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St. Charles Foundation helps 22 staff members pursue health care careers with $55,000 in scholarships

(Update: Adding video, comments from St. Charles, scholarship recipient)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- "Today is Giving Tuesday. It's an incredible time to think about giving back and paying it forward," Jenny O'Bryan, executive director of the St. Charles Foundation, said Tuesday. "So, we're really excited to be able to do that today for all of these students who are able to receive this scholarship."

The St. Charles Foundation started in 1988 and funds scholarships from community donations.

This year, the health system is celebrating one of its largest-ever group of scholarship recipients, with 22 individuals receiving more than $55,000 in scholarships. They fund secondary education and training for current St. Charles staff members pursuing careers in health care, such as nursing, pharmacy, phlebotomy, etc. 

"It's helping me with any funds that my financial aid didn't cover. And then, it's also helping me keep my apartment," Amanda Davis, a recipient of $2,000 from the St. Charles Foundation, told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday.

Davis was born at the Mountain View Hospital in Madras in 1997, before it was taken over by St. Charles.

Now, she works at the 25-bed, 176-staff member campus as a certified nursing assistant.

She says receiving the scholarship from the St. Charles Foundation allowed her to continue to pursue her goals, after a rough patch forced her to leave school and left her struggling with housing.

"And I do plan to stay there until retirement!" Davis said of her job at the Madras campus.

O'Bryan said, "Seeing these people who are looking for a leg up, looking for a little bit of help, and are working to improve their own situation and their career and improve that for their families and their community is really amazing."

Davis keeps the letter announcing her scholarship pinned above her desk at home where she does her schoolwork. "This scholarship helps so much in the way that I feel less stressed out with my home life, to where I can focus more on school, afford the things that I need to go further" she explained.

After finishing pre-requisites, Davis plans to get a Masters of Science in Nursing, with a goal of one day working in a leadership role at St. Charles.

The scholarship fund is one of many ways the foundation helps support the health of Central Oregonians. Learn more about the efforts of the St. Charles Foundation at:

About St. Charles Foundation

The mission of St. Charles Foundation is to support St. Charles Health System in the delivery and advancement of world-class health care in Central Oregon and achieve its strategic goals. Philanthropic donations fund innovation in programming, building expansions and initiatives that improve the patient experience. The St. Charles Foundation works with the community to develop and steward philanthropic resources to fund programs and capital projects that improve health, prevent disease, enhance quality of life and provide the highest quality care possible for all St. Charles patients now and in the future.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Blake Mayfield

Blake Mayfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.


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