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Foundation awards nursing scholarships

The Evanston Community Foundation has awarded five scholarships from its Leonard Fisher Fund for Nursing Education.

Gina Carley of Antioch has been a nurse for 35 years and in practice at Highland Park Hospital for 14 years. She is a leader on the vascular access team. Ms. Carley is using her scholarship to attend the conference, Connection to Success Building Alliances, offered through the Infusion Nurses Society, enabling her to stay up-to-date in her field.

Imelda Hildebrecht of Grayslake has been a nurse for 20 years, four of which have been at Highland Park Hospital. She is a Certified Wound, Ostomy and Continence Specialist. She is using her award to attend a joint conference of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society/World Council of Enterostomal Therapists. Ms. Hildebrecht believes the course will “increase Highland Park Hospital’s effectiveness in providing wound, ostomy and continence services and impact its ability to provide quality healthcare.”

Bona Kang of Vernon Hills has been a nurse for 10 years, six of which have been served at Highland Park Hospital. She currently works in the Kellogg Cancer Center as an oncology nurse. Ms. Kang is using her award to attend the Oncology Nursing Society’s course on symptom management with cancer treatment. According to Ms. Kang, the course will “add to my knowledge and greatly assist me in developing skills for improving the quality of life for my patients.”

Paula Merlak of Vernon Hills has been a nurse for 30 years and at Highland Park Hospital for three years as a Radiation Oncology nurse. Her award will enable her to attend the Oncology Nursing Society’s Radiation Therapy Course, which will provide her with the tools to successfully manage oncology patients’ symptoms.

Helen Sand of Barrington has been in practice for 11 years and currently works at Lake Forest Hospital as a Registered Nurse. She is applying her funds towards a Train-the-Trainer Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) course to assist her in functioning as a nursing leader by educating CNA students.

The Leonard Fisher Fund for Nursing Education of the Evanston Community Foundation was established in 2003 in memory of Leonard Fisher. The fund assists nurses at Highland Park Hospital and Lake Forest Hospital in expanding their knowledge and patient care skills through continuing education, conferences and workshops. The Fund has distributed 28 scholarships to highly qualified nurses. Once a year, a selection committee receives and evaluates proposals based on length of time in nursing, length of time at the hospital, merit of the course or conference to the nurse in providing improved patient care, and a letter of recommendation.

The Evanston Community Foundation was established in 1986 as a publicly supported philanthropic organization. Helping Evanston thrive now and forever as a vibrant, inclusive, and just community, the Evanston Community Foundation builds, connects, and distributes resources and knowledge through local organizations for the public good. Through its competitive grants programs, the Foundation has made more than $3 million in grants to nearly 200 organizations.

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