RUMFORD – Rumford Hospital’s Scholarship/Loan Committee held a tea on June 16 for the four recipients of this year’s awards. A joint effort of the hospital and the Auxiliary, the fund awards $2,000 a year to students who are studying for careers that the hospital needs.

“Each year we look at the jobs that are hard to fill and what we believe the picture will look like in two to four years,” said Jane Aube, director of nursing. “That’s how we determine what fields of study we will support.”

The recipients this year are all nontraditional students at Central Maine Medical Center School of Nursing. “To have all the recipients attending one school is very unusual,” notes Aube. “It’s even somewhat unusual that all of them are studying nursing.

Jo Faubert of Rumford and Tammy Mayo of Peru will graduate in 2005. They have been granted $2,000 each toward their final year’s tuition. Patricia Hotham of Dixfield and Karen McKay of Andover will be first-year students this fall. They will each receive $2,000 a year for the next two years.

Mayo and Hotham have some nursing background as Mayo has worked as a certified nursing assistant and Hotham has worked in Rumford Hospital’s Emergency Department for many years. Faubert has a degree in nutrition and has been working in that field. McKay has worked in the construction industry.

All four say that as soon as they began taking courses toward a registered nursing degree they knew they had found their “calling.”

The awards are given without expectation of repayment – as long as the student returns to Rumford Hospital or Rumford Community Home to work following graduation. Should there be no appropriate job openings for the graduate, the loan is also forgiven. Graduates who choose to work elsewhere must repay their loans.

Many years ago the Auxiliary set up the Nursing Scholarship Fund to help local students who wanted to work in the health care field. The word “nursing” is misleading, however, as the funds have also been awarded to people studying physical and occupational therapy and for laboratory and radiology work.

In past years most of the recipients had been recent high school graduates. Since the Central Maine Medical Center School of Nursing began offering classes at the Rumford Mexico University College site and clinical experience at Rumford Hospital, opportunities for older students have grown and many award recipients are nontraditional students.

“That is a boon for Rumford Hospital,” said Aube. “Because these men and women live in this area and have spouses and children here, they are more likely to come to work for us when they graduate.”

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