Sue Bowling, Director of Laboratory Services, Hazard ARH, describes what it means to be “family” at ARH. #OneFamily
Breathitt Co. native Shepherd hails from Lost Creek
Joshua Shepherd of Lost Creek has been named a 2017 Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) Scholar and will be receiving a financial award of $2,500 each year for the next two years to be used for tuition and living expenses while attending college. To be selected as an ARH Scholar, the applicant must either be an employee of ARH or be sponsored by a relative who is an employee. Shepherd was sponsored by his sister, Tammie Shepherd-Smith, who works for Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center.
Shepherd currently works for the Veterans Health Administration (VA) in Hazard as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and says he is proud of helping those individuals who have served in the military. “This one guy I was treating had been a mechanic on Air Force One. He knew personally that Marilyn Monroe had been a passenger aboard that plane and he was very interesting,” said Shepherd, who will be studying to obtain his registered nursing (RN) degree in the fall at Galen School of Nursing, Hazard. “I believe the veterans deserve the best possible care so I take my role very seriously.”
“My ultimate goal is to become a nurse anesthetist,” he said explaining that obtaining his RN licensure is just the next step. “I want to be the best at what I am doing, so that will mean more study. I’m up for it. I want to help my patients get back to being the best they can possibly be physically.”
Shepherd said he was grateful for his sister’s recommendation since he is not currently an ARH employee. “I’ll end up working for ARH,” said Shepherd, “but it was good she got me in. This award means the world for me because it takes a lot of the financial burden off of me and my family.”
Shepherd is also looking ahead to maybe his wife winning an ARH Scholars award one day soon. “My wife is an LPN so she needs to step up next,” he said while adding, “and we have three children! We’d love it if we were all part of the ARH family.”
Credit: Special to the Jackson-Breahitt County Times-Voice
Tiffany Stallard of Whitesburg has been named an Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) 2017 Scholar and will receive a scholarship worth $2,500 for each of the next two years. She was one of 11 individuals to receive the award and will be attending Galen School of Nursing, Hazard, in the fall.
The scholar program is awarded annually to employees of ARH or to family members who are currently part of the ARH team. “The competition was very intense,” explained Christopher Johnson, System Director Employee and Labor Relations at ARH. “We are pleased to offer these awards in an effort to encourage individuals to pursue higher education.”
Stallard, who currently works as a medical assistant at Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center, says she is thrilled to begin studying to become a registered nurse (RN). “It’s been a life long dream. I come from a family of RNs and I’ve always looked up to them. “I’m very excited for the future.”
“Being a nurse is challenging and I love working at ARH,” she said. “I work with a great team of people now and I will want to be working with that same team in five years, just in a different capacity.”
Stallard says she is supported well by her supervisors and that she looks forward to working hard to accomplish her goals. “Applying for this award allowed me to consider several things,” she said. “The application was laid out logically. They asked for things such as a budget, an essay, and as much indication as possible that you would be successful. It’s important to plan and to know you are ready for the challenge.”
She is also looking forward to working with a mentor. Each scholar will be assigned a mentor to help navigate the process. “I think that is one of the more important elements,” she said. “In addition to the mentor, my supervisors have said they will also work with me in terms of scheduling around my studies. When you consider all aspects of the award—the money, mentor, support at work, it does make you believe in yourself. I just look forward to a time when I can be there for the patients.”
For more on this story, Read: Two Letcher Countians named ARH Scholars, Credit: The Mountain Eagle
Jessica Cornett was thrilled when she learned she had been named an Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) Scholar for the 2017-2018 academic year, but she was even happier when she realized the award brought more than just a financial grant. As an incoming, first year student at Galen School of Nursing in Hazard, Cornett will have a mentor assigned to her who will help her through the demanding courses needed to become a registered nurse (RN).
“Very few in my family have gone to college so I’m really on my own,” Cornett explained. “I started school thinking I wanted to teach and earned my Associate’s Degree (AD) at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. At the time I didn’t know what I wanted to do so I took basic courses and majored in art. That really didn’t help me figure out where I needed to be professionally.”
After deciding teaching and art would not be her life’s work, Cornett took a position with Whitesburg ARH Hospital as a medical access coordinator. In that position, Cornett works in the central pharmacy coding drugs so they are billed appropriately. The environment led Cornett to the realization that a career in patient care might be the right fit for her. “Working in the hospital helped me understand that I really wanted to be a nurse,” she explained. “I wanted to help people. I liked what nursing was all about.”
When Cornett saw that ARH would be awarding scholarships for students who also happened to be employees or be a family member of an employee, she immediately decided to apply. “I had just gotten back from vacation so I was a little short on time. You needed to write an essay and provide a detailed budget, along with two personal references, your transcript and acceptance letter to school. I was more than happy to put in the time and effort, but I worried about asking other people to put in their time. Fortunately, I got my letters of reference and submitted everything on time.”
