School of Medicine students win CWRU Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Scholarship

Jonathon Wanta and Paul Cheng recently won the Case Western Reserve University Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Scholarship, sponsored by the Alumni Association.

Jonathan Wanta
Jonathon Wanta

Wanta (CWR ’14), a first-year medical student in the School of Medicine, was awarded $1,200 by the CWRU Pride Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Ohio Leadership Scholarship Selection Committee to facilitate his summer study of post-surgical outcomes in female to male transition for double mastectomy.

The award was based on Wanta’s advocating for the LGBT community in health care, specifically in a surgical subspecialty, and his involvement with the MetroHealth PRIDE Clinic.

In collaboration with doctors at the PRIDE Clinic, Wanta will evaluate long-term psychological effects and patient satisfaction in transgender patients who undergo chest reconstruction. Wanta’s goal is that the results of his study will affect change in health care and insurance for transgender individuals.

Paul Cheng
Paul Cheng

Cheng, a second-year medical student in the School of Medicine and a PhD candidate, is president and founder of QGrad, the LGBT student group for graduate and professional students on campus.

Cheng’s award was granted based on his role as a campus leader on LGBT initiatives, as well as his promotion of diversity and visibility for LGBT students. He plans to use the funds to evaluate how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender-nonconforming medical students perceive the inclusiveness of their medical school environments.

Cheng intends to present the findings of this study at the 2015 Gay and Lesbian Medical Association National Conference. The award will go toward covering the cost of participation, data collection tools and other conference costs.

The goal of Cheng’s research is to yield findings that can be presented to admissions and student affairs committees to help meet the needs of LGBT students.

The purpose of the CWRU Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Award is to provide recognition or enabling financial assistance to outstanding undergraduate or graduate students who are working to make impactful actions and advancement of the mission of the LGBT community at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland or nationally through scholarship, research or leadership activities.

More information about the award is available online at