2023 Tillman Scholar
Grace Goehring was raised in rural South Dakota. She grew up witnessing the adverse effects of the lack of available healthcare options; it’s not unusual for people to drive thirty minutes to an emergency care provider. She hoped to serve in the medical field as a medic and eventually a physician assistant (PA) to help close the gaps in health care disparity and allow easier health care access for people in underserved areas.
Just after turning seventeen, Grace enlisted in the South Dakota Air National Guard as a medic in 2016. She continued to complete a multi-phased medic course. Grace’s training culminated with her treating a multitude of critically ill patients while assigned to the Intensive Care Unit at Travis AFB, Calif. Grace then volunteered for a Level I trauma center assignment in St. Louis, Mo. She delivered life-saving measures to multiple severe burn victims and gunshot wound casualties. She deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel from 2020-2021.
Grace fulfilled her military duties while simultaneously graduating Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in biology in December 2021. Grace is still serving while completing her master’s in physician assistant medicine degree. She plans to commission as a PA in the Air National Guard to provide high-quality care to patients she serves in both military and civilian populations. Promoting physical and mental wellness are her goals as she positively contributes to the community and fellow veterans by working as a medical clinician and yoga practitioner with the VA, utilizing holistic and alternative medical modalities.