Cornett says she had no expectations, but just hoped she would be one of the awardees. “It was such a relief when I heard I had won and I’m super thankful. It won’t cover everything, but it certainly helps,” she said.
But the scholarship and the mentor will not be the only way ARH will contribute to Cornett’s success. “I’m not sure how my work schedule will fit into my classes, but I know ARH has worked with others to at least let them work part-time while going to classes. I appreciate that flexibility.”
Additionally, Cornett is looking forward to the time she can apply to a nurse extern position with ARH. “The nurse extern program helps by providing you a part-time job, working along side RNs who have done what you are attempting to achieve. That support will be so helpful.”
Cornett says she isn’t worried about doing well in school. “I’m a hard worker and I feel confident I will be able to do the course work, but it’s making everything balance that worries me. I’m married and I have a healthy 15-month-old little boy. This is going to turn my personal life upside down but I know it’s well worth it. It’s just going to take a little bit of adjusting at first. We’ll do it.”
When Cornett says “we’ll do it”, it is apparent she means she’ll have the support of her family, but she is also referring to ARH. “The scholarship, the mentor, the flexibility with my schedule and the nurse extern program will all help toward my success. They have been a real partner to helping me finally figuring out what I want to do with my professional life. Everything together will ensure I can contribute to my community as a registered nurse.”
For more on this story, Read: Two Letcher Countians named ARH Scholars, Credit: The Mountain Eagle
Doris Shuck, Pharmacy Technician at Morgan County ARH, says she loves working at ARH because it offers her “the opportunity to build relationships and friendships with the people in our community.” #OneFamily
Glorible “Bell” Dalida, Senior Medical Technologist at Summers County ARH, describes how ARH has helped her achieve her goals and live out her dreams. #OneFamily
SOUTH WILLIAMSON, Ky. –
Timothy Pack has a lot of professional plans and Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) is rapidly becoming critical in making those plans a reality. Pack was just named an ARH Scholar, which carries a financial grant of $2,500 for the academic year 2017-2018 with an option for an additional $2,500 next year.
“ARH is really helping me out with this scholarship,” said Pack. “I was pretty worried about the money but now I can focus on everything else around me including nursing school.” Pack is on track to become a registered nurse when he graduates from the nursing program at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.
Pack is employed at Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center, where he is a patient care associate. “I’m in the emergency department and in pediatrics. I love it there because you get to see all kinds of patients. You get so much experience.”
When school starts in the fall, Pack may have to reduce his hours, but he knows ARH will work around his schedule to accommodate academic demands. “I’ll want to work a couple of days a week and when things get demanding with tests, I will cut back to one day a week,” he explained. “It’s really nice they are so flexible.”
There is also the added benefit of having a team of RNs who are ready to help Pack ace the course work. “The good thing about working in the hospital while going to school is that everyone helps me. I can ask questions of anyone and all the nurses are so kind and willing to help.” He also has his mother, who works along side him at the Tug Valley facility. She is the head nurse manager in the pediatric and obstetrics departments. “I’m just following in my mom’s footsteps,” said Pack. “She has led the way for me.” It was Trena Pack who sponsored her son’s application for the ARH Scholars award.
As part of his award, Pack will be provided a mentor from ARH who will work with him as he completes Southern’s program and sits for the national test for registered nurses, NCLEX. “I feel pretty good about completing the course work. I graduated from high school with a 3.94 GPA and high ACT scores, but there are a lot of things which can derail your course work. A mentor will be so helpful in everything from sticking to a budget to making sure you are taking the right courses.”
As Pack progresses through the nursing course work, he will apply to be selected as an ARH nurse extern, which allows for even more hands on work than what he is able to do as a patient care associate. “Being a nurse extern allows you to really start to become an RN,” he said, and they pay you to learn when you are a nurse extern.”
After being licensed as an RN, Pack will begin to take on his next challenge—becoming a nurse practitioner (NP). That is in his five-year plan. “I still want to be in the emergency department at ARH, but I want to practice as an NP. It’s a personal goal, and hopefully ARH will be with me all the way.”
Pack says then he’ll be able to focus on things he likes to do such as enjoying the outdoors and fishing.
Story Credit: Williamson Daily News
Eleven individuals were recently named as Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) Scholars, which provides an initial $2,500 scholarship to be used toward obtaining a medical laboratory or nursing degree. The awards, renewable for a second year of study, have a total value of $5,000 per recipient.
