Lending a helping hand to local aspiring healthcare providers

June 14, 2016

OneFoundation for Niagara Health System celebrated aspiring healthcare providers on Tuesday at its annual Scholarship Awards Celebration held at the Niagara Health System St. Catharines Site.
At the celebration, five donor-funded scholarships were presented to the successful 2016 award recipients, including students embarking on new health-related academic challenges and NHS staff wanting to broaden and upgrade their knowledge in their chosen career path through continuing education studies.
The awards provide financial assistance for tuition, books and other necessary resources and a number of the scholarship opportunities have been lending a helping hand to students for many years. Since 2005, the Dr. Laszlo & Maria Kuharik Memorial Scholarship has provided a student pursuing a Doctor of Medicine degree as much as $6,000 per year for up to 4 consecutive years. First-time Kuharik winner, Dr. David Lagrotteria, an anesthesiologist at NHS, said the scholarship was instrumental in helping him achieve his academic goals and returning home to practice locally in Niagara.
“Attending medical school was a goal I had always been striving for but I was always cognizant of the financial commitment it would take to pursue this,” remarked Dr. Lagrotteria.  “Receiving this scholarship was such a substantial aid throughout my years at the University of Toronto and I am very grateful to the donors. I had always intended to return home to Niagara Region to practice medicine close to family and to raise a family of my own. Receiving this locally funded scholarship solidified my decision to practice in Niagara to help my fellow community members.”
This year’s Kuharik Scholarship recipient is Christopher Russell, a second year student at the University of Ottawa. Russell was introduced to healthcare while participating in the "Take Care of Your Future" camp through the Niagara Health System, where he quickly formed an aspiration to become a physician.  Eager to learn more, he later began volunteering in the Welland Hospital Emergency Department and hopes to return to Welland or the surrounding area to practice medicine after completing his studies.
Scholarship opportunities are made available through the generosity of donors who direct their giving specifically to help the next generation of caregivers achieve their dreams. These are donors who want to make a difference by investing in people and knowledge that are such an important part of healthcare. They recognize that an investment of this nature has a ripple effect – directly helping recipients gain knowledge and skills and indirectly enriching everyone within their circles in their workplace and the community at large.
Dr. Joanna Hope and her family have generously funded an award since 2001 to help students in need while honouring a special legacy.
 “My late husband, Dr. Ken Hope, believed profoundly in supporting gifted individuals who deserved the chance to be empowered to chase their dreams, regardless of their background,” said Dr. Hope, spouse of the late Dr. Ken Hope and former NHS Chief of Staff. “Making this his legacy has been an ongoing privilege for me and my children.”

Congratulations to the award recipients and thank you to the donors who make the awards possible.
The following scholarships were awarded:
Dr. Laszlo & Maria Kuharik Memorial Scholarship
This special endowment fund provides a scholarship to a student pursing a Doctor of Medicine degree from an accredited Canadian university. An annual scholarship for as much as $6,000 per academic year is available to pay for up to one-half of the annual tuition for a student entering or already enrolled in a Doctor of Medicine Degree program. The successful candidate has the opportunity to receive the award for up to 4 consecutive years.
Recipient: Christopher Russell – Attending University of Ottawa, 2nd Year, Doctor of Medicine
Dr. Ken Hope Memorial Book Award
This $500 award is to be used for the purchase of books or other necessary resources during the first year of post-secondary education. The award was established in 2001 by the late Dr. Ken Hope’s family.
Recipient: Katherine Cornwall – Graduating from Lakeshore Catholic High School; attending Niagara College Fall 2016 to pursue the Personal Support Worker program.
Niagara Health System – Welland Hospital Site Tuition Scholarship
The scholarship was established in 1994 by the former Board of Trustees of the Welland County General Hospital. The successful candidate receives $1,000 annually for up to four years to help with their post-secondary studies.
Recipient: Sydney Acott – Graduating from Sir Winston Churchill; attending Brock University Fall 2016 to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing
The Helen (Martindale) Ferguson Education Award
This $500 award was established in 2011 in Helen Ferguson’s memory by her family to support continuing education for Registered Nurses at the Greater Niagara General Site of the Niagara Health System. The award is to be used to enhance a recipient’s ability to provide comprehensive, holistic, quality care to patients and their families.
Recipient: Martin Robbins – Registered Nurse, NHS Greater Niagara General Site
The Joe & Anita Robertson Education Fund
Niagara-on-the-Lake philanthropists Joe and Anita Robertson generously donated $100,000 in 2012 to support healthcare excellence at Niagara Health System. Recognizing the connection between knowledge and quality care, the Robertson’s stipulated that $50,000 of their gift be used to invest in human resources at NHS supporting staff who choose to continue their education at Brock University. The Robertson Education Fund offers up to $10,000 per year. Staff members enrolled in studies may apply for up to $500 per course.
Recipients (NHS Staff): Brenda Allan, Kim Bowen, Julie Campbell, Magdalena Dobosiewicz, Teri Haeni, Rachel Hicks, Zeau Ismail, Martin Kelertas, Leanne Macsai, Michelle Novarro, Candice Rousseau, Kelly Sylvester, Noreen Young.

Photo: Scholarship recipients, donors, OneFoundation and NHS representatives celebrate a commitment to academic and healthcare excellence

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