Ashland Community Hospital Foundation has announced that 16 candidates have been awarded scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year from The William G. and Ruth T. Evans Endowed Nursing Scholarship fund: Luis Ayala Rangel, Michelle Benitez, Mary Krishna Phoebe Blanco, Bruce Booker, Jonathan Caringella, Katherine Carlson, Brittany Jones, Summer Kniveton, Connie Koenig, Lindsay McCreedy, Isaac Park, Zachary Phillips, Tiffany Stone, Makena Totushek, Amber Wolf and Alison Wren.

Eligible applicants are students pursuing nursing degrees at Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) at Southern Oregon University (SOU) or at Rogue Community College (RCC), and intend to work in the Rogue Valley after graduation.

Each year the scholarship selection committee receives a number of applications from highly qualified students, and has become increasingly competitive each year. The committee was pleased to be able to award $93,000 in scholarships to the chosen students, the largest amount ever granted since the inception of the scholarship program.

An additional $6,936 is scheduled to be awarded to the 16 students in the graduating class of Rogue Community College’s Licensed Practical Nursing Program. The scholarship will cover the cost of state licensing and exam fees for graduates.

A nurse herself, Ruth Evans recognized the need for nurses and the importance of education. Although Evans died in 2013, her legacy continues in the form a $2.5 million bequest.

According to Marjorie Lininger, scholarship selection committee chair, "We are fortunate that Mrs. Evans anticipated the current nursing shortage and created a solution. Because of her forethought, we can provide scholarships that train nurses and encourage them to live in the Rogue Valley."

Evans established the endowed nursing scholarship in 2002. Since that time 209 scholarships have been awarded to 161 students. The value of those scholarships is in excess of $451,500.

Ashland Community Hospital Foundation is a nonprofit organization supporting the work of Asante Ashland Community Hospital. Contributions to the foundation are tax-deductible and can be sent to P.O. Box 98, Ashland Oregon 97520.