“We are very excited about these ARH Scholars,” said Joe Grossman, President and CEO of ARH. “The winners are very diverse as well as deserving. The competition was intense, but all the winners had one thing in common—their desire to further their education so they can give back to the communities we serve. Once this exciting group of students complete their training, we will have medical laboratory professionals and registered nurses ranging from having an associate’s degree to a master’s of science degree.”
The inaugural group of ARH Scholars consisted of employees and their families, but according to Christopher Johnson, System Director Employee and Labor Relations at ARH, the 2018 ARH Scholars competition will be open to the public. “This was our first effort so we limited it, but we will expand the program for the next round. We will always show priority to our employees and their families, but we also want to look at individuals who are very deserving but not yet part of the ARH family.”
According to Johnson, the selection committee used a point system for ranking candidates. “There were several parts to the application process,” explained Johnson, “and each section carried an assigned number of points depending on the importance we gave to that section. For example, we thought the essay was more important than just completing the process of being accepted into a program of study, so the essay carried a much larger point total.”
Each applicant was required to submit a budget showing how they would pay for schooling and how the ARH award would contribute to living and travel expenses, as well as pay for schooling, books, tuition and other educational costs. “Before we found a candidate deserving, we needed to satisfy, in our minds that they were on a solid path to obtaining their desired degree,” said Johnson. “Sometimes it seems students sign up for a program of study and they really don’t have a clear idea of what it takes for completion.”
In addition to helping pay for the educational program, ARH wanted to provide Scholars with something the ARH leadership team thought was just as important as financial help. “Each winner will be assigned a mentor,” said Grossman. “So many parents of our students in eastern Kentucky and southwestern West Virginia did not go to college so the students need to find other support. So we wanted to provide just one more layer to ensure success. The mentors will work with each recipient throughout their course of study, answering questions, providing leadership on deadlines and course requirements.”
For ARH Scholars who are already employed by ARH, consideration will be given to their individual work schedule and how that might need to change. “We will be looking at what is best for the employee,” said Johnson. “If we have an ARH Scholar who isn’t currently an employee, but rather a family member is, consideration for providing a part- or full-time job for the student will be considered. We want to provide as much support as possible on as many levels as possible.”
Joshua Shepherd, one of the 11 ARH Scholars, says while this scholarship will help him move from his current position as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) to a registered nurse (RN), he doesn’t want to stop with his RN license. “My ultimate goal is to become a nurse anesthetist,” he said. “I want to be the best at what I am doing, so that will mean more study. I’m up for it. I want to help my patients get back to being the best they can possibly be physically.”
Shepherd currently works at the Hazard Veterans Clinic, part of the Lexington VA Medical Center, so it was his sister, Tammie Shepherd-Smith, who works for ARH in Hazard, who provided his eligibility to apply for the award. “I’ll end up working for ARH,” said Shepard, “but it was good she got me in. This award means the world for me because it takes a lot of the financial burden off of me and my family.” Shepherd commented that he didn’t want the ARH Scholars program to end with his award. “My wife is an LPN so I’d love to see her step up next.”
Two of the winners have already started their studies at Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) and both acknowledge the scholarship will cover much of the tuition. “It just takes so much of the stress off so I can focus on studying” said Kelsey Lowe, who worked as a nurse aide at an ARH facility when a student at Perry County Central High School. “I live at home so I don’t have to pay rent or anything. This makes going to school and studying to become a RN so much easier.”
Taylor Hurt, who is also attending HCTC and is studying to become a registered nurse (RN), is looking forward to working in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or the Emergency Department (ED). “I love the intensity and fast pace of those areas and I like giving back to my community.”
Timothy Pack, who is currently employed at Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center, wants to follow in his mother’s footsteps by becoming an RN. Treana Pack is the Head Nurse Manager in the pediatric department at Tug Valley ARH and she sponsored Timothy’s application. “All these years she’s been a great nurse and I knew what I wanted to do,” he said. “I’d already exhausted my academic scholarships so this is a great help. I was really surprised when I received the notification I had won. Great news!”
The following individuals were named ARH Scholars for 2017:
- Trista Tackett, of Betsy Layne, KY, will be studying nursing at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. She was sponsored by Stephanie Owens who works at ARH Systems Center in Hazard.
- Joshua Shepherd, from Lost Creek, KY, will be attending Galen College of Nursing studying for his RN degree. He was sponsored by Tammie Shepherd-Smith, who works at ARH in Hazard.
- Kelsey Lowe, who was sponsored by ARH Hazard employee Susan Lowe, will be attending Hazard Community and Technical College, studying for an RN degree. She is from Hazard.
- Jessica Cornett, from Letcher, KY, will be attending Galen College of Nursing studying to become a registered nurse. She is currently employed by ARH in Whitesburg.
