Residency and medical school can be a time of financial hardship, which can be magnified during the holidays. To help alleviate some of that burden and to spread holiday cheer, the Advocates for the American Osteopathic Association (AAOA), in partnership with the American Osteopathic Foundation, created the AAOA Holiday Hug Grant in 2020 to provide grants of $500 each to help two medical students or current residents with year-end expenses.

Recently, the AAOA was delighted to award the 2021 Holiday Hug Grants to two very deserving recipients – Heather Pol, Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine, and Yash Patel, Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience.

As part of her application, Heather noted, “I greatly appreciate that the Holiday Hug Award has been established for medical students. I would be honored to be a recipient so I can spend the holidays with my family, which has recently been difficult due to my financial situation and the COVID-19 pandemic”

For more information about the AAOA Holiday Hug Grant program visit