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Release Date: June 21, 2024

We are proud to announce the 2024 recipient of the Perla S Gil, MD Scholarship, established to enhance diversity at Ochsner and in the medical profession by supporting female Ochsner Clinical School students of Hispanic descent who have traditionally been underrepresented in the medical profession. This year’s recipient is Valentina Vargas Marin, a fourth-year medical student born in Bogotá, Colombia. Valentina moved to a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in South Florida, which allowed her to preserve the rich culture of her heritage. During high school, she witnessed her community's efforts to raise funds and collect donations for those less fortunate overseas, igniting her passion for helping individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in Latin America. In college, Valentina became involved with MedLife Movement, a non-profit organization partnering with low-income communities in South America to improve access to medicine and education and to provide funds and volunteer support for community development projects. Additionally, she has volunteered at free clinics, assisting as a translator for Hispanic patients who do not speak English. Valentina is committed to continuing her efforts to help those in need as she advances in her medical career.

The Perla S. Gil, MD Scholarship is supported by a generous endowed fund established in honor of Dr. Perla S. Gil. Dr. Gil was born in Santiago, Cuba, and grew up in Spain and Peru. Her father was an ophthalmologist, and she followed his footsteps to a career in medicine. Dr. Gil trained at The Ochsner Clinic and Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco before practicing anesthesiology for over 20 years at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California.