- Timothy Pack, a native of Delbarton, WV, will be studying to become a registered nurse at Southern WV Community and Technical College. Pack is currently employed with Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center.
- Tara Buckley will be attending the University of Kentucky in Lexington, studying medical laboratory science. From Shelbiana, KY, she was sponsored by Dwight Buckley, an employee at Whitesburg ARH.
- Melinda Ratliff, of Prestonsburg, KY, will study at the University of Cincinnati to become a medical technologist. She is currently employed at McDowell ARH.
- Tiffany Stallard, who is employed at ARH in Hazard, will attend Galen College of Nursing working toward an RN degree. She is from Whitesburg, KY.
- Weston Patrick, of Carrie, KY, will be studying to become an RN at Galen College of Nursing. Patrick was sponsored by Tonya Delph, who works at ARH System Center in Hazard.
- Taylor Hurt, from Slemp, KY, will be working toward an RN degree at Hazard Community and Technical College. Hurt was sponsored by Charla Hurt, an employee at Hazard ARH.
- Kendra Wiseman, of Hazard, will be working toward a master’s in science nursing degree at Indiana Wesleyan. She is employed at the ARH System Center in Hazard.
Ellen Wright, System Chief Nursing Officer ARH, describes what it means to be an ARH nurse.
“I love being at a smaller hospital where I get to experience so many different things,” said Howard. “I knew everyone and everyone knew me since I was from the area. I wasn’t just a student. People would come to me for help and I always knew I could go to others for help. You are never left alone.”
Howard, who loves the outdoors and played on the Union College tennis team, originally thought she wanted to go into obstetrics and gynecology but after her hands-on learning experience at Harlan ARH, she knew she wanted to pursue medical-surgical and pediatrics. “I fell in love with med/surg and it put me on the right path.”
Howard works three 12-hour shifts for three days and is off four days. “It’s really effective,” she explained, “because with med/surg you get to know your patients better because you are with them for three days. The first day you get acquainted and then it’s usually very smooth care. Of course you have some admissions and discharges, but the continuity makes for superior nursing care.”
Cook, on the other hand, is loving her time in the Emergency Room (ER). “It’s fast-paced and certainly keeps you on your toes,” she explained. “I’ve seen a lot. I’ll start 10 to 20 IVs each day and I’m getting so much hands-on experience. I inserted an NG tube (nasogastric tube) the other day. I had only practiced it on a mannequin used in the classroom so this was different. The nurses watching me kept telling me I had it and I believed them. A smaller hospital provides you with so much more hands on experience.”
Starting IVs and NG tubes has been only part of Cook’s experience in the ER. “On my second day, this woman was transported by ambulance to the ER. I got to run and get blood for the patient and witness everyone working as a team to get her stable and ready for helicopter transport to Lexington. My heart was racing and I knew I was in the right place professionally.”
Even though Cook had won a scholarship from Lindsey Wilson, the Nurse Extern Program at Harlan ARH provided additional money toward her education. “You are paid to work as a Nurse Extern so that is helpful,” she said, “and then you have the opportunity for more scholarships. Some of the nurse externs even got free scrubs. Everything adds up.”
The extra scholarship money will come in handy for Cook since she is planning on becoming a nurse practitioner, which will require two additional full-time years in a master’s program. “I can do a lot of the work online,” she said, “but Harlan has been so wonderful about working around my classroom demands. Lindsey Wilson is a three-hour drive from here so I plan on coming home two weekends a month to work the 36 hours and get all kinds of hands-on experience.”
Both Cook and Howard agree they are willing to drive the extra miles to work at Harlan ARH, which they both hope to do after graduation and passing the NCLEX exam. “I’d rather drive the extra 20 to 30 minutes to be somewhere I want to be,” said Cook while Howard nodded her head in agreement.
“Harlan is such a wonderful community and the Nurse Extern Program is the total package,” Howard said. “Give it a thought. You get a job working in your field gaining experience; you have mentors who guide and teach you; you can apply for ARH scholarships, and they are flexible about when you work so you don’t have to compromise study time.”
Harlan ARH Chief Nursing Officer Dee Hughes agrees. “I love the Nurse Extern Program,” she said. “I am part of the effort to create the nursing leaders of tomorrow. I love seeing them work and grow into outstanding professionals. They keep me young with their dreams and hard work. I go to as many of the colleges as I can to encourage nursing students to apply for the program. We want to help them be outstanding nurses who are well trained to take care of our community.”
ARH is a not-for-profit health system serving residents across Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia. Operating 12 hospitals, physician practices, home health agencies, HomeCare Stores and retail pharmacies, ARH is the largest provider of care in the region.
For more information about exciting and rewarding careers at Appalachian Regional Healthcare, call our career hotline or email us today!