• Press Release

Three Medical Students at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Named Tillman Scholars

A key milestone in the school’s institutional partnership with the U.S. military

  • New York, NY
  • (June 28, 2023)

This week, the Pat Tillman Foundation announced it had selected three students at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to be 2023 Tillman Scholars. The foundation provides scholarship funding to military veterans to pursue higher education and continue their service in the fields of health care, business, law, public service, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), education, and the humanities.

The 2023 Tillman Scholars from Mount Sinai are James Brooks, Jamie Frost, and Tirone Young (more details below).

Pat Tillman, a starting safety for the Arizona Cardinals, distinguished himself in the National Football League when he broke the franchise record for tackles in 2000. When the September 11 terrorist attacks took place, he walked away from professional football and joined the U.S. Army, serving tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2004, he was killed by friendly fire. His family started the Foundation to cultivate the next generation of leaders.

“This really is a remarkable achievement and a very special milestone for our school. Through our partnership with the military, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is redefining the standard for medicine as a welcoming and supportive profession for veterans,” says David Muller, MD, Dean for Medical Education and Marietta and Charles C. Morchand Chair in Medical Education at Icahn Mount Sinai.

In 2018, Icahn Mount Sinai established an institutional partnership with the U.S. military to provide a streamlined pathway for active-duty service members to apply to medical school prior to completing their service commitment.

The program allows provisional acceptance unencumbered by the traditional science requirements and MCAT exam. The military pathway provides a mechanism for recruiting servicemen and women while integrating a layer of flexibility to ease the transition from their undergraduate careers. The partnership is a product of Icahn Mount Sinai’s popular FlexMed program, which allows college sophomores to apply for early assurance of acceptance. 

“Military veterans bring a spirit of selflessness, resourcefulness, teamwork, and a sense of justice that we value tremendously. Their voice has a profound impact on our medical school and, ultimately, they enhance the care we bring to our patients,” says Dr. Muller. To date, 12 veterans have enrolled at the school since the inception of the partnership

“It's remarkable and, quite frankly, unprecedented for three students from the same medical school to be selected for what is considered the most prestigious and selective scholarship award for student veterans in the country. It's a testament to the high caliber of applicants that Mount Sinai has attracted with the Institutional Partnership and a huge accomplishment for each of them individually and also for Mount Sinai,” says Christopher Bellaire, MD, a former Marine Corps Captain, who graduated in May from Icahn Mount Sinai. Dr. Bellaire was named a Tillman Scholar in 2021, and he is the first veteran to be accepted through Mount Sinai's Institutional Partnership.


Former Marine Corps Captain James Brooks followed in the footsteps of his grandfathers to serve in the Marines after graduating from Harvard University in 2014 with a degree in chemical and physical biology. He served in infantry, intelligence, and cyberwarfare roles from 2014 to 2021. Among many career highlights, former Marine Corps Captain Brooks served as a scout sniper platoon commander and deployed with his 30-man scout sniper platoon to the Middle East in 2016-2017. During this time, he led a command center in western Iraq that supported the Iraqi Army in the intensification phase of the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In 2018, he led an intelligence section that supported ongoing counterterrorism efforts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and in 2019-2021, he led a counter-propaganda cyberwarfare mission against ISIS. He has written a book that captures some of the lessons learned during his service, titled "Leadership in Modern War: From WW2 to the War Against ISIS." The book will be published on June 30, 2023. Former Marine Corps Captain Brooks is pursuing both an MD and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree and plans to work in emergency medicine.

Former Lieutenant Commander Jamie Frost graduated from the Coast Guard Academy with a B.S. in Operations Research and Computer Analysis. Following graduation, she embarked on five years at sea, taking her from the northern lights in the Arctic to the Arabian Gulf. She became one of the service's only female Asian American commanding officers when she took command of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Narwhal, a multi-mission patrol vessel. Following her command tour, former Lieutenant Commander Frost was selected to pursue her master’s degree in mathematics and statistics at Georgetown University, where she developed a strong interest in data science and machine learning. Her search and rescue experiences cultivated her passion for medicine, and she joined the Collaborative for Research Outcomes and Metrics as a research assistant. Former Lieutenant Commander Frost will begin her medical school studies this summer at Icahn Mount Sinai.

Former U.S. Army Captain Tirone Young graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a B.S. in nuclear engineering and a NCAA Division-I varsity letter playing Army football as a walk-on. He was commissioned as an infantry officer in the Army, stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia. In 2017, former U.S. Army Captain Young became a nuclear medical scientist in the Medical Service Corps, stationed in Landstuhl, Germany. Additionally, he has led in supplementary public health capacities. He worked as a global health proponent to NATO and directed the synchronization and analysis of COVID-19 surveillance testing for NATO military forces in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He served as a Red Cross team leader in Operation Allies Refuge, providing humanitarian backing in support of repatriation and evacuation efforts for at-risk Afghan populations. Former U.S Army Captain Tirone Young was honorably discharged from the military in August 2021. He is currently pursuing an MD at Icahn Mount Sinai.

About the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is internationally renowned for its outstanding research, educational, and clinical care programs. It is the sole academic partner for the

eight member hospitals* of the Mount Sinai Health System, one of the largest academic health systems in the United States, providing care to a large and diverse patient population. 

Ranked No. 14 nationwide in National Institutes of Health funding and in the 99th percentile in research dollars per investigator according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, Icahn Mount Sinai has a talented, productive, and successful faculty. More than 3,000 full-time scientists, educators, and clinicians work within and across 34 academic departments and 44 multidisciplinary institutes, a structure that facilitates tremendous collaboration and synergy. Our emphasis on translational research and therapeutics is evident in such diverse areas as genomics/big data, virology, neuroscience, cardiology, geriatrics, and gastrointestinal and liver diseases.

Icahn Mount Sinai offers highly competitive MD, PhD, and master’s degree programs, with current enrollment of approximately 1,300 students. It has the largest graduate medical education program in the country, with more than 2,600 clinical residents and fellows training throughout the Health System. In addition, more than 535 postdoctoral research fellows are in training within the Health System.

A culture of innovation and discovery permeates every Icahn Mount Sinai program. Mount Sinai’s technology transfer office, one of the largest in the country, partners with faculty and trainees to pursue optimal commercialization of intellectual property to ensure that Mount Sinai discoveries and innovations translate into health care products and services that benefit the public.

Icahn Mount Sinai’s commitment to breakthrough science and clinical care is enhanced by academic affiliations that supplement and complement the School’s programs. Through Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP), the Health System facilitates the real-world application and commercialization of medical breakthroughs made at Mount Sinai. Additionally, MSIP develops research partnerships with industry leaders such as Merck & Co., AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, and others.

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is located in New York City on the border between the Upper East Side and East Harlem, and classroom teaching takes place on a campus facing Central Park. Icahn Mount Sinai’s location offers many opportunities to interact with and care for diverse communities. Learning extends well beyond the borders of our physical campus, to the eight hospitals of the Mount Sinai Health System, our academic affiliates, and globally.


* Mount Sinai Health System member hospitals: The Mount Sinai Hospital; Mount Sinai Beth Israel; Mount Sinai Brooklyn; Mount Sinai Morningside; Mount Sinai Queens; Mount Sinai South Nassau; Mount Sinai West; and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.