Northumberland Hills Hospital Scholarship Winners Look Ahead to Career Goals

In Community, Local

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
As has become a tradition for the Northumberland Hills Hospital board of directors, they began June’s meeting with the announcement of the two winners of their annual Health Professions Scholarship.

Board chair Beth Selby introduced Anne Mead of Port Hope (who will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Trent University) and Ella Watson of Baltimore (who has just completed her first year at Trent in the same program).

Mead had originally planned to practice nursing in an urban hospital, but that goal changed after a positive pre-consolidation clinical placement at NHH on the Restorative Care Unit. She cited the “teamwork and close knit feeling of a smaller hospital” in making her decision.

At Trent, she was inspired to make a video featuring interviews with a professor who shared this passion for community health-care, the placement co-ordinator and a student who’s had similar positive experiences in a remote location. She arranged with the principal of Port Hope High School to offer a presentation to students with the hope of encouraging them to consider health-care careers in rural hospitals.

Mead was an active volunteer in her own high-school days, completing 791 community-service hours with St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church and at events in the school and community.

Her reference letter from the Registered Nurse who acted as her preceptor during her time at NHH said she “demonstrated immense kindness to all patients.

“Anne demonstrates a great commitment to her academia and has expressed her continuing educational goals and included that she missed being at NHHH and plans for her future to return again to NHH.”

Watson’s eventual plans include becoming a Nurse Practitioner. She has also demonstrated a keen interest in volunteerism, including with NHH’s Hospital Elder Life Program. She said this solidified her decision to pursue a career in health care.

“I witnessed patients go through health struggles daily, and this made me realize that I wanted to help,” she wrote in her application.

She continued this work as a volunteer when her co-op placement was over, “and it was this experience that made me realize that by just giving a little bit extra, I can make a difference.”

Her reference letter from her clinical placement supervisor at Trent said, “she demonstrates empathy and communicates professionally. She treats the residents with respect.”

Criteria for the scholarship, available to being enrolled or accepted for enrolment in a full-time study program leading to a career in health care, include academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, a testimonial from the applicant explaining his or her health goals, and written references.

The scholarship was announced in 2003, with the goal not only of helping local students pursue health-care careers but also with the hope that these students would build their careers at NHH when the time came.

Selby reiterated this hope, and got positive responses from both.

“In the next five years, when I move back down here, it’s going to be my number-one priority,” Mead declared.

“I’m excited to come back after my next three years in university,” Watson stated.

“I have co-opted here, I have volunteered here, I have worked here now. Thank you, everybody, and I will see you all in three years.”

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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