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MEEKER | “We are excited to award $4,500 in healthcare scholarships this year,” said Healthcare Foundation Executive Director, Margie Joy. Five outstanding students and healthcare professionals received this year’s scholarships, awarded to Kinzy Burke (nursing), Meghan Gerloff (nursing), Alexis Gutierrez (nursing), Maggie Phelan (occupational therapy) and Brittany Smith (occupational therapy).
This group of scholarship winners has illustrated their commitment to healthcare and their studies. Both Burke and Phelan will graduate at the top of their high school class. They both have immersed themselves into their future area of study. Burke has been a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) at the Walbridge Wing for almost two years. And Phelan has spent the past year as an intern working with the Pioneers Medical Center physical and occupational therapy team. Gerloff and Gutierrez have both have been working as CNAs in the Walbridge Wing. Each is attending Colorado Northwest Community College pursuing their nursing degrees. Smith carries a 3.9 G.P.A. from Regis University, where she will graduate from next spring with a degree in health and exercise science. This will position her for post graduate studies in occupational therapy.
In 2008, the Pioneers Medical Center felt the need to pique awareness and interest in local healthcare careers, so the “Grow Your Own” program was created. Its primary components include scholarships, career days, internships and shadowing programs. The healthcare scholarships have been awarded to Meeker residents pursuing careers in healthcare. “We want to support our local students and residents to pursue a career in healthcare. We recognize they could be our future workforce and we want that local talent,” continued Joy.
The scholarship program is funded and managed by Pioneers Healthcare Foundation. The foundation seeks support for the program through generous donations and sponsorships. Westland’s and Colorado Northwestern Community College have been sponsors of the program since its inception. In 2011, the PMC employees created a scholarship for a fellow employee. Each year the employees hold various fundraisers among the employees to raise funding for the Employee to Employee Scholarship. With this type of commitment and kindness Pioneers Healthcare Foundation is able to award $4,000 to $5,000 in scholarships each year.
People typically think scholarships are just for undergraduate studies. Pioneers Healthcare Foundation also offers a post-graduate renewable scholarship—the Kris Borchard Strive for Excellence Scholarship. Many healthcare degrees require post-graduate studies. This scholarship, which is generously funded by the Borchard family, gives assistance during those post-graduate years.
For more information on the Grow Your Own program and Pioneers Healthcare Foundation please call Margie Joy.