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Giving

Mark, Paul, and Joan Lena

It Runs in the Family

By Lauren Seidman and Nancy Shohet West

Paul J. Lena D '50, MED '51 loved his family. He loved the practice of medicine. And he loved Dartmouth.

When he died in 2007, he left behind legacies to each. To his family he left heartwarming memories and a strong ethical foundation. To the field of medicine he left hundreds of students whom he'd mentored through rotations in physical diagnosis at Concord Hospital in New Hampshire. And to Dartmouth's medical school he left a charitable remainder trust he'd established in 1996 in honor of his father, Hugh F. Lena Sr., MD, Dartmouth College Class of 1912.

We hope that by lessening the financial burden on Geisel students, the scholarship will allow more Dartmouth-educated physicians to follow their hearts into primary care.

"Dad was always passionate about medicine," recalls Paul Lena's son Mark Lena D '78, MED '81, who practices gastroenterology in Bangor, Maine, and who, like his father did, donates to the medical school. Paul Lena's commitment to supporting Dartmouth medical students led to a powerful act on Mark's part. When the trust terminated in 2019 with the passing of his mother, Joan H. Lena, Mark and his wife, Kathy, personally delivered the check that would create the Hugh F. Lena Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund at Geisel.

Mark is the third generation of doctors in his familybut far from the last. His two sons are both physicians, as are several of his cousins, nieces, and nephews. Among them, they cover a range of specialties, but Mark knows his father's priority was always primary care.

"We realize that many medical students today choose higher-paying specialties over primary care because they're driven by debt," Mark says. "We hope that by lessening the financial burden on Geisel students, the scholarship will allow more Dartmouth-educated physicians to follow their hearts into primary care."


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