$1 million scholarship honors retired GHS cardiologist’s 75th birthday

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Ed and Sister Lominack began The Lominack Family Scholarship to assist local medical students. Photo provided.

Retired Greenville Health System cardiologist Ed Lominack received a surprise much bigger than the party for his 75th birthday—a million dollar surprise in fact. 

The gift, which Ed Lominack had been kept in the dark about for the past year, was a $1 million scholarship to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. Named in his honor, The Lominack Family Scholarship will be initially awarded to a 2020 medical student.

“I am so relieved that tonight is finally here even though I admittedly broke one of our solemn vows of no surprise birthday parties,” wife Almena “Sister” Lominack said in the release. “But what better way to confirm Ed’s and my belief and optimism in the future of medicine than to say to a deserving young student, ‘Come to the USC School of Medicine Greenville, embrace the profession, and accept our gift.’”

Serving nearly 50 years in the cardiology field, Ed Lominack has helped shape the lives and careers of many medical professionals, as well as contribute to the Upstate and GHS. The scholarship will continue his impact on education of future physicians for years to come.

“This gives us an opportunity to pay it forward and mentor a young person who has the passion and desire to serve others in the medical field,” Ed Lominack said in the release. “It was a memorable birthday for me.”

The impact 

Once a young doctor relocating to Greenville himself, Ed Lominack knows firsthand the sacrifices that must be made to attend and complete medical school. He graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina with cardiology training at Emory University and London’s Hammersmith Hospital—all made possible through his parents’ sacrifices.

“I know what Ed’s parents sacrificed so that he could finish medical school with no debt, and the costs today so greatly outweigh the means for many students,” Sister Lominack said. “Students who would make extraordinary doctors may simply not be able to afford the cost of med school and so choose another career.”

The Lominacks seek to bridge the gap by giving back to the local medical community. The scholarship will encourage physicians to train and stay in the Upstate, said the Lominack family.

The cardiologist’s three sons, their spouses, seven grandchildren, extended family of siblings and spouses, friends, and colleagues were all thanked at the birthday celebration for pulling off one of the biggest birthday surprises for Ed Lominack’s 75th.

The need

A joint effort between USC and GHS, the USC School of Medicine Greenville has received over 3,700 applications for the 100 available Class of 2022 spots. 

Knowing scholarships would be needed by students, USC and GHS planned to set aside 10 percent of tuition dollars to support scholarships. However, that provides only half of the amount needed to remain adequately competitive.

With approximately $20 million given or committed for scholarships since 2012 and $14 million of the amount being endowed, the medical school is over a quarter of the way to achieving its $50 million scholarship endowment goal.

“We are blessed to have such strong community support from people like Ed and Sister Lominack who are stepping forward to support medical student scholarship in the hopes of strengthening the physician base in S.C. and improving the health of our citizens. It is truly an investment in the well-being of our children and our grandchildren,” founding dean Jerry Youkey said in the release. “Community support has been essential since GHS opened in 1912 and continues to be even more important 106 years later.”

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