BANDON – With the idea of helping health care workers obtain the education they need to advance in the profession, the Southern Coos Health Foundation has awarded $1,500 scholarships to seven individuals who are pursuing careers in health care.

The goal of the scholarship program is to support the development of the next generation of health care leaders. 

Julie Buck has been an Emergency Department Tech at Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center for 13 years. She went back to school in 2019 to take prerequisites for the nursing program and recently applied to Southwestern Oregon Community College’s RN program with the goal of first obtaining her LPN certification, and ultimately becoming an ED RN.

“I love what I do and I would jump at any chance to stay in this position, only doing more for this hospital,” Buck wrote in her scholarship application. “As an LPN I can volunteer to give shots at our community clinics and I can serve the community and outlying areas.”

Abigail Carman has worked for Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center since 2019, when she was a senior in high school, registering patients to the Emergency Department and medical floor. Her goal in the health care field is to become a radiology technician. She is currently completing her prerequisites at Southwestern Oregon Community College while also working full time, then will apply to the medical imaging program at Linn Benton Community College.

“I will continue to work hard and balance my school with my work,” Carman wrote in her application. “Once I have completed my classes, I will immediately being work in a hospital as a radiology technician. I hope to assist my community by kindly helping patients find a diagnosis for their pain through the use of medical imaging equipment.”

Nicole Janke has worked as an RN at Coquille Valley Hospital Clinic since 2020. She has also worked since 2018 as an RN per diem at Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center.

Her career goals include obtaining her degree and practicing patient care as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Seeing firsthand the insufficient resources available to elderly patients, Janke plans to eventually open an assisting living facility within the community. She is also interesting in pursuing women’s health.

“When I was a young medical assistant, I worked alongside a nurse practitioner who made house calls,” Janke wrote in her application. “I would like to bring that back to your small communities populated with elderly individuals.”

 

Weston Jennings has worked at Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center since 2020 as a CNAII in the Med/Surg and Emergency Department. She also works at Coquille Valley Hospital in the same capacity.

Jennings is a current nursing student at Southwestern Oregon Community College with a goal of becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has also applied with the Medical Reserve Corps, which would enable her to volunteer during a disaster. As she gains experience, she hopes to join the Peace Corps to help wherever there is a need. Following the Peace Corps, Jennings plans to return to Bandon to open her own practice.

“Through my two years of health care experience, I have learned to utilize my compassion and care for others by putting it into my efforts at the workplace,” Jennings wrote in her application.

Jennifer Parker works as a Physical Therapy Assistant at Southwest Physical Therapy and also at Southern Coos Hospital as a health screener. She is pursuing her Doctorate of Education in Health Professions to attain her many goals, amongst which are continuing to work in physical therapy, but also to do research and teach in the community. She hopes to eventually start a local physical therapy educational program.

In addition to teaching, Parker envisions organizing programs focusing on activities and education for senior citizens in the community.

“I would like to become a community leader, advocate for health and wellness, and a positive role model for young women,” Parker wrote in her application.

Caitlin Rowley

Rowley has worked at Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center since 2020, first as a health screener and currently as a CNAII with the Med/Surg Department. Rowley’s goals are to become a med/surg nurse and a home health nurse. She hopes to help other nursing aides become certified and eventually would like to open a low-cost clinic for the community.

“I will use this scholarship to do good in the community by helping staff hospital and long-term care facilities by educating people,” Rowley wrote in her application. “This will be an amazing opportunity for me to be able to give back to people ... because helping people is why I became a nursing aide.”

Natalie Vincent

Vincent works at North Bend Medical Center as a Medical Assistant in the Women’s Health Department and previously worked at Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center as a health screener. She is also attending college full time.

Her career goals are to obtain her nursing degree from Southwestern Oregon Community College and start working in a hospital to gain experience. Her dream is to become a pediatric nurse but she is open to wherever her passions lead her in the medical field, including eventually becoming a nurse practitioner.

“I have really learned in my current position how much I care about patients and how much I love patient care,” Vincent said. “I also have plans of staying local and working in our community later on.”

About Mary Richards

Mary Richards was a long-time member of the Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center Auxiliary. She worked for much of her career at Harbor Lights Middle School. When she passed away, she instructed her family to devote any donations to be given to the SCHHC Auxiliary. In order to memorialize the impact that Mary Richards had on the auxiliary and on the Bandon community, the Auxiliary designated the funds as the Mary Richards Memorial Scholarship fund. The Southern Coos Health Foundation administers the funds, which come from proceeds from the hospital gift shop and donations to the Foundation.

For information, contact Scott McEachern, 541-329-1040 or smceachern@southerncoos.org.

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