Who are the UCHealth Game Changers? They are the hundreds of amazing doctors, nurses, clinical, administrative, and support staff who work tirelessly to deliver world-class service to northern Colorado. And for nearly 25 years the PVH and MCR Foundation, through the support of our community and employees, has been helping dedicated and high-performing employees further their knowledge and build capacity for leadership by promoting academic excellence.
Our employee scholarship program is designed to keep UCHealth on the cutting edge of advancements in health care. While changing technology and increasing specialization are yielding better patient outcomes they are also placing incredible new demands on health workers. Standards of care are more complex than ever, driving our health system to educate hundreds of staff members about the newest findings in evidence-based medicine. Regular retraining is vital because medical knowledge and skills are rapidly-evolving with increased research and application of best practices.
And that’s where the foundation comes in – our employee scholarship fund, made possible by private donations, foundation event proceeds and ongoing peer support through recurring gifts, awards funds each year to support employees seeking to further their education. And it’s not just for clinical employees – scholarships are awarded across the system, from information technology to compliance and administration, and for everything from continuing education and certifications to the doctorate level. These scholarships are presented as an additional funding source over and above the tuition reimbursement and professional development opportunities offered by UCHealth. Our hospitals are dedicated to this important training and the foundation is pleased to be able to provide this additional avenue of support for some of our most dedicated employees.
On Tuesday, May 19th we celebrated this year’s employee scholarship recipients with a reception at Medical Center of the Rockies. Our 33 scholarship recipients received over $38,000 in awards and represented a wide range of disciplines. Guests at the reception had the opportunity to hear from a very unique scholarship recipient. Ruthie Weyant, RN has been in the nursing profession for 29 years and currently works in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). In 2005, while a single parent to two young boys, Ruthie decided to pursue her dream of obtaining a Master’s Degree in Nursing. She took advantage of the tuition reimbursement offered through UCHealth and also received foundation scholarships four of the five years it took to attain her Master’s degree. While that feat is impressive enough on its own, what Ruthie has done since receiving her degree is even more inspiring: “I was so grateful for the assistance and appreciated those believing in me throughout the five years. I took my motto learned from my mother of ‘I can do anything I put my mind to’ and combined it with a comparative & competitive edge of ‘If I can do it, you can do it!’ and created my own CanDo scholarship.” By initiating and funding her own scholarship, Ruthie is truly paying it forward. “It becomes a win-win situation; someone receives money to help with educational goals (win!) and I get the satisfaction of giving back to the profession and saying ‘If I can do it, so can you!’ (win!)”
Ruthie’s story is a wonderful example of the spirit of excellence that UCHealth seeks to foster among its employees, which translates into a world-class patient experience. We at the PVH and MCR Foundation are inspired each year by the scholarship applications we receive. If you are an employee and are interested in applying, look for applications to become available in late January. They are generally due back to the foundation in mid-March with dispensations announced in late April. If you are interested in donating to the scholarship funds please contact JoAnn Herkenhoff at email@example.com or 970.237.7403