Pioneers Medical awards $7,000 in scholarships

MEEKER — In order to address the growing shortage of healthcare professionals, Pioneers Medical Center awarded $7,000 in scholarships to eastern Rio Blanco County residents who are pursuing degrees in healthcare. On May 17, nine individuals were awarded scholarships.
“This is the first time in many years that PMC has been in a position to offer this type of financial support,” said Twyla Jensen, PMC director of human resources. “Scholarships help encourage people to continue their education. We hope to lessen some of the barriers people face when pursuing a healthcare degree.”
The scholarship program is part of the “Grow Your Own” program at PMC. The program has several components, in addition to scholarships, including tuition reimbursement, internships, shadow days, career fairs and “hands-on” camps. This spring PMC partnered with Meeker High School and offered a Certified Nursing Assistant course to qualifying junior and senior students.
“We are very pleased with the Monte Carlo Evening scholarship fundraiser held last Saturday evening. We raised almost $15,000 for the “Grow Your Own” program, $7,000 was immediately given back in scholarships” said Margie Joy, PMC development and community relations manager. “This is a community success. Without the community attendance and sponsorships from area businesses we would not have been able to make the impact we did.”
Trina Zagar-Brown presented the first annual Zagar Family scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded each year to a graduating senior preparing for a degree in a healthcare field. McKenzie Sullivan, who is pursuing a degree in radiologic technology at Mesa State, was the 2008 winner. The Zagar Family scholarship is in honor of Bill Zagar, who has been practicing dentistry for more than 40 years.
“We, my siblings and myself, felt that a scholarship is a great way to honor our father who instilled in us the importance of education,” said Trina Zagar-Brown.
Dixie Poley was awarded the Colorado Northwestern Community College scholarship to assist Poley as she continues her degree in nursing. PMC matched the scholarship for a total award of $1,000.
The Westlands scholarship was awarded to an Eastern Rio Blanco County resident pursuing an education in a healthcare profession. Kaylee Ridings, who is attending the University of Wyoming is pursuing pediatric nursing, received the $1,000.
PMC sponsors scholarships to help a graduating senior, PMC employees and area residents to become involved in healthcare careers or continue their career ladders in healthcare. The PMC recipients were Matt Sawyer, who is studying at Colorado State University, and Cyndi Nielsen, who is completing her degree in nursing at Colorado Northwestern Community College. Both Sawyer and Nielsen are certified nursing assistants at PMC. McKenzie Sullivan was awarded the PMC scholarship for a graduating senior.
Four book scholarships were awarded to assist with the cost of books and supplies associated with various studies. The book scholarships were awarded to, Dani Rholl, who is preparing to become a laboratory technician, Patti Bean, who is studying to become a medical coder, Rhawnie McGruder as she pursues a degree in nursing, and Beth Willey, who is studying to become a medical transcriptionist.
“It was a fun, exciting night,” said Kris Borchard, PMC board of directors president. “It was a great way to celebrate National Hospital Week—a week where we recognize the skills, dedication and hard work of healthcare professionals. It was also a great way to help empower people to pursue their dreams.”