Inspired by the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies program, veteran gives back through annual fund, pursues path in bioethics

Amanda Lawson
March 29, 2021
Aramis Gregory
Aramis Gregory

When Aramis Gregory was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 2016, she rekindled her desire to pursue a career in health care. However, with so many health care disciplines and diverse educational interests, she wasn’t sure which path she wanted to take. She had explored degree programs in nuclear medicine and physical therapy while completing her general education courses. Gregory was wrapping up her core coursework at Central Carolina Technical College when she was introduced to the MUSC Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies program.

The bachelor’s program seemed to offer a solid foundation in health care and gave her the ability to focus on her real passion of impacting health care policy for veterans. Having navigated the complicated Veterans Affairs system herself, Gregory had experienced frustration with both the care she had received and had not received. She wanted a way to change that – especially for veterans in need of care and resources.

Now a graduate of the Healthcare Studies program, a fellow in Clinical and Translational Research Ethics at MUSC, and a program coordinator at South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Gregory has found her way into the world of policy. At DHEC, she’s part of a team that promotes, amends and repeals regulations applicable to health care facilities across South Carolina. On top of that, she’s also giving back to the program she credits for helping her chart a new course, recently donating $1,000 to the Healthcare Studies annual fund.

“I love this school and I love the faculty members. I’ve been to four different colleges, and those experiences did not come close to what I had at MUSC,” Gregory said. “The amount of attention and enthusiasm the faculty has for each student to learn, to progress, to have goals – that alone sets it apart. I wanted to do something nice as a way to say thank you. I didn’t have the means to do it until after I got a job, which I got after graduating in December 2020. I paid off my debt, and I thought, OK, I’d like to make a donation.”

Although Gregory utilized her Post-9/11 G.I. Bill for her bachelor’s degree, she hopes her gift will help another transfer student who comes to MUSC searching for their life’s passion.

Thanks to guidance and mentorship from professors like Lauren Gellar, Ph.D., MS, MCHES, and Elizabeth Brown, Ph.D., MPA, Gregory has successfully transitioned from conducting ground and maritime surveillance aboard Boeing-707s in the Air Force to unlocking a number of career and education options. She’s also developed a new passion for the field of bioethics, the study of ethical issues that emerge from advances in technology and medicine, which is intimately tied to health care policy

Gregory is currently applying for master’s programs in bioethics at Harvard University and Wake Forest University and a separate health policy and law master’s program at Wake Forest.

“If I could complete all my academics at MUSC, I would. It has been such a positive experience earning my bachelor’s here, being a fellow in CTRE, and assisting with research,” Gregory said. “I’ve been immersed into academia, and who knows if that has laid the path back to MUSC after completing my master’s. I hope that’s the case.”