Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
FULTON, NY – The Rural Health Network of Oswego County (RHN) has announced its scholarship winners for 2011. Awarded annually, the RHN of Oswego County scholarships are given to residents of Oswego County who are looking to further their career in the medical field. While age or specific health field does not limit the award, candidates must demonstrate that they understand and are committed to removing the barriers residents living in rural areas face in accessing quality health care. The primary goal of the scholarships is to boost the health care workforce in Oswego County.
Danielle Wert, coordinator of the RHN, said that just under 30 applications were submitted for the five scholarships that were available. “I was pleased to see that we received more applications this year,” said Wert. “We were very impressed with the quality of the candidates we had to choose from this year. However, the five winners we chose truly stood out from the rest. They provided all the requirements that the scholarship called for and clearly showed how they had gone above and beyond, either through volunteer work or through their studies, to improve health care in rural communities.”
Recipients of the scholarships from the RHN of Oswego County are:
Samantha April – A Hannibal High School graduate working toward obtaining a Bachelors degree in Health Science at Nazareth College, Samantha would like to eventually obtain a Doctorate’s degree from Nazareth in Physical Therapy. She is currently a volunteer in the Rehabilitative Services Department at Oswego Hospital and has spent over 60 hours volunteering there. In the future she hopes to return to her rural community to open a practice there.
Margaret Battles – A graduate of Mexico High School she is working toward obtaining a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. In the future she hopes to return to her rural community to work as a pharmacist. She feels that as a pharmacist in a rural area, she can make a difference by developing a close relationship with the members in her community.
Danielle Mather – An Oswego High School graduate, she is working toward her Physician’s Assistant degree from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. Danielle was enrolled in the New Vision Allied Health program and has always been fascinated with the health care field. In the future, she hopes to complete elective rotations in northern Pennsylvania and Oswego County. She also would like to do mission trips to under developed countries around the world. She would like to work at a small hospital, in the Emergency Department or at an Urgent Care Center.
Lauren McCaffrey – A Phoenix High School graduate working toward obtaining a Bachelors degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Nazareth College. Lauren would eventually like to obtain her master’s degree. In the future she would like to work with people who have neurological speech disorders and communication disorders caused by brain or spinal cord injuries, strokes or other medical conditions. In the future she hopes to return to her rural community to open a practice there and thinks it’s also important to be able to provide services for people in their homes.
Charlene Wells – An APW High School graduate working toward obtaining a Licensed Practicing Nurse degree at Oswego County BOCES. For the past eight years, Charlene has been an advocate for the medial needs of rural citizens in Oswego County as a certified medical assistant. She currently serves patients at the Pulaski Health Center, where her work focuses on finding ways to help patients with little to no insurance get prescription medicines at low or no cost. Once Charlene receives her LPN degree, she would like to continue her education to become a Registered Nurse. She would like to continue to work in Oswego County.
“We are proud of these scholarship winners and look forward to watching them make a meaningful impact on healthcare in Oswego County,” added Wert.
Operating under the auspices of Oswego County Opportunities, Inc., (OCO), the Rural Health Network of Oswego County is a consortium of health care providers and human service providers in Oswego County. Working together the members take a collaborative approach to addressing major health issues that exist in Oswego County. For more information on the Rural Health Network of Oswego County, contact Wert at 342-0888 ext. 1457 or visit their website at www.rhnoc.org RHN is also on Facebook and can be found by searching ‘OCO- Rural Health Network of Oswego County.’ OCO Inc. is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. OCO, Inc. is a United Way of Greater Oswego county Member Agency. For more information on OCO visit their web site at www.oco.org