey Herald Dr. Kenneth Gjeltema

Gjeltema, a family practice doctor with Montage Medical Group, was awarded a grant to support training in the use of the Butterfly IQ, a handheld ultrasound device usable on the entire body. It’s about the size of an electric razor and can plug into a smartphone. Gjeltema says it could be used for in-office imaging for issues such as cysts and gall stones.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Dr. Juan Magaña © Provided by Monterey Herald Dr. Juan Magaña

Magaña, a hospitalist at Community Hospital, was awarded a grant to develop a strategic plan for a year-long shadowing program at the hospital for 12 first-generation, low-income college students from underrepresented groups who are interested in careers in medicine. Magaña and his colleagues have been mentoring students, but many face significant barriers to regular participation, including lack of transportation or demands from jobs. The strategic plan will detail what additional funding and support would be needed to enable students to participate. Magaña also received a volunteer grant from the foundation to continue mentoring students while he develops the formal plan.

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