NYITCOM student Jared Burns-Martin administering a COVID-19 vaccine


NYITCOM-Arkansas Student’s Rural Medicine Experience Inspires Gift to Medical School

February 6, 2024

Pictured: Jared Burns-Martin, OMS-IV at NYITCOM-Arkansas, administers a COVID-19 vaccine at a free clinic held on October 25, 2021, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Batesville, Ark.

Jared Burns-Martin, a fourth-year medical student at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University (NYITCOM-Arkansas), is grateful for many of the unique opportunities that have enhanced his medical education, so much so that he’s made a generous gift to support the school’s community health initiatives.

Burns-Martin recently donated $26,951 to the Delta Population Health Institute (DPHI), the community engagement arm of NYITCOM-Arkansas. The gift was made from an inheritance he received from his grandparents, William and Hilda Mae Martin, who passed away in 2019 and 2021, respectively.

The Martins’ trust instructed that a portion of the funds be donated to a charitable organization, and Burns-Martin chose the DPHI because he enjoyed working with the organization as a student.  

“I liked the idea of giving to the DPHI because I feel like the resources will directly benefit those that need it most,” Burns-Martin says. “The DPHI’s work not only impacts the community, it enables medical students to get hands-on experiences that really help enhance their medical education, so it’s a win-win for everyone.”

Burns-Martin’s gift will be used to help fund programs related to population health initiatives and the Delta Care-A-Van, the DPHI’s mobile medical unit that conducts free health screenings in rural parts of Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta region. Burns-Martin regularly participated in Delta Care-A-Van events during his first two years of medical school and greatly benefited from those experiences.


Jared Burns-Martin recently made a financial gift to NYITCOM to help support the medical school’s population health initiatives.

“I got to talk to patients at those events and really develop my communication skills,” he says. “I felt much more comfortable going into the clinical portion of my medical education because of those interactions I had at Delta Care-A-Van events. I got to administer vaccines. We received warmth and gratitude from everyone we interacted with. They were a great opportunity to connect and learn what the community and culture were all about.”

Burns-Martin’s gift is the first major gift NYITCOM-Arkansas has received from an active student.

“We are so incredibly grateful to Student Doctor Burns-Martin for this generous gift,” says Brookshield Laurent, D.O., NYITCOM-Arkansas’ chair of clinical medicine and executive director of the DPHI. “It’s heartwarming for me to know that his experiences through the DPHI were so impactful, and we are humbled by his desire to help future NYITCOM-Arkansas students enjoy similar opportunities.”

While Burns-Martin’s grandmother was able to see him begin his medical school journey, he’s saddened that she won’t be there to watch him cross the stage at NYITCOM-Arkansas’ commencement ceremony in May. He does, however, take solace in the fact that he knows she’d be pleased with how he shared a portion of her financial gift.   

“She was very nurturing to me,” says Burns-Martin. “She taught me strong values about the importance of helping people who are less fortunate, to respect and love all. She played a large role in raising me and trying to instill those values in me. I know she was proud of me, and she’d be honored that I made this gift on her behalf.”