‘Grow Our Own Scholarship’ fund has successful first year

Ada Bair CEO with Plaque copy

CEO Ada Bair shows off the plaque outside one of the conference rooms at Memorial Hospital named for her. | Photo courtesy of Memorial Hospital

CARTHAGE, Ill. — Memorial Hospital Foundation announced in May the launch of the Grow Our Own Scholarship program, available to Memorial Hospital, Medical Clinics and Hancock County senior and childcare staff to assist with their pursuit of continuing education or completion of certifications beginning in 2024.

This scholarship is a recruitment and retention tool to maintain a 5-star healthcare resource in Hancock County.

“If you had to pick a theme word in Hancock County, the word ‘grow’ would seem fitting,” Greta Wetzel, executive director of Memorial Hospital Foundation, said in a press release. “That’s just what Memorial Hospital Foundation has done since 2020. In addition to the Together We Grow Endowment, we want to help ‘Grow Our Own’ healthcare team.”

Memorial Hospital Foundation board member Terry Pope was a driving force behind launching the scholarship campaign.

“Giving to the Memorial Hospital Foundation scholarship fund for current and aspiring health professionals is a great way to support and enhance our community’s wonderful healthcare system,” Pope said “By investing in their education costs, we help area residents achieve their goals and provide an incentive for them to stay here and work in our community. Think of it this way: Greatness Requires Our Willingness – GROW. Your willingness to support this scholarship program will help us Grow Our Own and keep a great healthcare system in Hancock County.”

The recent addition of the Health and Wellness Center on the campus of Memorial Hospital provided the perfect launch for the campaign by offering naming opportunities for the office suites, the health and wellness teaching kitchen, and conference rooms. The community and all staff were challenged to participate in fundraising.

In a massive show of support, more than $20,000 was raised by staff across all entities. These contributions, along with funds from two anonymous donors, were part of the naming opportunity for the conference rooms, now named in honor of staff and CEO Ada Bair.

The Health and Wellness Sleep Center is named in honor of “MORE Medical.” Ryan Jacquot, MORE Medical owner/operator says, “Sleep apnea doesn’t discriminate. It knows no race, age or sex and complicates millions of American’s sleep quality nightly. With millions of American’s diagnosed with sleep apnea every year, MORE Medical’s CPAP business has grown every year since it began in 2009 and we are not looking back. The future of sleep apnea will be getting patients diagnosed and treated as fast as possible.

When COVID shut down sleep labs all across America, it created a backlog of patients and long waiting times, sometimes months, to get in to have a sleep study done. When I was asked to donate to Memorial Hospital’s Sleep Center, it was a no brainer for us at MORE Medical. It is such an honor to have the sleep center named in honor of MORE Medical.”

Elaine Ferguson, Memorial Hospital Foundation board president, supports the scholarship program for personal reasons.

“I never dreamed I would be able to get an education beyond high school,” she said. “My high school counselor, Mr. Armstrong, encouraged me to dream. He spent hours helping me apply for scholarships, grants, and the work-study program. My dream to become a teacher of 34 years was realized because of his mentorship. I will make a donation to the Grow Our Own Scholarship Program because I believe in giving back. Someone helped me. Now it is time for me to help someone else.”

The recent Lights of Joy parade also was a fundraiser for the scholarship program. Memorial Hospital Foundation is excited to announce the return of the gala in 2023. The “Here’s to the Future” gala will be Friday, March 31, at Smokin’ Gun Hunting Lodge and Event Center in Hamilton. Tickets can be reserved by calling the foundation office at 217–357-8567.

All funds raised are utilized for the endowment, scholarship program or as directed by a memorial.

Memorial Hospital Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization formed to raise funds for Memorial Hospital, Hancock County Senior Services and community health and wellness projects.

For more information, go to www.mhtlc.org. For more information about the Memorial Hospital Foundation, contact Wetzel at gwetzel@mhtlc.org or 217-357-8502 (work) or 309-221-7286 (cell) or contact Terri Twaddle, administrative assistant for marketing and the Memorial Hospital Foundation, at ttwaddle@mhtlc.org or 217-357-8567.

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