40-Year Employee Scholarship Program Reaches One Million Dollars in Awards

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40-Year Employee Scholarship Program Reaches $1 Million in Awards

Twenty-two Saddleback Memorial employees were awarded $50,000 toward tuition to further their higher education at Saddleback Memorial Foundation’s 40th annual Scholarship Awards on July 13, 2017.

At the awards ceremony, Marcia Manker, Saddleback Memorial CEO, congratulated the employees for continuing to pursue their education. She believes the staff’s commitment to education is directly related to the numerous patient care awards and honors Saddleback Memorial receives year after year.

This year, the Scholarship Program broke the $1 million mark, having distributed $1,040,990 since 1977. In the past 40 years, the program has awarded scholarships to 591 employees.

“This could not be possible without the continuous generosity of our scholarship donors,” said Cecilia Belew, president of Saddleback Memorial Foundation.

Highlighting the importance of continuing education, guest speaker Virginia Pillsbury, chair of the Scholarship Committee and a Saddleback Memorial Foundation board member, brought to life her journey in higher education. Pillsbury herself received several degrees during her teaching career, many of which she earned while she was working full-time, like the Saddleback Memorial employees.

Many of the scholarship recipients are registered nurses attaining their bachelor’s or master’s degrees. a contributor to improved patient outcomes. The degrees are important for the hospital’s effort toward Magnet designation, recognizes health care organizations for high-quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice. It is given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. To achieve this, 100 percent of nurse managers are required to have a B.S.N. degree.

To apply for a scholarship, the employees must be full- or part-time Saddleback Memorial employees with a minimum of one full year of employment. They must be taking courses for credit at an eligible, accredited educational institution, and must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher. All scholarship winners completed a rigorous application that also required a supervisor’s recommendation letter.

All applications were submitted in April. The application data was compiled and then reviewed by the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee to determine awardees and amounts. The scholarship funds are paid as tuition from the Foundation directly to the educational institution.

The scholarship awards are named after the donors who have generously gifted funds for this program. Scholarship award recipients and their cities of residence are listed below:

DOROTHY COLVER AWARD
Sara Mowry, R.N. (Mission Viejo)
Surgical Orthopedics/Neurology

DAMSKER AWARD
Nickhat Ahmed, R.N. (Mission Viejo)
Cardiac Telemetry

Oliver Delacruz, R.N. (Mission Viejo)
Cardiac Telemetry

NURSES 4 NURSES AWARD
Ann Burns, R.N. (Mission Viejo)
Surgical Orthopedics/Neurology

VIRGINIA PILLSBURY AWARD
Tiffany Laffen, R.N. (Huntington Beach)
Cardiovascular Observation Unit

RABINOV AWARD
Vanthu Nancy Leykauf (Ladera Ranch)
Catheterization Lab 

SADDLEBACK KIWANIS AWARD
Chetna Chouhan, R.N. (Laguna Niguel)
Cardiovascular Observation Unit/Catheterization Lab

Tina Marie Stewart, R.N. (San Clemente)
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

SCHOLARSHIP ENDOWMENT AWARD
Jennifer Calley, R.N. (Dana Point)
Post-Anesthesia Care Unit

Lauren Cook, R.N. (Rancho Santa Margarita)
Surgical Orthopedics/Neurology

Maria Hilton, R.N. (Mission Viejo)
Medical Oncology

Denise Lane, R.N. (Mission Viejo)
Outpatient Observation

Nicole McComb, R.N. (Oceanside)
Surgical Orthopedics/Neurology

Heather Reid (Tustin)
Care Coordination

Stephen Rich, R.N. (Lake Forest)
Intensive Care Unit

Jeffrey Riedel, R.N. (Portola Hills)
Emergency Services

Dominique Shamas, R.N. (Mission Viejo)
Intensive Care Unit

Jordana Spangler, R.N. (San Clemente)
Telemetry

Aliona Telechi, R.N. (San Clemente)
Intensive Care Unit

JOHNNIE VANCE AWARD
Diana Chavez (San Juan Capistrano)
Breast Center

JERRY WERNER AWARD
Elizabeth Gonzalez, R.N. (Corona)
Emergency Services

Shellie Graves, R.N. (San Clemente)
Post-Anesthesia Care Unit