Medical Scholarships through the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation


Dedicated to education and training in the medical field

Many of you may have seen the Academic Excellence insert in the Herald Review, back in June. Amazingly enough, we are now in the Back-to-School season. Some parents and children are frantically looking for just the right silly cat on a notebook or quarreling over the difference between colored pencils and watercolor pencils. Some parents are reluctantly getting students off to their first year of college, out of town or state and on their own. Some students are parents in their own right, working a full-time job, shopping for those school supplies after work and dinner, and trying to figure out how to explain to their child that Mom, in fact, is getting that adorable cat notebook.

The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation appreciates each one of those students, and has many donors who understand the importance of education for everyone in our community. This week, the Community Foundation shares the stories of the scholarships that are specifically dedicated to providing education, training and certifications in the medical field.

The Diamond Willow Advancement in Healthcare Scholarship was established to provide further health care education to CNAs currently working at Diamond Willow Assisted Living in Grand Rapids. A local gentleman established these generous scholarships in appreciation of the exceptional care and commitment his wife received while living at Diamond Willow. Diamond Willow provided care and compassion, as well as a wonderful sense of home for this couple. Understanding the unique needs of CNAs and people who work in the health care field, this scholarship is designed to support students with various needs, including night, evening and summer school scheduling, and is intended to be used to further the recipient’s career in the field of health care. Several scholarships are offered each year. For 2018, Nicole Schjenken were selected as a Diamond Willow recipient. PHOTO: Left to Right: Chris Feist; Trisha Black, Diamond Willow RN Director; Sarah Copeland, Community Foundation; and Nicole Schjenken.

The Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital Volunteer Services, formerly the Auxiliary, began granting annual scholarships many years ago through income from the gift shop and coffee bar. “I’ve told you about those cookies at the coffee bar,” states Sarah Copeland, Director of Grants and Programs at the Community Foundation. “Don’t get me started,” Copeland continues, “just go get one – or five. You’ll see.” Students interested in applying for this scholarship must have completed high school plus one year of college and be committed to study in the field of health care. Five recipients earned $1,500 scholarships from Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital Volunteer Services for 2018. The recipients are: Sarah Patton, Amy Glass, Jean Hammann, Shay Anderson and Cortney Orstad.

PHOTO: Members of Grand Itasca Volunteer Services present five scholarships for 2018.

The Dr. and Mrs. Robert Kelly Scholarship is intended for someone who has earned at least a high school diploma and due to life or career circumstances, has experienced an “interruption” in their career path. The ideal candidate is someone who has decided to pursue a career track in the health care field.

The candidate for the Dr. and Mrs. Robert Kelly Scholarship will be pursuing education in a health science field, preferably enrolled at Itasca Community College. It is hoped that upon completion of his/her chosen academic program, the recipient of the Dr. and Mrs. Robert Kelly Scholarship will remain in the community to benefit the individuals within the Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital service area. Due to the partnership of Donna Kelly and the Grand Itasca Foundation, the Community Foundation is able to provide two Dr. and Mrs. Robert Kelly Scholarships each year. These scholarships are a wonderful legacy that Dr. Robert and Donna Kelly provided to our community. The 2018 recipients are Julie Halvorson and Jean Hammann. PHOTO: Kelly Kirwin, Grand Itasca Foundation Executive Director (center) presents the Dr. and Mrs. Robert Kelly Scholarships to Jean Hammann (left) and Julie Halvorson (right).

A couple weeks ago, you read about the Dr. Jules and Ilo Myer Medical Scholarship and Sarah Patton. As you may remember from that article, Dr. Jules Meyer spent most of his career in the military service, and was a practicing physician in Grand Rapids. Ilo Myer was a nurse who set up the Rural Nursing Program in Grand Rapids in 1946. When Ilo established this endowed scholarship, her intention was to support students entering the medical profession by attending one of the following: Medical, Pharmacy, Dental or Veterinary School, or a Registered Nursing program. Due to Ilo’s vision, and the growth of the endowment, the Dr. Jules and Ilo Meyer Medical Scholarship provided a $5,000 scholarship this year to Sarah Patton.

PHOTO: Left to Right: Sarah Copeland, Community Foundation presents the Dr. Jules and Ilo Meyer Medical Scholarship to Sarah Patton

The Betty Shannon Scholarships, established in 2012 by Betty Shannon offer two separate 2-year recurring scholarships.

Betty Shannon pursued a career in nursing by first attending ICC and then completing her training at the College of St. Scholastica. Betty fulfilled her passion of caring for others and decided to pass on her love of nursing to future generations in the Greater Itasca Area with similar dreams.

Through the Community Foundation, Betty is able to support her appreciation for the quality education she received at ICC and St. Scholastica and her dedication to nursing.

ICC really is the “Best Place to Start”, and the College of St. Scholastica instilled more than just solid education and training in the field of nursing. The Benedictine values of Community, Hospitality, Respect, Stewardship and Love of Learning are integral to the teachings at the College of St. Scholastica and to the nursing profession.

The recipient of the Betty Shannon Scholarship for a nursing student attending ICC is Amy Glass. The recipient of the Betty Shannon Scholarship for a nursing student attending CSS is Chevden Gambill.

PHOTO: Chris Fulton, Community Foundation Executive Director (center) presents the Betty Shannon Scholarships to Chevden Gambill (left) and Amy Glass (right).

While other scholarships may be awarded to students studying in a medical field, these scholarships were started with the specific intent to advance and support health care. Anyone can donate to any scholarship fund at the Community Foundation. By supporting one of the Foundation’s existing scholarships, you too can help a local student with additional education and training in the field of health care – right here at home. By providing one or more gifts to an existing fund, you see your gift in action with each recipient.


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350 NW 1st Ave, Suite E  | Grand Rapids, MN 55744  |  218-999-9100

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