Longmont United Hospital Foundation supports the future of healthcare in Longmont by offering scholarships..
Shirley Lemmex, business support administrator for the Foundation, stated that its overarching "purpose is to benefit the people, the programs, and the facilities of the hospital and the communities that we serve."
The foundation was created in 1981 and began the scholarship program in the late 1980s. Lemmex said that one of the first contributors to the program was a member of the board of directors. This man’s donation was soon followed by a man from Estes Park who had spent time in the hospital. He donated $75,000 “in gratitude for the Angels of Mercy at Longmont United Hospital,” said Lemmex. Since its inception the foundation has awarded over $1 million to recipients.
Scholarships have gone to a wide range of people working in the community. The focus of the scholarship is to improve the skill set of the clinical staff at the hospital. However, over the past few years the foundation has expanded opportunities for local long-term care facilities and non-clinical staff.
One of this year’s scholarship winners, Charles Sloan, who began his career as a registered nurse. He has since obtained a Master's in Nursing and is planning to use the scholarship funds to become a nurse p. Lemmex stated, "Charles is the key person in our Wound Care Clinic, which is an area of expanding service for the hospital." Sloan stated that he is one of only 8,600 Wound Ostomy Nurses in the world.
“And I love it completely. And it's a completely respected role. But you reach a limit where you could be more impactful if you had that signature that could write prescriptions, along with the wound care credential," Sloan said, driving him to continue his education.
The committee's identity has grown past its original vision, said Cynthia Noble, Longmont United Health Foundation's Executive Director. "What we like to say is it's an education committee because now we do much more than just award scholarships. We host classes, certification classes, we send groups to certification classes. And so what started out as a scholarship committee to award scholarships for people to be educated has transformed itself into an education committee that looks at any and all aspects of keeping our staff educated."
The program has grown to support a new generation of medical practitioners through the Medical and Bioscience Academy at Longmont High School by offering graduating seniors an opportunity to receive scholarships.
More information on these programs can be found on the Longmont United Hospital Foundation website.