NEPA Health Care Foundation, Administered by SACF, Announces Careers in Care Nursing Scholarships Members News September 9, 2021 In response to the acute shortage of nurses across the region and its effect on the health and wellness of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation, administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation, announces it has awarded $189,622 in its first year towards nursing scholarships for local students as part of its Careers in Care initiative. The Careers in Care Nursing Scholarship Program has awarded 21 scholarships to students in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wyoming Counties who plan to pursue or who are pursuing nursing and who will practice in Northeastern Pennsylvania. These scholarship opportunities come during a time where the strains on the healthcare workforce in Northeastern Pennsylvania have been significant. In response to the significant interest and need in the region, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation has decided to double the amount available for scholarships in 2022 to $400,000.The Careers in Care Nursing Scholarship Program accepted applications earlier this year and, through a rigorous and competitive application process, identified a variety of qualified nursing students. Recipients include Brooke Bird, Luzerne County Community College; Sarah Bonser, Walden University; Jacqueline Cicardo, Luzerne County Community College; Michael Clark, Penn State Scranton; Caity Colan, Luzerne County Community College; Jason Conrad, Luzerne County Community College; Jacqueline Earley, Lackawanna College; Austin Emenyonu, Misericordia University; Elizabeth Hernandez, Luzerne County Community College; Casey Hughes, Luzerne County Community College; Holly Hughes, Marywood University; Nicole Lubash, Marywood University; Brittany Marcinkevich, Lackawanna College; Mary McFadden, Penn State Scranton; Tiffany Megotz, Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County; Anne Murdoch, Penn State Scranton; Samantha Rosselli, Lackawanna College; Laura Slivinski, Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County; Rosa Vazquez Nunez, Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County; Ariana Velez, Wilkes University; and Sabrina Weidlich, Luzerne County Community College. “Over the past year, we have seen just how timely the Careers in Care initiative really is,” said James Clemente, NEPA Health Care Foundation Board Chair. “The Foundation’s Board understands the strains that the regional healthcare workforce is facing and strives to make an impact to address these critical issues through these important scholarships.” “I think the fact that the Board of the Northeastern PA Health Care Foundation has decided to double the amount of scholarship support available for nurses in year two speaks to the great need and interest in the program,” said Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. She adds, “I think the Foundation board was very innovative in their planning of these scholarships which are made available to nursing students from CNAs through nurse educators at the graduate level.” The Scranton Area Community Foundation administers the NEPA Health Care Foundation. To qualify for a Careers in Care Nursing Scholarship, individuals were required to show they have had a permanent address in Lackawanna, Luzerne, or Wyoming County for the last three years. Scholarships were available to those interested in obtaining a CNA and entering the healthcare workforce. Scholarships are also for anyone employed in the healthcare field in either Lackawanna, Luzerne, or Wyoming County and looking to advance as an LPN or RN/BSN. Additionally, students were invited to apply if they were in their third or fourth year of a four-year nursing degree and looking for financial assistance. Scholarship recipients were also asked to demonstrate a commitment to stay in the Northeastern Pennsylvania region. The Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation also invited ‘nontraditional’ students or those looking to go back to school to obtain a nursing degree to apply for a Careers in Care Nursing Scholarship. Additionally, through Careers in Care, the NEPA Health Care Foundation will provide grant support totaling $830,000, to a variety of organizations including Lackawanna College, for its three-year plan to enhance the pipeline of local healthcare professionals and increase the number trained and retained in the region; United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA for its Upward Economic Mobility Program; and Saint Joseph’s Center for direct support professional wage increases. The Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation’s Careers in Care initiative is a $1.7 million commitment over a three-year period (2020-2023). In addition to the Careers in Care initiative, the NEPA Health Care Foundation is also in the seventh year of a $3.2 million commitment to the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) for scholarship support for incoming first-year medical students from Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties. The NEPA Health Care Foundation Scholars program covers full tuition for these scholars, who indicate a commitment to practice medicine in Northeastern PA.